Do you ever feel guilty? Do you feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to get done? I struggle every single day to keep the balls in the air. Not only professionally, but personally as well. Each ball represents an important part of my life. My family. My job. My role as a friend and President of our chapter. My time volunteering......and the list goes on. So, how do we strike a balance without dropping a ball? For me, the short answer is.....I don't. Sometimes I drop a ball.....or two. And, on a really, really bad day...maybe three! And I feel bad about it. Really bad sometimes. But, that doesn't make me a failure. It simply makes me human and I have to remind myself of this all the time.
Striking a balance is difficult at best. Throughout the years, I've discovered that it requires compromise, sacrifice and last minute adjustments. I have to be ready to bend and flex with the wind. And, I've learned that I'm resilient. Far more resilient than I ever thought I could be. And guess what? Sometimes I still can't strike the balance and that's okay. I think we put way too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. Personally, I've found that when I stop trying to be perfect, things organically fall into place. Most likely, the problem I couldn't solve today will still be there tomorrow, and I'll give it another go with a fresh pair of eyes and a new attitude.
At a recent ALA monthly luncheon, we had a speaker named Maggie Cook. Maggie was born in an orphanage in Mexico and grew up in poverty. She faced adversity her entire childhood and on into early adulthood. At one point, she was even homeless. Today, she's a very successful business woman and she gave us all some great advice. She said "We can either let life control us or we can take control of our lives." So simple and true, right!? But...sometimes "taking control" also means "letting go." So, don't get bogged down in the minutiae of life. Separate the essentials from the non-essentials. Focus on what's important and let go of the rest. Once you do this, you can focus your time and energy on the balls that matter. And don't worry....if one hits the ground, it's likely to bounce right back up into rotation! After all, that's what balls do, right?
Melissa Hansen, Chapter President