Isn't it strange how the new year discombobulates everything-how somewhere in the transition from gift-wrapping to going back to school, you lose your owner's manual? Important line items from the family calendar go unnoticed, apps disappear from your i-phone, you discontinue your flossing membership, and then...one night in late January, you wake up in a cold sweat, remembering...YOUR BLOG! Is it just me, or does Christmas feel like forever ago and yesterday all at once? And what have I been doing since then? I'm pretty sure I didn't make any resolutions, but...I've must have been up to something. Now, for my over-achieving readers, those who own Tupperware designed for storing wreaths, y'all can go ahead and stop reading now-because the remainder of this post may cause you to break out in hives. But then again, it's Monday-you're not reading blogs! You're on treadmills with built-in crockpots, returning phone calls in alphabetical order.
Yesterday, after the children had been bedded down for the evening with more stories than really necessary, along with lullabies sung from the stairwell, and two goodnight gummy huevos rancheros saved from the stocking loot pile, I sat down with my sweet husband and said that people, since the beginning of circus-kind, have referenced balls in the air as a way to express their industry, or zeal, as in, "Man, I gotalotta balls in the air right now", after which everyone usually nods conspiratorially. Except for me. You see, I come from a line of jugglers. And by line, I mean my father can juggle to beat the band, and he used to, on occasion, drive a clown car. He also had an awesome Afro wig that I liked to wear with my grass skirt and kukui nut necklace, but that's another story. My point is, I can't juggle. And I have tried. Once, in college, while enrolled in a Kinesiology course, I completed a project on juggling, specifically juggling practice and its psychological relationship to performance in the sport. I had an ENTIRE semester's worth of time and microfiche to develop a teaching method, practice schedule, and, ideally, a knock-out juggling routine. Well, forget flash, or ball cascade-I never made it to the exchange. Stuck on "throw and catch", I was. With two balls. I'm sure they have a name for this kind of temperament, and yes, that's helpful, but for purposes of one-upping all those busy jugglers who've so deftly managed to keep their globes in the air, allow me to wallow, if only for a moment. My balls are on the ground, at my feet. I tossed them and they fell--no, I dropped them, or didn't see them coming, and, then, out of nowhere,while I was wondering what to do about all the balls, I think some more fell from the sky. And now I'm in a ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese, and I'm 32 years old and I don't have enough tickets for even the smallest of kazoos. Shoot.
I suppose that understanding this has inherent value. Like, I know that when I write, I can't listen to music with lyrics, even though I REALLy want to, because the part of my brain that churns out words will get hung up on the song, and the singer, and how maybe I should download this from iTunes, or how that one time, when I was making a mix-tape in high school and I put this song on special and then I couldn't get it to record and I was late for school for the LAST time and had to come in on Saturday and clean with the custodians. And how weird it was that they gave me a pink feather duster, and then I'll think, hey, whatever happened to that janitor....and then, something will snap me back to reality and I'll finish my train of thought, but, having lost some momentum, I'll probably have to delete a few lines. Basically, that book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, is my life. I mean, let's just get it out there: Laura Numeroff is only a few editions away from If You Give a Mouse a Ritalin, which, trust me, will seem quite abbreviated. The mouse will get the drugs and immediately start cleaning your tub grout with a bleach-soaked Q-tip, the end. And I, eventually, will hunker down, like always, and start checking things off, taking twice as long to do half as much because every time the phone rings or dryer buzzes, each rustle of a branch against the window or car turning in the cul-de-sac arrests my attention in its tracks. I know, I sound crazy-but to be clear, I don't need special considerations or pats on the head. I just need to know myself, and I do. And what is this website, if not an insight into my soul? All this to say, yes, transition has upended me again, again, but there will always be distractions, and duties, and my desire has stopped being for these things to be airborne, for me to be an acrobat with a blue ribbon in beguiling my DayTimer. Instead of juggling my way out of the pit, I can wade through the mess of colors, root through the pile for what's essential, and carry it in my arms. Blog post-check.