Balls in the Air

Posted On August 18, 2023

Photo by Michele Venne

It’s good to have a to-do list. For me, it gets items out of my head and onto paper (yes, I’m old school) so I don’t forget and so I have more mental space. I’ve found I sleep better (less tossing and turning, which is saying something), and it keeps me from feeling overwhelmed when I try to remember everything. This isn’t to say that I cross off all the items on my list every day. In fact, I don’t recall if, or when, that has ever happened. My calendar is a record of what I’ve done, and what I haven’t managed to get to. Sometimes I think it’s my mismanagement of time or energy… and sometimes I think it’s just how life goes.

Holly is my priority. Everything else fits in around her. My writing, my day job, lessons I give, people I help, errands I run/life tasks I do… they all seem to battle for second place, or sometimes last place. For a couple of weeks now, I’ve felt like I’m stretched as far as I can be. I go to bed exhausted and usually wake up not much more energized. Just when I thought I could keep all the balls in the air, one tiny thing pops up and several of the balls start to fall.

One audiobook in production has been uploaded a few chapters at a time, so I’m in there editing and making comments for the narrator. I’ve been taking care of a friend’s horse, giving horse lessons at the ranch, making my way through masterclasses (all done now!), seeing students, writing reports on the students, going to physical therapy, trying to keep up with admin tasks… like I said, a lot of balls in the air! Did you notice AC wasn’t mentioned? That’s because, despite taking my spiral everywhere I go (even to the mechanic three times as he worked on my car), I haven’t been able to finish the first draft. My knee-jerk reaction is to listen to, and agree with, the inner critic. So I work to stop that reaction, take a breath, and give myself some space.

Not every week will be like the past couple of weeks. Tonight, I learned a missed a HUGE commitment that would have altered my life in a not-so-good way. I’m reeling from relief and exhaling my held breath for this blessing, grateful for being able to keep (most of) my balls in the air, and knowing AC is almost done, and will be finished, even if the slightest breeze threatens my juggling. How do you manage your tasks? Have you ever felt like the balls in the air could be dropped at any moment? How did you handle it?

Written by Michele Venne

Writer of immersive and intriguing stories.

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