I have really terrible hand/eye coordination, so I don't actually know how to juggle inanimate objects like balls or oranges. I am, however, an expert at juggling about 100 different tasks at any given time. My calendar looks like an intricate game of Tetris, and sometimes I have to force myself to not look ahead. The idea of getting everything accomplished can be overwhelming.
Sure, I could say no to more things. Somehow, despite my best attempts to do so, I just keep saying yes. There's so much going on. I don't want to miss anything! Work has been really busy the last few months, and I can't remember an evening at home without doing work. I've even been coming into the office regularly on the weekends just to have some quiet time to catch up.
Then there's the social calendar. This is where I get into trouble. Let's take a look at the next few weeks, for example. On Friday I leave for DC. I'm spending two nights with my bestie, running an 8k on Sunday morning and then spending Sunday afternoon/evening, Monday and Tuesday doing congressional visits. I fly home Wednesday and have two regular days at work (which I guarantee will end up being crazy). We have dinner with friends in Grand Rapids on Saturday night. Monday morning I start the day with an IV infusion for my Crohn's. My work's legislative conference is Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday I go to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan for a presentation. Friday morning a girlfriend and I head to Louisville where I'll be running the Papa John's 10-miler Saturday morning. Come home Sunday, Monday go to Muskegon, MI for another presentation.
Then I (allegedly) will have a light few weeks; a minute to breathe. I wonder how long it will take for me to fill up those days too? Somehow in the middle of all this madness I'm running three days and swimming two days a week. The thought of these crazy next few weeks makes me anxious, but I can't think of anything I would change. Someone just needs to remind me of that when I'm complaining about how busy I am.
I think of my friends who have kids and wonder how they do everything. They probably stay home on the weekends which would help me tremendously. I do know, however, that we're all juggling so much, that some days it feels like we're juggling swords.
These are the moments where running has changed my life. There is nothing like taking off without music, without distraction, and enjoying a long run. It clears my head and helps me prepare for all of the things I've got to juggle. I've worked on legislative committee testimony in my head, told off someone who's really making me mad, and worked through things that make me sad during a good run. It's better than therapy. At the end of a good run I find myself reinvigorated to face whatever I've got to juggle that day. Now has anyone seen my flaming swords?