A few years ago, with an aim to keep on top of everything, I created my own little metaphor for life and the busy-ness that life can throw at you sometimes…
… I looked at life as if it was me juggling balls.
Everyone has it, a number of balls they juggle, trying to keep each one in the air, and sometimes having to prioritise to let one drop or add another one in.
Life can be complex and busy and challenging at times, and it can change, priorities can change. So I see juggling balls in my life as a good way to get a handle and a bit of perspective on things.
I don’t have kids or a family of my own, (which could cause more busy-ness, I know), but I do have plenty to keep me ticking along.
And in the last few months I’ve really had to mix things up a bit, add a juggling ball in and drop a few to compensate for it. It’s how I work.
Here are the balls in life I tend to juggle usually (in no particular order, if I could draw them in a rotating circle, I would):
– Health, happiness
– Training, events
– Rest, sleep, recovery, fun, holidays, time out
– Work: BBC
– Work: Coaching
– Fit Girl
– Friends & family
– Online: my blog etc (which sometimes helps with my recovery / training / happiness).
All things that make up my little life and all things I usually have a good handle on. But sometimes, something else comes on which puts a spanner in the works and knocks some of them out.
And sometimes (not often it has to be said) it makes me drop them all (imagine a melt down, an emotional wreck, I don’t know what to do next kind of moment, possibly fuelled by hormones and a chimp – read the book Chimp Paradox if you didn’t get the chimp bit).
Sometimes I HAVE to drop a ball or two, to focus on juggling the other balls well and prevent me dropping them all.
Anyway, as you probably know, in November, I got side swiped by an all mighty life juggling ball which I had to catch and run with. The passing of my real mum.
An emotional and practical roller coaster then followed. I was lucky to be able to take a month off work, so that ball was safely and conveniently on the ground waiting.
Training happened as and when, so whilst it was still in the air, it was less prioritised. I used it more for helping me deal with things and heal, rather my usual, actual ‘Training’.
Sleep sometimes went out the window, as did my health sometimes, but not to too much of an extend.
And friends, family and fit girl, rest and recovery became more of a priority – essentially looking after myself, making sure I was getting social interaction and help where I needed it, and making those things (and my health more important above all else.
Now 2-3 months on and with most of the practical stuff done, in January I’ve been able to try to get back to normal a bit. The mum ball is there, but hopefully I’ll be able to park it and focus on other things in my life. Picking it up infrequently for only the amount of time I need to (with as little emotional effort / spend as possible hopefully).
There are some legalities and practicalities that remain, in wrapping up her estate. And I’ll potentially be one of two executors on her estate, but there’s not much more for me really to do. (Although people and issues might throw practical and emotional challenges my way in coming months).
So January was me focussing on, prioritising getting back to work fully and back to training. Getting my life back to some sort of normality having been thrown in at the deep end to sort things November into December.
I’m training for the London marathon at the end of April and in work (BBC) I’ve agreed to take on a big project (10 Apprentices!) from about March time for a year which should change my workload dramatically. I need to get my training and my work right.
I’ve got a few new coaching clients, but they actually help me focus less on me and my balls and give me a bit of reward by helping them. So that’s all good.
I’ve kind of dropped my online ball, I’m posting on my Facebook page when I train, but these kind of posts, I’ve kind of run out of brain power to do. I feel a bit like I’ve run out of ideas, or I’ve changed the way I think a bit. Which is a little frustrating, but it’s the way it is.
Now so far in January, I feel like I’ve been slowly cranking it up training wise, but I’ve never been truly up and running I don’t think. Work, or life, or the weather has got in the way a lot – leading to more rest than I could have had and only one long run (when thee could have been 4!).
One good thing is I’ve been consistent in my strength training, building it up and getting between 1-3 strength workouts done a week (maybe it’ll help make me STRONG?!). ;-)
And last week I made one of my work objectives by helping on a BBC Radio Scotland OB Tuesday Wednesday, at Celtic Connections at the CCA. 2 X 12 hour days and trying to take the time back (prioritising health and rest and recovery).
But I dropped my training all again, I’ve done one good strength session and one run (which was a 3 mile coaching session).
Watch out for the crappy action shot / selfie from Wednesday night at the Quay Sessions (I’m not good at selfies!). ;-)
Wednesday we found out some more about the estate after about a month of it being on hold.
So that kicked off some emails and thoughts and emotions for me, which I tried to keep in check, but I didn’t sleep well on Wednesday night (3 hours) – another ball dropped. But I’ve managed to pick that ball up to done extent (but not totally as I woke at 3am, after having 4 hours sleep on Friday night).
You can do this.
You’ve got broad shoulders.
You can do anything.
– they’re all things I’ve been saying to myself in the last few months. And other people and their kind words and opinions have helped too – bringing a bit of sense and perspective into my life.
And NOW, today, my throat started to get sore! It doesn’t feel like a cold, but it feels like somethings not quite right.
Anyway, Picking up the family ball, his weekend I’ve arranged to go on a road trip (in my new car!) to see my lovely uncle and aunt near Newcastle. My Dad’s brother and his wife, I’ve always got on with them well, but last year I never made the time to go and see them so I thought I’d guys the bullet and take advantage of my weekend and go.
And I might get to meet some of my cousins (that I’ve never met!)… their daughter, grand daughters and greet grand daughters!
I did have a 15 mile long run planned this week (I was planning to do it on Friday, the storm Gertrude came and I thought better of it).
Now with my health ball dropped, and my training ball just about to be dropped, and my family ball up in the air. It looks like training will (rightly) be a ball I’ll most likely have to drop.
I could do it on Sunday when I’m down. (There’s a good cycle track I found near my uncles, so I could do an out and back). But with my throat the way it is, I’m more than likely going to can that idea and drop the training ball until I’m better.
Focus on the good things in life, happiness, positive family interaction, stories, fun, social interaction, eating, sleeping, recovering.
I’ll take a bit of time out, look out for some stars and rainbows. I’m tempted to go fly my kite but I might not have time (and I might get blown away!!).
If you liked this, you might like this too: http://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2015/02/07/catching-a-curve-ball-and-throwing-it-back/