A Sign of Growth: Learning to Stop Juggling

A Sign of Growth: Learning to Stop Juggling

How many things can one person juggle at a time? It's something I'm still figuring out.

How many things can one person juggle at a time? It’s something I’m still figuring out.

Sometimes, being in a hotel full of people who radiate enthusiasm and happiness really makes you consider what you’re doing and the choices you make.

I just spent the past weekend at Ad Astra, Toronto’s annual sci-fi and fantasy convention. I’ve gone to Ad Astra twice before, and really enjoyed it both times. This year was fun, but I felt somewhat disconnected from it. I was much more involved in the sci-fi and fantasy community over the previous two years (reading slush for magazines and anthologies, listening extensively to fiction podcasts, and subscribing to multiple magazines) than I am now.

This has been a conscious choice on my part — as a result of devoting my personal resources to business blogging and other corporate projects, I’ve left off posting about a lot of the things that I consider my hobbies: reviewing books and trying new varieties of tea. I’m even taking time off from my writing critique group (which I joined last year and still love) to focus on the freelancing. In short: I’ve realized I need to stop juggling too many things.

However, being around so many familiar faces who mean a lot to me has made me realize just how much I’ve missed having the time and energy to focus on reviewing books and tea, and to talk about more personal life events.

As a result, I’m seriously considering the idea of setting up a separate website just for those hobbies. The site you’re reading is where I want to connect with other freelancers and entrepreneurs, and talk about the business/marketing side of content. But I would still love to have a space to review the books I enjoy and talk about what teas I like, and other aspects of those things, like what works or what doesn’t in the books I read.

The question is: can I afford, not only in time but in mental resources, to make such a new space for myself?

I’d love to say “yes.” I’m desperately yearning to say “yes.” But I know myself well enough by now to know that the answer is a “maybe” at best.

This thought makes me sad, but it also makes me somewhat proud because I am finally learning to recognize my own limits, and step back from bad patterns of behaviour from my past. I have had a habit of taking on too many projects at once out of fear of missing the perfect opportunity. However, that leads to things inevitably slipping – and I really don’t like that feeling. Changing those bad patterns is a work in progress. But at this point, it’s better for me to finish what I’m doing and do it well than to chase the shiny new objects in my path and, Atalanta-like, drop them all in favour of the next golden apple.

So: I’ve made a choice to leave off the juggling. That tea and books review site is sitting there in the back of my mind, waiting for the right moment. But it’s not now. And knowing that is a sign of growth, I think.