The Juggling Act


January 9, 2008 by multiracialsky


The last two weeks have flown by, and still I’m mired in my perpetually lengthening to do list. I’m almost there on a couple new items: the finishing touches over at and the launch of my first Etsy store. We’ve also had two kids with the flu, one with an earache, hosted a birthday party (and had a birthday), worked out our 2008 budget, had a 4-day visit from the in-laws, and sent Daddy back to work after his 10-day vacation.

Upcoming events include weekly ballet/dance classes for Jaja and Rico (and maybe Gretel, if the teacher will take a three-year-old), my monthly meeting of the Undoing Racism group (from my training last fall), the Antiracism/White Privilege training curriculum I’m developing, as well as a possible part-time job working on Racial Justice in our state. Plus the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, dishes, art projects, flashcards, puzzles, and cleaning that go on here every day.

I get stuck in my own conflicting philosophies, whether it is better to make yourself happy (whatever happy means) or to help other people. Whether intimately touching a few lives is more important than (potentially) influencing many from a great distance. I am pulled between all the the dreams I had/have for my life, and I stand frozen at crossroads where I must choose one or the other; I stop at other places where my dreams and my partner’s do not intersect, looking, hoping for a bend in the road ahead that will bring our aspirations together, even when I am fairly sure there is none.

I am caught in a place where I wonder inside myself, day and night, whether it is enough to simply live a good life, if the choices I make speak for themselves. Or if I must be a loud and busy activist to right all the wrongs I see in this world, especially the injustices that effect some of my children more than they effect me. I definitely have Survivor’s Guilt, as Jae Ran so eloquently describes.

I wonder if I could just be a full-time painter, with a housekeeper/nanny, let my kids go to any old monoracial school–if this imaginary life is even in me anymore. I am stubborn, stubborn, stubborn. I never let go (for good and for ill). I know this about me; I don’t know that it’s something I can change. I stand here looking at all the possibilities I’ve been (barely) keeping in the air. It’s time to make some choices, because for the first time in my life, I know I can’t have them all. Not in this lifetime.


2 thoughts on “The Juggling Act

  1. the smartest person in the world says:

    As much as we want to, we do not live in an either or world. So you can have it all but just less of all of it. To clarify, as Yogi Bera said, when you come to a fork in the road –take it.


  2. Kohana says:

    “Whether intimately touching a few lives is more important than (potentially) influencing many from a great distance. I am pulled between all the the dreams I had/have for my life…”

    This is the decision I struggled with when deciding whether to continue working (in children’s rights) or to stay home with children (when we began our family). I ultimately decided to put my best energies towards touching the lives of a comparetively smaller number of children (those that enter our family through birth and adoption). I came to the conclusion that parenting a child with great intention and purpose has an impact that lasts for generations, while my effect in social work was important, yet superficial and temporary. I hope that in the future I can have more of both – resuming a career when my children are in school and their foundation is established.

    Being loud or living well…sometimes living well requires loudness, even if we could so easily stay silent. That’s what it comes down to for me. I COULD let some things go unaddressed, but could I live with myself if I did?

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