Have you ever seen a person spin plates? I have. It is certainly a feat. One that I don’t think I could achieve. Yet inwardly, I do just that. In this new season of being an independent author, I find myself wondering how to balance life with the various hats that I wear. I imagine the hats like plates spinning on a pole. I am afraid that one or more will crash, or I will.
Living with MS has taught me to: take frequent breaks, not push myself, and practice techniques which help me to keep stress at bay. I have crept away from my calm center this last year, and instead of decluttering my inward space, I have filled it with spinning plates.
I continue to learn more about being an independent author and pick up helpful tips here and there. I tally some away as “to do’s”, and I add another plate to the spinning hoard. A sound of panic echoes in my head like the scrape of a match against a striking strip. My list of things I need to accomplish daily out-weights my energy level, and I find myself asking how I am going to do it all.
On the weekends, I usually take a break from writing and spend my time on some other crafts and being with my family. I had the pleasure of going fishing with my oldest son on Saturday. We went to a local backwater slough of the Red Cedar River. I didn’t fish but sat in a camp chair with a blanket tucked around me, watching my son fish and enjoying the scenery. The crisp fall air, the call of birds, the motion of the water, and the cast and plunk of my son’s bait all served to slow the spinning plates in my head.
I began to relax and noticed most of the leaves were off the trees, but the stubborn oaks held their burnt orange crunchy leaves, like a testament of strength. In the distance an eagle screeched at some crows mid-flight, and fish swirled in spots, causing round ripples, as if I had thrown stones in the water. Leaf boats floated lazily by unperturbed by the current or their course, and as I watched, I became less concerned with directing my own course.
By the time we left, the surface of the water, once rippling in constant motion, had turned glassy and smooth. Calm. It was a physical picture of the calm my spirit experienced. I had arrived with so many agendas and left with only one—being me and doing it without the spinning plates. First and foremost I am a: child of God, wife, mom, grandma, and then a writer.
I will do what I can, at a pace I can tolerate, and that will have to be enough.