I have had this post title, ‘When am I going to drop a plate’ in draft for months – probably since shortly after I started this blog last July. What do I mean by dropping a plate?
I mean that this guy is a metaphor for my life:
Running around, trying to make sure all the plates are balancing on all the sticks. It’s impossible to be everywhere at once or to keep the plates spinning forever. Sooner or later, one of them is going to fall. Even more likely: they will all come crashing down at once.
I have felt like I’ve been coasting along keeping the plates spinning for quite a while. But all the time with a sense of foreboding that I couldn’t keep it up forever.
And perhaps unsurprisingly, this January has been accompanied by the jangling of smashing crockery.
I was staying healthy, but now I have the flu. I had a flu jab, but I still got the flu.
I was keeping up with work at my day job, but now I’ve missed 3 days in a row from the flu, so cue the overflowing inbox next time I have the strength to look at it.
I was keeping the house tidy. Now it is not tidy.
I was keeping up with the blog. Now I’m struggling to write anything or find time to promote it.
I was staying positive mentally. Now a beloved relative is very unwell and I can’t help but dwell on that. Even though my being upset will do absolutely nothing to change it.
I’m just about managing to keep the kids alive and happy. That’s the only plate that is never allowed to fall.
What do you do when your plates come crashing down? I’ve been limping along, pretending they’re still spinning, doing the bare minimum of everything just to get by. Then when the bug hit, I let them fall. I was relieved for an excuse to lay in bed for 3 days straight (at least while the kids were at school/nursery, that is – not everyone has that luxury).
How do you get some new plates and start them spinning again? Do you focus on one at a time until you can slowly build back up to the full performance? Do you hoist them all up again with one herculean effort? Do you sweep one of the plates under the carpet and pretend to forget about it?
The plate that would be forgotten, swept away, and never replaced would have to be the blog. I’m not allowed to give up on working or existing. I even (vaguely) need to keep my house tidy.
But I’m not one who easily lets go of things. Whether that’s a good or bad quality – it’s difficult to say. It makes it harder for me to accept that things change. But it might just help me keep going when I feel like quitting.
So I’m going to focus on one plate at a time for now. Tonight I’m hoisting up the blog plate with this honest post about how hard it is to keep going sometimes. This weekend, I’ll look after myself, my house and my kids. On Monday, I’ll tackle those work emails.
And I’ll forgive myself for all the broken plates. Because none of it would be worth doing if it was easy. And gravity catches up with us all.