In describing the day-to-day logistics of managing a full life, people use lots of analogies. Oddly enough, many of these seem to be circus-oriented: juggling act. Balancing act (which may imply walking a tightrope). Or even just a circus itself.
In many cases, these analogies are trying to get at an idea of chaos or precariousness, but in thinking about it recently, I realized I liked the idea of life being a circus, and specifically me being the ringmaster of this circus. I like this image precisely because it is not chaotic. I like the idea of learning to master this role.
In a circus, there is a lot going on. There is always something going on! But no one is getting fired out of a cannon at the wrong time. It is a well-choreographed dance of things in sequence, with the clowns entertaining the crowd while the tigers are being released to their spots. The ringmaster anticipates delays and keeps the complex parts moving along.
While watching my family on the Today Show this morning (you can see the segment here!) the circus analogy definitely came to mind. Four kids all have their own schedules and needs. We organize the play dates and figure out who needs to be at swim practice and ballet and soccer. We have the additional moving parts of my husband’s and my travel and work schedule. We are probably not as well-choreographed as Barnum & Bailey. But we do not need to be as glitzy as the circus. In general things keep moving and over the past 9 years (since my oldest son’s birthday — today!) this ringmaster has slowly been learning to keep the shows in each ring from breaking down. Well, most of the time. We were late to soccer Sunday. There were meltdowns both before and after church. But the Little League team got their snacks Saturday, and I got to run twice this weekend. I celebrate when the tigers leap through their hoops.
In other news: Welcome Today Show viewers! I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read some past posts and find more time-saving tips. Comments are always welcome as long as they are not attacking other readers. If you do not want to comment here, I welcome feedback at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.