Sunday, October 17, 2010

On Juggling

(Reprinted and slightly edited from the original, which you can find in the sidebar. I write, therefore I rewrite.)

A lot of people seem to use juggling as a metaphor for trying to handle so many factors in their life. Being an actual juggler, this started me thinking...

You see, Juggling Paynes really had nothing to do with the kids. This was the name my husband and I used when we started performing juggling shows. I never even noticed the metaphor until another homeschooler pointed it out to me years ago. She hadn't realized I could actually juggle. She just thought I used the term to describe my homeschooling life.

Here's the secret to juggling: I only think about one object at a time. When a ball or club (or knife or torch) is in my hand, that is my focus. Yes, I'm watching everything else, but for that brief moment, the object in my hand is the most important thing. Once I send it into the air, I can't do anything about it. Either I've thrown it well and it ends up in the other hand, or I've thrown it poorly and it ends up on the floor. While it is airborne, I can't do anything about it! For me, this is more a metaphor of faith, not of handling too many things. How many times have I tried to teach someone to juggle and they couldn't let go of that next ball? They're afraid of dropping it, or not having enough time to catch the ball heading toward that hand. Whatever the reason, it comes down to not trusting themselves, not having faith that things will work out the way they are supposed to. I always say, juggling is about throwing, not catching! Throw well and the catches will take care of themselves!

If I spend too much time thinking about what might happen, I will never throw. Life has no guarantees. I can throw perfectly and still miss the catch because of a sudden gust of wind, the sun in my eyes, or any number of reasons. There are some things that are simply out of our control. But if I don't throw, I will never know what happens! I won't see the possibility of that beautiful pattern forming in front of me. That is where faith enters. I provide the best throw I can, and trust it to reach my waiting hand. Then I move on to the next throw.

Let go, my friends! Have faith!


  1. I agree with the use of juggling as a metaphor and real life experience. I have been juggling objects longer than I have been juggling responsibilities. I often use the actual to balance out the stress caused by the metaphorical.

  2. There is so much wisdom there! If only I could think about one thing at a time without obsessing about the things that are in the air. Or on the floor. :-P

  3. Thank you for reminding me to let go, take the next step, and have faith. You are one wise woman. Love, Mom


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