January 5 – “Things are seldom what they seem, skim milk masquerades as cream.” – Sir William Schwenck Gilbert

OK. Well, this quote from Weight Watchers Success Every Day. 365 Meditations for Your Weight Loss Journey, really is just about milk. I read the daily thought that was included, and it was all about the benefits of milk, and making sure it is included in your daily diet. When I first read the quote I thought there was some metaphor within it. But no, just milk.

This morning, the quote I needed would have somehow explained how life almost never goes as planned. It would have been about the need to have resolve, and learning to stay the course, even when circumstances around you are spinning out.

It used to be a bigger thing than it is today, but I am sure you have seen plate spinners. They are performers who have dinner plates on long, flexible sticks, that spin. Last summer I saw a street performer doing a spinning plate act in a park at an art show. It was actually, surprisingly entertaining. Seeing this middle-aged man scurrying about, picking up plates that fell, and setting up new ones, all while maintaining a well-rehearsed, and somewhat humorous monologue, was both entertaining and insightful. I was taking photos for the art fair, so I saw his show a few times. His show lasted about 45 minutes, and included many other things besides the plates. At the end, when he did is final trick, he was both exhilarated and exhausted.

Today I am thinking about those plates. At any time in my life I have dozens of plates spinning on sticks. Most of the time I am scurrying around like that street performer, trying to maintain some sticks, while adding others. Some of the plates spin on their own for what seems like a long time. For others the sticks wobble and the plates fall. Some never seem to really get going and require a lot of attention. This week I added the Weight Watchers plate and stick to the routine. At first it was spinning smoothly, and was getting a lot of my attention. But as the week has worn on, other plates have wobbled and distracted me. I know that today, the WW plate is probably going to get ignored. Hopefully it just wobbles and doesn’t fall to the ground.

It is one of the oldest, most tired clichés in existence to say that we all live busy and complicated lives. We even tend to romanticize times past and imagine that they were somehow less complicated than the present. Spoiler alert – they weren’t. They were different, but not simpler.

Yesterday I was dealing with some curve balls at work and at home. The details of those curve balls are important to my life, but not in the context of this blog. For this morning, for this 15 minutes, I am focused on this plate. My hope is that when the day is done, all my plates are spinning smoothly, including the somewhat smaller one that represents my approach to my health.

Bobby-C’s thought of the day… Life seldom goes as planned. Most days we are that street performer, tending to the plates in the air. Knowing how much attention to pay to each is the most critical factor to our overall success.

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