managing self


Maverick can juggle. Goose can juggle. The Boss can juggle.

A perhaps peculiar activity in my work team is juggling. Much like the Chocolate Drawer, it’s all started with Maverick.

Maverick has two juggling balls. It seems he can’t think without them. This became quite prominent when he was working on a major project, the most stressful period probably between November and March. Until this time, I never took notice of his juggling absently while talking or pondering some conundrum.

Then Miss Gravy&Chips arrived in the team and brought her juggling balls into the office. Juggling has now become a distinctive trait of my work team.

This week, Miss Gravy&Chips moved into the Technical Library. Her juggling balls were calling to me. I feel left out if I don’t have a skill others’ possess. So I thought I’d give it a try and be one of the ‘cool kids’ who could juggle. I’m the most unco-ordinated person I know. Fail.

I’ve started to think about the possible reasons why I can’t juggle. Or more to the point, what it takes to juggle. Let’s think about it. You throw a ball, wait til it reaches a certain point, then throw the next ball and catch the first. Repeat. My inability to juggle may be linked to how I deal with, or juggle, the various things in my life. I tend to think about too many things at once. I’m always anticipating and planning for what’s coming up next. I guess in all the blur that has become my life in the last 12 months, I’ve slipped into not taking things as they come.

In this mindset, I find I’m already doing the ‘next thing’ before it’s time to actually do it. I throw a ball in the air and before I know it, I’ve thrown the next one and they both come down at once and I have no time to catch them both. Does this reflect how I approach my life? Do I lack patience? Yes I do. Am I anxious? Most likely.

I’m determined to learn how to juggle. I’ve begun to practice every day, until it becomes something I do to calm my mind for 10-15 minutes. To slow it down a bit, to think and to ponder. Juggling reminds me to react to a given situation as it arises, to focus on completing the task at hand, and to trust I will be able to deal with what comes next.

Juggling. It’s been a good lesson.

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  1. How is the juggling going? I taught myself years ago (from a library book, of all things – fancy that from a not-yet librarian!). It’s definitely good for stress – and for posture (you have to stand tall, else it all goes wrong). When you get into a rhythm, I find it’s a bit like meditation. Have never managed to progress to 4 balls though…good luck!

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