Every year as a child we received free tickets in school to attend the circus that came to town. My dad always took us, buying us cotton candy and letting us get one toy, which led my siblings and I to have a collection of light up swords at our house. But my favorite part of the circus was seeing the acrobats perform tightrope tricks. They could jump and dance around, pulling off amazing tricks and never fall. Once in a rare while if someone fell off, they fell into a big safety net beneath the tight rope.
Except one time, an female acrobat was climbing a side ladder to the tightrope when she slipped. The safety net wasn’t there to catch her. I remember seeing her high-heeled sparkly gold shoe slip off the ladder as she fell to the hard ground and lay limp.
We all gasped, screamed and the announcer yelled “Is there a doctor in the house?”
A man jumped up out of the crowd ahead of my dad and me and went to the acrobat’s side. An ambulance came in and the acrobat was taken off in a stretcher. I remember my dad reading to me from the local newspaper the next day that she had a broken back but had lived.
There are moments in life when you are on the tightrope holding on, balancing and just trying so hard not to fall off. But sometimes I do. Thankfully I have a huge safety net to catch me if I slip up.
I am not a solo acrobat. We are a team of acrobats from my husband to parents, in-laws, our daycare provider and more who help us get through the balance of life. But I do like to still think of myself as the acrobat that can walk the tightrope of motherhood, marriage, a home, a career with travel obligations, family, friends, civic and church commitments. While on the tight rope I can pull off a few tricks and then every so often I get really tired.
And I fall…as gracefully as possible, of course. The goal is just to never hit the hard ground, rather just bounce into the safety net.
In honor of all of you walking the tightrope of life right now no matter what you are trying to balance…let’s cut loose and tap our toes today. Relish in the blessings that surround us.
Before I jump back on the tight rope…here’s a one minute video I recorded while attending a recent farm related convention. There was an organist blasting out Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” and it made me smile.
Today when you are on the tightrope of life balancing, tapping your toes, relishing in life and doing your tricks this can be your “background music”. We could all put on quite a show with our tricks on tightropes with Dolly singing for us.
What are your tricks to “life balance”?