Monday, September 29, 2008

Juggling it all

It is hard to juggle more than two balls. I have tried to learn three. I still hope to figure that out. But it takes a different kind of coordination. Life is like this, too. The more things we have going, the harder it can be to really do them successfully. So, I have had several "balls in the air" lately and I haven't written on this web journal.

In addition to having several things going at once which is really just part of life, I have also been doing at least two things that are new, going into unfamiliar territory. Because of this, I have had to shift my priorities and there are some things that just haven't gotten done, or haven't gotten done well. I just can't do it all. I know I am not alone in this dilemma. This happens to other people all the time. And this happens to kids who are learning.

Young children are learning new things every day. Sometimes we get impatient with them because we have told them a hundred times (or so it seems) and they still aren't remembering. When we put ourselves in their shoes, we can realize that we don't always remember either. As long as we are gentle and respectful, occasional reminders are appreciated by kids. We do need to be careful this doesn't feel like nagging, because that will be tuned out in a flash. It also helps to break down tasks into small pieces.

It is not possible to juggle it all. We can learn to set reasonable priorities and find a balance. For all of us, this means including work and play, responsibilities to others and to ourselves. I hope you are able to experience a sense of accomplishment AND also have some fun today. I'm heading out for a walk with a friend. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I am daily reminded of my powerlessness. Living in the whirlwind of world, national, and personal events, I would like to feel like I could control the things that happen to me and around me. I can't. I can influence how I feel about them. I can consider my reaction and response. That's where my power lies.

True confessions - In the moment, amnesia often settle in. I forget previous experiences and don't take even a nano-second to consider my response first before I blunder into the mix. My sons have experienced this first hand. They have always had their own ideas about what they needed in any situation, and rightly so. At the same time as I valued their independence, I was also frustrated when their ideas were counter to what I thought was best for them. And as their mother, I often had the commanding final authority on decisions that I thought would effect their well-being. My heart was in the right place, but during these times, I sometimes squelched their independence, and their need to learn through their own choices. Those times are in the past. And thankfully, they have grown into capable adults, because and in spite of our parenting.

I continue to work on developing personal practices that will help me be more present. I want to worry less about the future and be grateful for the many blessings I have now. I want to slow down and think before I react. I also need to accept my powerlessness over people and situations. I really don't know what's best for everyone else. I can only try to figure out what's right for me. Just taking the time to sit and write out what I am thinking and feeling helps. I gain some perspective. It also helps me during the toughest times to say the "Serenity Prayer":

Grant me the serenity,
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

and to Breathe! Wisdom is more likely to surface and help me act in the present with calm when I have allowed myself the gift of time to consider the alternatives. Yes, I am powerless over others. But this does not mean I must lay back and give in. I must muster my courage to continue to respond thoughtfully with kindness, respect, and understanding.