What balls can you drop?
On Monday we asked our community, "how are you feeling about your bandwidth?" and - not that you'll be surprised - nobody answered that they're ready to take on more.
For many of us, our bandwidth is full. Overflowing. In one of our motherhood circles last week we discussed how overwhelmed we often feel and I was reminded of these words of wisdom from author Nora Roberts:
The key to juggling is to know that some of the balls you have in the air are made of plastic & some are made of glass.
In the juggling act that is parenthood, we have to decide what to prioritize and what to let go. Some balls feel like glass but are areas in our life where we may have more flexibility than we think - it may surprise us when we drop a ball and it bounces. Or we may think something is plastic then end up pick up the pieces when it shatters.
One of the key pieces of Jennifer Lynn Barnes' viral twitter thread on the subject is this:
Nora was not talking about juggling five balls. She was talking about juggling FIFTY-FIVE balls. The balls don’t represent “family” or “work.” There are separate balls for everything that goes into each of those categories. “Deadline on Project Y” or “crazy sock day at school”
THIS is what is often so misunderstood about motherhood. The hundreds of decisions big and small that we make every. single. day.
Our priorities, the balls we juggle, and the balance of it all shifts as our kids grow and our family and work lives change. What worked one week may knock us down the next - there are moments of flow and other times of barely making it through the day. Jennifer continues:
I think about this ALL THE TIME. I dropped more than one ball today. It is hard to drop any ball, and I hate it! But they were plastic, and tomorrow, it will be okay.
Inspired to get a little space by bouncing a few balls, I did a family experiment over the past week: I let some of the plastic balls drop. Here are a few of the things that came up:
I also know it's an ongoing experiment - some balls get more fragile and others more resilient over time. But it's worth looking at the juggle every now and then to see what can bounce.
Are there any balls you've been juggling that you can drop? Have you experimented in letting go of some things so you can prioritize others?
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