When my middle son was five, he wanted to join the circus. My response was to sign him up for circus school. It didn't surprise me to find out that he was a natural at trapeze—he'd been swinging from the rafter since he could crawl. What did surprise me was how good he was at balancing a peacock feather at the tip of his finger.
All of the chaotic energy that was my son stilled, focused on keeping that beautiful, fragile feather balanced precariously on his tiny finger. The slightest breeze or muscle twitch would send it—and him— careening wildly.
It's appropriate that this is the follow-up post to my post about chasing dreams. Because this is the reality of it: I feel like a five-year-old trying to balance a feather on the tip of my finger.
Part of it is simply balancing priorities like immediate income and long-term dream building. Part of it is being a single mom, in a pandemic. Having Covid brain certainly isn't helping things. And part of it is my ex-husband, whose recent shenanigans have reminded me why I'm happy to be divorced.
It's been a rough 10 days or so for my little clan, and I find myself struggling to keep the books, the freelance work, and parenting from toppling over. No small part of me wants to shut down, to sit in comfy pants and drink wine while playing Farmville and binging whatever. But I have this feeling deep in my gut that if I can just keep putting one foot in front of the other, things will be better soon.
I don't know why I'm sharing this with you, only that the image wouldn't leave me alone until I got it typed up. I think, perhaps, it's for the reader out there who is also struggling to keep it all balanced. You are not alone. There's a bunch of us careening around like uncoordinated five-year-olds, trying to focus our energy on keeping our lives in balance. Which is hard enough when the world isn't crumbling around you.
But keep going. Put one foot in front of the other. Pick the most important thing and do it, then the next. And cut yourself some slack. Life is hard and you're doing better than you think you are.
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