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March 12, 2018: Juggling More than Metaphor

A little over a week ago, on an ideas day, I decided to take up juggling. A few days later I ordered juggling balls. The first expected order came that day, the second unexpected order came the day after that. I was initially disappointed because I by then had decided that juggling (like most things in my life) was a good idea in theory.

But I opened the box – the balls, made of colorful cotton, are from Guatemala. I immediately took them out of the box and began throwing them around because this is what I do – throw things around. I knew right then that practice was going to be what it is – a discipline. I also knew that being able to successfully launch and catch two balls was going to take time.

I’ve kept at it – and I am doing better at keeping from dropping balls. But I have discovered that dropping balls is okay because then I have to lean over and pick them up. It is very hard for me to be mindful in picking them up because there is a part of me, I think it is my prefrontal cortex, that wants to maintain the rhythm.

Yesterday afternoon I went to town and assisted my friend Carole in making different juggling balls – bean bag chickens. I really enjoyed it, although figuring out how to do the basic stitch was initially difficult. As with juggling, making bean bags is fun once you figure out how to do it. And my chickens are far easier to work with than my balls.

I discovered that I did better to live music than not. I got a good rhythm going when the assorted musicians were playing “Will the Circles be Unbroken.” Also, a friend of Carole’s, John from Kiwanis, showed up and he knew how to juggle some. He was able to show me what I have been doing wrong – tossing my balls in a very unconfident and scrunched fashion. Seeing this, I opened up and was tossing them in a much freer fashion.

Today Pete and I went to Chickaloon for our annual health exams. I stood in the waiting room and practiced my juggling. Right then, I saw a benefit to this – I was standing, and not thinking about standing. And I was moving. I mean, I was really moving – balls were flying everywhere. And slowly but surely, I am getting the two-ball basic juggle down. If I was in a hurry I would get frustrated and quit.

Juggling as metaphor – doing many different things these days – and I am scrunched up. Being more expectant and more open is a good thing. I have scheduled a few upcoming medical appointments – teeth and hearing aid. I tend to get apprehensive about such things, but I now know that juggling beforehand reduces some of the stress. Stress is really something we perceive – it has nothing to do with reality.

It also feels good, to be putting things on the list. Is as beneficial as crossing them off. Healthy minds healthy bodies.

Next: 72. 3/10/17: A Conversation with Stormy (Daniels)

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