Learning to Juggle - April 27, 2021

If you are anything like me, I often feel that I am juggling multiple roles, responsibilities and parts of my life.

Posted
May 1, 2021
Graphic of gears turning and hand holding tools to tune up

Learning to Juggle - April 27, 2021

If you are anything like me, I often feel that I am juggling multiple roles, responsibilities and parts of my life.

Posted
May 1, 2021

JFS Friends,

If you are anything like me, I often feel that I am juggling multiple roles, responsibilities and parts of my life. Each of those pieces represents something that is important to me and adds value to my life and yet – at times – it can feel difficult to keep it all going.

Albert Einstein once said:

“Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

There is a wonderful quote that I think about often – I have not been able to determine who the author is but whoever s/he is – I owe them a debt of gratitude. The quote is:

“The trick to juggling is determining which balls are made of rubber and which ones are made of glass.”

This image of some balls being made of glass and, therefore, easy to break if dropped and others being made of rubber where, if dropped, will easily bounce back helps me prioritize how to choose to spend my time when things feel overwhelming.

So, if you are feeling like a juggler at the moment, here are some questions that you can ask yourself that may be helpful:

  • What’s the long-term impact of each of these balls? – this will help you determine how much each of the balls really matter
  • Who else cares about this ball? – this question helps you see the impact on others such as family, friends and colleagues
  • What’s the upside of this ball? – what good will come from handling this ball well?
  • If I dropped this ball, how easily could I recover? – many things that seem important to us don’t require perfection and can bounce back from a set-back pretty easily. This can help take the pressure off of us to try to do everything perfectly
  • Should I even be juggling this ball? – sometimes we keep up our involvement or responsibility for some aspect of our life from pure habit. Occasionally, it is good to ask if someone else can take this one over or whether this thing is still important anymore. Perhaps it is something we can just let go of.

Moving closer to feeling some sense of balance in our lives means not only being intentional about how many things we try to juggle at once but also how many new things we take on at any given time.

Kanwer Singh, known professionally as Humble the Poet, talks about this balance when he says:

“It's about finding that balance where you have one foot in the familiar, one foot in the unfamiliar.
If you have two feet in the unfamiliar it's overwhelming.
If you have two feet in the familiar then there's just boredom.
It's about having both.”

As you juggle your many roles and responsibilities this week, I hope that you will be able to focus on the things that are most meaningful and grant yourself some grace when a ball gets dropped; after all many of them are made of rubber and we will have the opportunity to pick them up again when they bounce back.

Take care,

Carl Josehart's signature

Carl E. Josehart, MSW (he/him/his)

Chief Operating Officer

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