Remember my post On Juggling? Consider this part two.
Any time I learn a new trick with my beanbags or clubs, I feel like a beginner. I fall back into that fear of making a mistake and have trouble letting go of the prop in my hand. Or I just think too much and wait too long to toss. The result is usually an explosive collision of clubs or a wild throw that ends up out of reach. I usually end up annoyed with myself. I mean, haven't I gone through all this before? Why should it be so difficult to add that extra flourish or make the ball head in the right direction? I know how to juggle! I've been doing it a long time!
We've hit a lot of milestones this past year. Some are the same old thing, different child, like First Communion or Confirmation. Some are the same thing, same child, like Marina traveling abroad. Some are new events. This summer I helped Marina fill out her college application and register for her first class. At least with the same old milestones, you would think I had this routine down. But I don't.
Each time I pick up my juggling props, there is something different. I might have a sore shoulder one day. I might be juggling inside with a low ceiling. I might be outside on a gusty day, a very hot day or juggling in the evening while I'm losing light. Every time is different. I might be juggling well one day because I think conditions are perfect, but really, there is no such thing as perfect. There is practice. Practice helps me to deal with the factors that come up regularly, like a bad throw or a sudden wind.
Milestones don't come around every day. I don't get to practice them regularly. That's why they are milestones. So if I panic because my daughter is off on her second European vacation in two years (London this time) I suppose it's perfectly normal. And if I "drop the ball" and worry because they got in at 4:30am and I didn't hear from them for seven hours, I suppose that's normal too. I'm a mom. I recognize that I get separation anxiety. The important thing, in juggling as in life, is to pick up that ball or club and toss it back into the pattern. I can still learn. I can still find a rhythm.
But first I have to let go. And that is a matter of practice.