Monday, August 8, 2011

The Juggler

Cue the circus music….

Okay, so no I don’t live in a big top, and I don’t have a fancy costume. Yet day in and day out I live the life of a juggler, trying to keep all my responsibilities in the air without any falling to the ground.

Now most of the time, I love to juggle. Not to sound conceited but I feel I do it fairly well. During my 8 years as an attorney, 6 years as a wife, and 5 years as a mother I think I have found a good balance to my life. I somehow have found a way to be the Mom I want to be on the schedule of the attorney I have to be.

However, every now and then life throws in too many balls for me to keep my nice pace and I fall behind, drop a few balls, and just feel incredibly overwhelmed. It is these times I hate to juggle.

My current “struggle to juggle” has been caused by work throwing way to many balls into the mix. This does not sit well with a juggler who usually ensures the balls coming from the work side of life stay at a certain manageable number (and far less in number than my personal side).

But alas, over the last month ball after ball has been thrown in. I have a trial every month from now until November, including a month long trial in Des Moines, 2 ½ hours away from my home (yeah haven’t quite figured out the logistics of how on earth I’m going to pull that off yet). I am feeling so lost, overwhelmed, and just plain baffled by the amount of work that has piled up.

So, due to the unwelcomed added load, balls have been dropping all over the place. From the Wednesday morning it took me forever to find something to wear because I hadn’t kept up with the laundry; to the “let’s send it overnight” motion nearly forgotten in the mix; to the realization that summer is pretty much over and I haven’t gotten to do half the things I planned; to the dozens of "What's the status?" memos on my desk; to the fact L's "1 year" pictures were taken at 15 months old. Drop. Drop. Drop.

Now most jugglers would just realize that dropping balls comes with the job and keep going without skipping a beat. But, well, I’m not that kind of juggler due to the perfectionist part of my personality. I thrive best in an environment where everything is going right, and nothing is missed. When something is missed, or the kids disappointed, I take it hard. So you can imagine this tailspin of ball dropping that has been going on lately has hit me hard.

I really have no one to blame for the ball dropping but myself. After all, I’m not the sole performer in my circus of life. In fact, I have tons of people that offer to take a few balls from my hands. But, my stubbornness usually prevents me from letting people step in and help me. I’m a solo act, I want to be the one doing things, especially when it comes to my kids.  I’ve often wondered where this need of mine to “do it all” comes from. My control freak side? My “I think I can do it better” side? Who knows. All I know is that besides someone who wants to come and clean my house, a chore I will happily and without hesitation give to anyone out there (apply herein), I am insistent on doing things myself.

These “struggling with juggling” times are nothing new to me. They come and go. Sometimes I feel like I can do it all, other times I find myself crying as I watch a diaper commercial wondering if I’m doing enough. Sometimes I feel like a great attorney, other times I question how I managed to pass two bar exams. Sometimes I have control over my life, other times I don’t. The ebb and flow…the ups and downs, they simply come with the life of a working Mom.

So yes, before too long Mandi and Magnificent will be back in full swing.  Eventually, I’ll get a grip again and will have all my balls back in the air seamlessly controlled by my own two hands. Until then, well I have no choice but to take it day by day. Moms don’t have the luxury of giving up, breaking down, taking a day off... nope, the show must go on.


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