We are all jugglers. Multitaskers all, we juggle not only the balls of our own lives and at times we also juggle the balls of the lives of others.
If you are a parent or have ever been a parent you will know what I mean. From the moment they are born, your kids’ schedules take up residence in your brain and as they get older the more balls you need to keep in the air. As a parent you accept the juggle and willingly catch the balls your children throw you. And one day you hope to be in a position to through them right back, shinier then they were when you first caught them.
But what about those balls from people who are more remote to you? And what about balls that are thrown and you don’t even know you’re in a game of catch?
Confused with all this metaphorical ball talk?
Let me explain what I mean.
All of us derive our self esteem from different sources. There is usually something about ourselves that makes us proud of who we are or that is otherwise integral to the way we define ourselves. Rightly or wrongly, if something happens to that integral thing, we start feeling off and a little less than ourselves. For some that thing is parenting, for others their ability to run a marathon, write poetry, volunteer in the community, recite limericks, make great videos, cook gourmet meals. Whatever.
For me, it’s being able to solve problems or at least moving the problem a few steps forward if a complete solution is not within my skill set. So I love it when people come to me for a solution and I love to help them out. But I’m only just learning that this does not mean that I have to catch every ball that’s put in play. Seriously, this is my latest permission and is only really new.
And the late realisation is not because I can’t say no or because I am a people pleaser. I can say no plenty, just ask my children and the Italian Stallion.
So with this permission, I have set a few new rules:
- identify early on whether an inoccuous question is really a ball you don’t want to accept or can become such a ball after a bit of back and forth. If yes, knock the ball back. If no, continue playing
- you don’t always have to play ball to suit another’s agenda
- it’s not only permissible, but essential to knock back the balls that may became too heavy or don’t add to your ball collection
- beware of those trying to suck you into a ball game that you don’t want to be in, by stealth.
Most of us want to lighten another’s load. However, we also need to take care that by doing so, we don’t drop our own balls.
No more guilt. I’m now OK with this.
As for the balls in the parenting scenario. It is incumbant on all us parents to start knocking back our kids’ balls at some point. For if we do not, how will they ever learn to juggle? The job for us is to know just the right time to do this. We need to be alert enough to see the signs that show us they have the fledgling skills to not only catch the balls, but to also keep them in the air.
And one day, like it or not we will have to throw a few of our own balls their way.
One of my fellow bloggers wrote a fantastic post today about his special other half. In it he describes her empathetic nature and that at some points in her friendships, she needed to distance herself. K is also for kudos and I have nothing but kudos for BTG’s post today, which is very much on point. Please hop on over and read this little piece of special.
Today I give myself permission to knock back balls in play.
22 thoughts on “Today I Give Myself Permission to Knock Back Balls In Play #atozchallenge”
I catch all balls…my make-up… always on the go…multi tasking…saying yes I can do… BREAKS ON!!! I’ll try to smell the roses …and ay the balls in your court.
I used to find it hard not to catch all balls, better at batting them away now. Thank goodness, I think I was seriously headed for ball overload.
Frustrating that WP doesn’t let you edit comments, at least for a time after they are posted.
Liking those “new rules”….may [just] have to have that last one tatted on my body…
Great post btg5885 wrote about his beautiful bride….he’s a prince…and you are, indeed,
special for noting his princely-ness…which makes you what? Queen for The Day!!
Yes, that works…..and don’t let it go to your head…..
Jots you cracked me up with this comment. Queen, never. Jester, possibly. if you do get it tatted on your body, you will have to definitely send pictures!
Thanks Judy and Jots. Actually, I am frog who got kissed. I just hide my warts. Take care, BTG
A prince in frog clothing? Surely not. Hope you’re enjoying the weekend.
My wife liked the post, so she will let me hang out some more. Yet, if I don’t take the trash out, my princely privileges are pulled. Plus, my frog clothing is more blue jeans. Take care, BTG
I don’t have kids, and somehow I just don’t know where they would fit in my busy life if I did!
Hi and thanks for the comment.
I know I used to juggle too many balls, but now, being retired, I know which to catch and which to ignore.
Visiting from the A-Z Challenge Paula Martin – Romance Author
Hi Paula, I see you’re back for another year of the Challenge. Hope you’re having fun with it.
This is great! It’s a great lesson to learn – and/or permission to give oneself – that it’s not our responsibility to juggle all the balls.
Thanks Ellen, it took my a while, but I got there. World’s still spinning 🙂
Another illuminating post.
Ha. I’m retired and still juggling, but I suppose my mind being kept active is a win-win.
Juggling is fine as long as you do it by choice. I hope that in retirment, my mind will be kept active also.
Another awesome post – you’re making the A-Z challenge seem so easy, and I know it’s not!
Thanks Nester. I’m just keeping on swimming, swimming, swimming…
Good rules. I may post them in my office because I need daily reminders.
Jagoda from http://www.conflicttango.com
Glad they had an impact, Jagoda.
Juggling balls is life – assessing priorities so that balls don’t hit back