The Art of Juggling Flaming Bears

18 May

Duty – a dirty, four-letter word

So I have a lot of responsibilities.

I’ll bet you do, too.

My major responsibilities are thus : Work, Family, Health, Friends, Writing.

Your list may or may not resemble mine, but I’d like you to take a moment to actually build your list (particularly if you’ve not built such a list in the past, and thus don’t know your primary responsibilities).

Crusty Jugglers

Now, I’d like you to imagine each of those responsibilities as differently-sized balls, and you the performer who needs to juggle them.

Probably an easy-to-imagine mental image.

Now, instead of balls, I want you to imagine them as bears. Bears that are on fire.

In some ways, this is closer to the truth than the ball analogy.

My Bears

My biggest bear (and the one which, if I drop it, WILL lunch forward in a flaming fury and eat me) is my work.

I’d love to tell you in a sweeping romantic fashion that my husband is my greatest priority, but REALISTICALLY, if I don’t have a job, neither of us eats or has a roof over our heads. I don’t get to stop working when it’s no longer fun. Work is my biggest, scariest, meanest, most flammable bear.

Juggling a single bear (let us not forget that these bears are ON FIRE) should be considered feat enough, but very few of us have only the one bear.

I  have my family. Yes, I love my family. No, I don’t consider my husband to be a bear (incendiary or no). However, a relationship takes time and effort. I don’t take him for granted, nor he I. We make time for each other, we spend time together, and we make an effort to appreciate each other. Time + Importance + Effort = Flaming Bear.

Dropping my family bear is not an acceptable action.

My next bears are friends, gaming, and writing.

Dropping the Bear

Sometimes I need to drop these bears. There are times when I lose my balance or the other bears snarl ferociously and I have to scramble to keep them in the air – and these smaller bear cubs of responsibility are often the first to fall.

Other times, I’m able to keep all of my bears in the air.

Sometimes, I want to drop all of my bears, crawl into a corner, and hide from the world. The effort of trying to juggle them all feels so incredibly VAST that I just want to shove my fingers in my ears and pretend they aren’t yowling for attention just outside my reach.

On those days, it’s difficult to pick the bears back up and get back to the business of juggling.

Flaming Bears … of Love

On those days, I need to remind myself that I LOVE these bears. They aren’t my enemies, they are my CHOICES. My passions, my life.

That writing bear? The one I am so quick to drop whenever the work bear gets so heavy that my arms ache and my thighs burn from the effort of keeping it aloft? I love that writing bear. I CHOSE that bear. I picked him out of a line of adorable half-formed cublets because something about him made my soul sing. I want to stuff him full of raspberries and fish until he’s fit to burst. I want him to grow strong and healthy. (You know, even though he’s on fire)

My gaming bear? He keeps me sane. He’s important not just because he allows me to de-stress and relax, but because he actually makes the friend and family bears lighter and easier to juggle. While we’re out killing internet dragons, we’re spending time together and affirming our friendships.

The Secret

That’s the key, I think. Finding ways to blur the lines between your bears so that each individual bear isn’t QUITE so heavy, nor QUITE so flammable. Some of my friends share my love of writing. Some share my love of gaming. When I game with my husband and my writer friends, I find my three smallest bears to be a JOY to juggle.

Your Bears

Tell me about your bears. How do you juggle them? Do you have any advice, any words of wisdom to those of us who signed up for juggling lessons but didn’t realize we’d be handed a snarling, flaming mammal and told to “snap to it”?


4 Responses to “The Art of Juggling Flaming Bears”

  1. Mr. Moore May 25, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Nice visuals there.



    • Tami May 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

      *hugs her favorite flaming bear*

      • izzy December 6, 2012 at 12:32 am #

        that was nice :3 made me laugh and also helping me procrastanating on homework as well so double plus.


  1. Links to Elsewhere | Tami Moore - May 25, 2011

    […] The Art Of Juggling Flaming Bears – Another SDD post, this one subtly explaining why I’ve been nearly absent from the internet. Twitter, I miss you! *sob* […]

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