Usually, when I talk about juggling, I’m talking quite literally, about trying to do tasks one-handed, in a two-handed world. Not easy. But there is another kind of juggling I do, too. Juggling with all the things I agree to do with my time.
This kind of juggling is a difficult balancing act, at the best of times. Which is why I’m much more careful now about what I’m asked to do at church versus what God is asking me to do at church. And that helps. But I’ve been less careful at work. I like it when people want to work with me, so I say yes. And new projects always sound exciting. Now, everything has become so overwhelming that the mere thought of working on anything is frightening. So the juggling balls of my research work have scattered themselves all over the floor, and I’m not even sure where some of them are.
Then, the Research Lead reviews what I’m doing; what I plan to do. And she counts the number of juggling balls. Remarks that there may be quite a few of them knocking around. That I need to be more selfish with collaborations; only go for ones that benefit me, too. That I have time enough to take things more slowly and to still be doing more than is necessary. That it is OK to take things more slowly if I’m unwell.
But I am still overwhelmed – not sure how to tackle the summer. Living for Taizé, not caring about anything beyond that. Nothing beyond that worth living for. I tell her that it is all overwhelming. I know I should be able to manage my time by now, but, I explain, I can’t. I’m scared. I should be able to manage my time. Shouldn’t admit to not being able to. Idiot.
But she says that’s OK, she can see that it’s a lot, just by looking at the review. That if I want help with time planning, she can talk me through my goals for the next twelve months, and work out what my priorities should be, when I come back from France. And suddenly, things seem more possible again. She offers a way through my to-do list. I leave the meeting, in awe of God’s generosity, marvelling at how He always places someone there to help me, to meet me exactly where I most need help. I am blessed.