Don’t Drop the Glass Ball

This week I heard an analogy that struck a chord with me about work life balance. The gist is that we are juggling several different elements of our life at any given time. These elements can include family, health, work, etc. All of these elements are important, but some are obviously far more important than others. Some of these balls we are juggling are made of rubber, but some are made of glass. Rubber balls can be dropped on occasion and not suffer for it. On the other hand, anytime a glass ball is dropped, you risk damaging or completely shattering it.

The original use of this analogy stems back to 1991 and the Georgia Tech commencement speech given by Brian Dyson. former CEO of Coca-cola Enterprises. While he considers lots of things to be glass balls and only work to be a rubber ball, the point is that when it comes down to it, some things are far more important in the long run than others.

Most of this week I’ve been really distracted. We started with Monday being a holiday which always throws me off balance. Usually Monday is my most productive day, but shifting my Monday work to Tuesday just feels wrong. Then, on Tuesday, we had the doom storm of death literally blow across the valley and rip out massive trees and power lines in its wake. Wednesday I embarked on a new endeavor, and new always causes anxiety regardless of how great the opportunity is.

The image of holding that glass ball and keeping it from falling served as a great anchor, even when things felt crazy.

Any one want one of my rubber balls? It seems I have waaaay too many.


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