Juggling challenges, responsibilities, can be difficult

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. James Shigekane
  • 10th Airlift Squadron
Managing the various challenges and responsibilities in life has often been compared to the skilled art of juggling. Most of us began by learning to juggle school and extracurricular activities. 

During our high school years, we discovered the wonderful new world of dating and needed to improve our juggling abilities. Many also added a part-time job to their routine. 

As we progress through our lives, our juggling skills must continue to improve and adapt to accommodate additional demands. Our educational commitments and our professional responsibilities increase, our relationships become more serious, and many of us start families. Military members face the additional challenges of deployments, temporary duty assignments and permanent change of stations. With all of these additional responsibilities, our balance becomes increasingly difficult to maintain. 

In order to be successful, we must ensure that we prioritize accordingly and understand the composition of each "items" we are juggling. Some items are very resilient and will survive a "drop" or two. Some items, however, are extremely fragile and must be handled with care. 

The most delicate is our families and relationships. I compare these as glass balls, similar to Christmas ornaments. If you've ever dropped one, you know that it will shatter into many, many pieces. Even if you are lucky enough to find all of the pieces and are able to put them all back together, it will never be as strong and will have to be handled with much more care than ever before. Additionally, if you hold it up to the light, you will forever see all of the fractures caused by a moment of neglect. 

I ask that we all take extra time as we approach the holiday season to invest in and nurture our relationships. As our responsibilities increase, and our juggling routine becomes increasingly challenging, we must pay special attention to ensure that we keep our families and relationships foremost in our crosscheck.