In college, my sister and I went to a festival that was a gathering of intentional communities. It was quite the experience with a giant tent city, lots of good music, and many a dreadlocked head. Every morning we would head to learning workshops discussing everything from community structure and guidelines to the pursuit of godly simplicity. In the afternoons, we had the option to attend more light-hearted skill share sessions where— among many other things— we learned gardening tips, heard stories from a man who was walking across the country, and my favorite… practiced circus tricks.
Yes, that’s right. We got to learn circus tricks.
Ultimately, I discovered that I did not have a occupational future under the proverbial big top. I was alright on the tightrope walking; I failed miserably at the juggling. But I had a ton of fun trying to balance, throw, and twirl things.
This past week, I recalled that pitiful juggling experience as I visualized the crazy act I was attempting to perform with my life. I explained to Tyler that I felt like I was rolling along just fine in my Alaskan life, all settled in to my groove, and then out of nowhere someone tossed a handful of new balls into my routine. And I just couldn’t keep them all in the air.
I hate feeling like I’m behind. Like I’m letting people down. Like I’m failing at a project or goal. I’d be the first to admit that I’m not the most self-motivated person, but when I think of all the external factors that are disintegrating with my lack of accomplishment, I do get discouraged. Last week was just one of those weeks. It started off on the wrong foot, and with literally every waking moment spent rushing from one activity to the next, I felt constantly behind. The guilt of all those things I just “hadn’t gotten to”— blog updates being some of those— stressed me out and sent me to bed every night bemoaning the obvious fact that I just couldn’t keep up with everything.
Thankfully, the good things in life eventually show up, without fail, relieving that pressure and allowing us to breathe a little. Things like fresh bakery cookies and nights of twelve hours of sleep. By the time the start of this week rolled around, I felt ready to tackle everything on my plate. And my idea of tackling? It includes prioritizing my work/social/hobby/volunteer activities, discussing all our standing commitments with Tyler, deciding if we need to back out of anything, and devising a manageable plan to conquer all those tasks. Hopefully by the end of it, you’ll find me back on the internet, sharing from my ongoing list of “post ideas” that is taking over a note on my iPhone.
Speaking of which, any tips for backing out of commitments? Saying no in the first place is a good lesson to learn, but when it’s too late for that, how do you graciously bow out of yet another weekly obligation? I think our marriage group is probably safe from the cut list, but Downton Abbey night might be hanging on by a hair at this point 😉