Thanks to Bozo Circus, a Chicago area TV show I grew up with, I am acquainted with the fine art of plate spinning. I’m pretty sure it’s a lost art, because I haven’t seen anyone doing it for many years. But the notion of someone taking numerous vertical rods and placing a plate on each of them—where the only reason that they remain atop them is because they are spinning—is a concept that I have metaphorically understood ever since then.

Another thing I learned at a very young age was how to juggle. For some reason, my grade school felt that this was an important skill. Well, not really. But they had this group come in that put on a juggling show and then taught the students how to juggle afterward. I can’t do bowling balls or knives, but I can juggle. In fact, it so impressed my high school gym teacher, that I ended up winning PE Student of the Year my senior year. True story.

From early childhood on, keeping many things going at once became a familiar concept to me, and I’m sure it’s one you can relate to. Many people’s daily agendas are challenged to keep their plates spinning. I call it living the Juggle Struggle.

I work part-time in one world, try to write in another, manage a household in yet another, and finally try to be present in my various relationships, including wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, coworker…and whatever else I’m forgetting.

Yesterday is a relatively typical example of a classic juggling day. Scheduled for jury duty, I first needed to set up an after school “pickup plan” for my son. Thankfully, I have some key friends that I can rely on for help. After that, it’s go-time. Get ready for the day, get the linens in the wash (it’s Wednesday! Linens must get done!), get the kid to school, and head to the courthouse. After several hours waiting in the jury lounge (which I loved because I got to sit and concentrate!), we all got sprung—leaving me just enough time to run and get my son myself (thanks for being there, though, friends!), head off to errands…home to help with homework, make dinner…After, do dishes…make tomorrow’s lunches…you get the idea. Sound familiar? Your itinerary isn’t the same, I’m sure, but I bet the personal twists that make it your own are quite a similar swirl of Have Tos and Need Tos. My little rundown of my day here isn’t to whine about it (though that is a reality sometimes, as is wine. Doesn’t whine always go better with wine?) The point is that this is everyone’s every day. We all struggle to juggle it all.

In this blog, I want to share some of my struggle and connect with yours, because I’ve learned that this helps. It helps me to know that others are dealing with the same kinds of swirlies that I am, and I hope it helps you, too (or is at least worth your time to read).

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