Spinning Plates | Blog

I remember being a little girl and watching a circus act on the TV. A small woman came on dressed in a beautiful oriental looking outfit and she was holding a stick and a plate. I watched in awe as she effortlessly span the plate on the tiny point at the top of the stick and balanced it there as it span round and round. Then she was given another stick, which had another plate spinning on the top of it. Two plates spinning on two sticks! It was impressive but a little part of me thought that I could do that two if I tried. Spinning a plate on a stick in each hand, how hard could that be? The she was given another one, then another one and another and this went on and on until she had what looked like 10 plates spinning on all these different sticks in her hands. She was amazing and something that I was sure I would never be able to do. Little did I know that in a few years times I would be just like the lady I was so in awe of as a little girl, minus the geisha outfit unfortunately!! In fact, everyone is a plate spinner even if they aren’t aware they are doing.

I first started spinning plates when I moved out into our first flat back when I was 21. I only started with 3 plates really; home, relationships and work, and to be fair I span then pretty well. I was able to keep onto of our 1 bedroom flat well, did a good job at work and was able to juggle those with seeing friends and family and maintaining my relationships. As time went on, the plates I was spinning changed. The relationship one became a little smaller as I didn’t pay much attention to it but the home one became bigger as we got a mortgage and moved into a bigger house. Then, in 2014, I gained a rather large plate that took up a lot of my energy and time. I became a Mum. That Mum plate was big, heavy and hard to balance and it took a lot of my energy to keep in spinning. As time went on, I got the hang of spinning the Mum plate and it got slightly easier, so I was able to start spinning a ‘fun’ plate when I went back into am dram and joined a gym. The home and work plates weren’t super fun to spin but the ‘fun’ one was one that I really enjoyed.
Then, just when I thought that I got this whole plate spinning malarkey down, something happened to throw me off balance. I fell pregnant again and my Mum plate became bigger, heavier and harder to balance than ever before. My work plate also got bigger as my blog started to gain momentum and work started to come in. Now I was trying to juggle a huge Mum plate mixed in with my blog work plate, normal work plate, home plate, relationships, fun and responsibilities plates and not forgetting the odd unexpected event plate that sometimes gets thrown into the mix too. All of a sudden, I’m thirty years old with 2 kids, a husband and a dog, working 2 jobs and spinning 10 plates and not doing it anywhere near as good or as gracefully as the woman I remember watching when I was that 10 year old little girl who had no idea how to spin plates.

I constantly worry how I am going to keep all the plates up and spinning. What if I drop one? I’m so scared that it will all get too much and I’ll drop one or all of them and smash them! But I can’t drop one. What could I possibly drop? They are all too important and too precious. I must keep spinning them and I have to keep them up. But how can I do that when I don’t really even know how to spin plates? So, I’ll do what I always do and what I’ve done since day one. I’ll try and keep going. I’ll keep spinning the plates the best I can because what else can I do? I’m sometimes able to pass a plate over to someone to take the load for a moment or two but they always come back to me and it’s my job to keep them spinning. I’m tired, my arms ache and I’m drained from all the spinning, but I can’t stop.

I know it won’t always be like this though. Just as the plates have grown and increased over the years, they will shrink and disappear over time. One day my boys will be grown, and I will miss spinning that huge Mum plate so much it will make my heart hurt. The home plate won’t be so huge as we would have paid off our mortgage and will eventually live in a little house somewhere with no messy fingers or toys and I’m sure I’ll miss that plate too. So, for now, I’ll keep spinning and keep trying to be good at it because one day I won’t have these heavy, important plates to spin anymore and as hard as it is right now, I’m sure I’ll miss them.
Do you ever feel like your spinning plates? What do you do to try to manage them all and keep them all spinning? Do you ever feel like you’re going to drop them, but you can’t because they are all too precious and too important? I’d love to know how you feel in the comments.

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