My modern day life has me juggling constantly. Is this new norm improving my life, or detracting from it?
For the last few years, when Fall rolls around and the air changes from the heavy dampness of summer to the crisp coolness of autumn, I start to feel a sense of quiet anxiety. Not the complete panic that takes over my innards, but more like a low grade fever that, while not acute, nevertheless seems to permeate every cell.
You see, I live a modern day life. My children are both at an age where it is my duty to expose them to life, and all its offerings: a musical foundation in piano (this may expand in a few years because what kind of parent would I be, to have them master only one instrument?), a physical activity to get them to appreciate good health (obesity in children is becoming common, which leads to Type II diabetes, which means they could go blind), swimming lessons (it would be downright negligent to not have them comfortable in the water while living in the land of 10,000 lakes), and attaining academic achievement (who wouldn’t want an honor roll bumper sticker proudly displayed, not to mention a college scholarship).
But honestly, the children are only a part of my anxiety. They also have a highly active parent. I have many interests, various abilities, a lot of creative energy and a sincere love for people and community. I am energized by seeing possibilities where none existed and realizing them in all kinds of ways.
It is difficult for me to turn down a new opportunity, or not make a new friend. I claim this happily. It's who I am.
Toss in marriage, friends, domesticity and extended family, and quickly my act becomes very impressive.
Therefore, I am running around just as much as my children. I always seem to manage, and wouldn't be able to do half the things I do without the help and support of my spouse and an excellent babysitter for the school year. But Fall is when I always seem to reflect about the speed and choices of my life the most as my calendar starts filling up with weekly commitments for the year.
Everything I and my children do, are all very good things. But I wonder, at least sometimes; is it too much? If we weren't so busy, what else would we be doing? Am I showing my children a good example of living a balanced life, or only prescribing them the unattainable goal to "have it all."
I don’t have the perfect answer. I'm not alone in this quandary. I know numerous men and women who have this conversation with me often, and whom I witness juggling their own lives with the artistic talent of a seasoned performer.
Which usually makes me want to throw in just one more sparkling object in the mix ...