I find I am forever juggling one too many objects at any given time in my day. Cell phone, car keys, base ID, purse, beverage (always, always a beverage), some toy-of-the-hour that each kid must have before leaving the house.

Something hanging from every finger. Jackets clinched under each arm. My ID between my teeth. My cell phone wedged between my chin and chest. My coffee cup squeezed between elbow and side. Two backpacks and a purse on one shoulder. All of this while trying to hold hands through the parking lot or push a stroller or both.

Without fail, something falls.

I drop the cell phone and the case explodes. The ID falls out of my teeth and into the gutter. The purse comes careening off my shoulder and lands with a thud on my crooked elbow causing all the coffee in the cup to splash on my shoes. The car keys—every single time—try to escape. It’s like the Tankersley circus has come to town day after day after day.

That poor, poor woman, I’d say about myself if I were watching me go by. Somebody get her a system for dealing with life.

Lately, in an act of being kind to myself instead of cruel, I’ve come up with a really brilliant idea.

What if I just carried less?

And that’s my meditation for this week. What can I put down? What can I stop carrying? What am I holding onto that’s causing problems? Why am I always trying to reach for one more thing. One more thing. One more thing.

The frantic juggling serves no one. Least of all, me. It makes me nervous, a little panicky. Not a great version of myself. Like everything’s all up to me (which it’s not).

There is a time for holding on . . . and a time for letting go.

What are the things you need to pick up each morning and carry?

What are the things you need to put down, let go of, release, relinquish?

Am I incessantly trying to hold onto too much? Are you?

God, give me the courage to stop the frantic juggling. Give me the courage to concentrate on what matters. Help me to remember to breathe instead of fidget. Help me to take care instead of take control. Amen.

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