So today I dropped the ball.
I was on my way to my local art market and the front tire on my car decided to burst at the seams.
I guided the car to the side of the road, knowing frustratingly that I was only five minutes from the market.
I called one of my brother in laws hoping he might be passing this way shortly as he sells at the area farmers markets. Unfortunately for me, he was not heading my way.
I unloaded all my market gear from the car, metal poles, canopy tent, mesh siding, stools, piles of art and pried open the cabinet in the back where my spare tire should be.
It was empty.
I bought my car last year and never even thought to check. I definitely dropped the ball. Also, no jack. The balls are dropping.
I am a widowed, single mother of four. Every day is a struggle. Two of the four are teenagers with jobs and working toward their future. Neither has a car. That's a lot of driving for me. A lot of balls cascading around my head and I don't really know how to juggle.
The dishes pile up. I don't cook three well balanced meals every day. The laundry is clean but doesn't usually get put away.
Add to that that I hate to ask for help. Absolutely hate it.
When it comes to my children, I will ask but I resent needing help. I want to be able to juggle all these balls on my own.
I'm sure it doesn't help that I am absolute crap with people. I avoid them whenever possible but becoming a hermit is not an option at this point. I have to keep juggling.
Today I didn't juggle well. I dropped the first ball. My other brother in law agreed to come out and help me with the tire although it meant another hour and half of sitting by the side of the highway.
Absolutely no chance I was going to make it to the art market. That was a very large ball to drop. My income from the market is one of my primary revenue streams. Balls are dropping left and right because I neglected to check the compartment in my car.
All told, I spent three and a half hours by the side of the road, mentally castigating myself for my mistakes. I cost myself time and money. I inconvenienced others. I had to ask favors.
The worse part is knowing that I am likely to drop another ball at some time in the future. It will be probably be a different ball, but my juggling doesn't promise to be getting better any time in the near future.
I came home and worked on art because it's the one thing in my life that gives me a sense of calm and a sense of control. I suppose I should be washing dishes and steaming vegetables.
I did mention that I am bad at juggling, didn't I?
Hilary Clinton said that it takes a village to raise a child and, for all practical purposes, it's true, but no one really cares as much about the little rug rats as I do.
I am juggling for their lives and I dropped the balls today.
Raising children alone in this world is hard, terrifyingly hard most days, but what can you do? Wallow in self pity and weep over the dropped balls?
Maybe for a little while, but then I have to pick those balls back up and continue juggling.
But, maybe, just maybe, if you need me to catch a ball for you, I will. Maybe, just maybe, you could catch one of mine?