Plates

Plates

Life is like spinning plates!

Do people still do that? When I was young I remember watching people on television with a row of rods or canes, and plates or bowls spinning atop each of them.

It’s very much how life seems for me.

To place a plate on a rod and get it to balance is difficult. It’s hard to judge the speed needed to keep it standing upright and taking care of itself. Once it’s set, there’s the task of starting another plate off the same way.

If I were to be doing this on one of the variety shows of olden days, an audience would gasp and wonder if I could attend to both.

Now imagine that instead of two plates, there are rows and rows of plates. Each one represents a person close to me, an area of life, either mine or theirs, or both. To stand amidst them I feel sick with the dizziness of how many there are, how they spin. The only feeling worse is the moment they start to slow and wobble. That is when I must spring into action and try to save them all.

Sometimes too many need my attention for my two hands to cope with and they fall. It is then that the scene switches to slow motion, yet no matter how slowly time passes, or how far at a distance I seem to stand and watch, nothing can save me from the shock of the smash. Fragments of shrapnel fly outwards to me, tearing into me and marking me forever as parts of my life fall to their destruction.

When one falls, I can’t afford to stop and lament its loss. There are all the others to attend to. I may punish myself in my head and heart for neglecting one, but I can’t ease up for fear of not noticing when another is threatening to fall.

So is my life as a woman and mother. My role is to support and care for others. I tend to the areas of their lives that they can’t occupy themselves with, for whatever reason.

The most annoying thing for me, are those who stand and laugh when things fall. I am lucky enough to have a few on both sides of the screen who truly care and notice me, but those others who are happier to gossip, mock and laugh outnumber them. They have no idea that I am actually a far harsher judge of myself than they could ever be. It must be nice not to have too many things or people in life to care for, I guess. But, whatever people say about me, I would far rather be me, faults, flaws, limitations, and all!

Ah well… enough time away from the plates. I must return to my labour!

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