Friday, November 20, 2015


How good is your juggling?
How are your circus skills? At every family festival we went to this year there seemed to be a circus tent, giving old and young the opportunity to learn various circus skills.

I can proudly say that I am reasonably adept at plate spinning (as long as they're the plates with a cone in the middle), and am passable at diablo (I used to have one growing up). The one thing I've never mastered is juggling.
"The one thing I've never mastered is juggling."
For some reason my juggling technique ends up with the balls hurling into my face. Despite years of practising on and off, I haven't quite acquired the proper circular motion to juggle any number of balls with ease. Proper jugglers look like they're making no effort at all, and are almost motionless apart from their arms - on the other hand I have to move all over the place in a vain effort to hang onto the increasingly wayward orbits the balls take!

I've always been a bit jealous of my brother who can not only "properly" juggle at least four balls, but he also learnt to juggle clubs as well. As a nine or ten year old I remember accompanying him on an exciting drive into the outskirts of London to a dedicated circus equipment shop - it was a real Aladdin's cave of marvellous artefacts! If I'm honest I've just never taken the time to master the art - spending my time learning different instruments and other skills that captured my attention instead.
"Recently it's felt like quite a juggling act keeping all our balls in the air"
I mention all of this because our life has been quite full over the last few months, and it's felt like quite a juggling act keeping all our balls in the air and plates spinning. I'm sure that's something you can also relate to!

Are you feeling the squeeze?
It's not that life's been full of hardships, not at all, just that even lots of good things can be disruptive and tiring. The main thing has been the house extension we've had built, which involved three months of builders inside and outside out house. Whilst the builders have been great, the mess, work in progress and clouds of dust made it an extra effort to maintain normal life.

Now that the main work has finished we've been busy decorating the extra rooms, fitting in sanding, priming and painting in the evenings and weekends.

Meanwhile as autumn turns to winter and the days become short, we've all been fighting off colds and other bugs. Add to that the normal demands of home life, work pressures and church commitments and you get the picture!

Unlike the graceful and skilled circus performers, we've become a little ragged trying to keep our various items from dropping!

For me personally, it's my writing and podcasting that feel the squeeze the most in seasons like this. My creative output requires a certain amount of brain space during the week as I mull and muse over topics, ideas and metaphors - recently I've got to Friday nights and have felt a bit mentally wrung out instead!
"It's better to be creating *something* than nothing"
Perhaps you feel the same - and it's easy to shelve our creative projects until tomorrow, or the next day, or when such and such is over etc. Sometimes we just get so wrapped up in daily life that we don't notice we've even stopped doing some of the things that we love.

It's most important in the times where we're juggling everything that we try and keep our dreams aloft - even if we don't feel we're creating our best work. It's better to be creating *something* than nothing - like athletes putting in the hard hours during winter training so they're in peak shape for competition season in the spring. It's ok to feel like you're just going through the motions - even this is going to keep you supple.

So take heart if you're feeling ground down by the demands of life. We all go through squeeze seasons, where juggling is a struggle. And funnily enough we sometimes need a squeeze to really get our creative juices flowing...
"Sometimes need a squeeze to really get our creative juices going..."


Thanks for taking the time to read Juggling. If you've enjoyed it please share it with your friends on social media! Why not subscribe to The Potting Shed Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher for expanded musings and much more (direct RSS feed is here). 

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I was recently interviewed for The Zone Show and the Changeability Podcast, both of which are well worth a listen!

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Nicky Kentisbeer said...

I really like this. Very clever the way you have written about juggling and dropping the ball. We all do it and it's very easy to forget to do things we love which, of course, are the most important of all. I'm not surprised you have dropped a few balls having had a big renovation. I am sure the home is looking fabulous. Nicky #AnythingGoes

Random Musings said...

I know exactly what you mean - when there's a lot going on, it is easy to forget about your blog/creative outlet. I tend to end up doing mine in the middle of night but I just can't bring myself to not do it. And I never did master juggling in the circus style lol :)
Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes