On a fairly regular basis, we, both as workers and as parents, are called upon to "drop everything." Whether it's for a school half day or for a new work assignment, we rearrange our routine to accommodate. We "drop everything" when we have to. I have spent half a lifetime, it seems, rearranging routine, never more so than in these last few years of freelancing. It has been in that time that I really felt the literal image of "drop everything." We go through our lives carrying armfuls--armfuls of responsibility, armfuls of childcare or sports or activity equipment, armfuls of items on an agenda. Because of our armfuls, we become adept jugglers, making sure everything we have to carry ends up in just the right place in our hands or in the air. Yet, on any given day, we can be asked to "drop everything." Do our things fall, and break, when we drop them? If we're not careful, maybe. Do we lose bits and pieces in trying to grab what is out there? Sometimes. And yet, if we are not willing to "drop everything," we can find ourselves unable to experience new challenges. If we are not willing to "drop everything," we can find ourselves with arms too full of what we know to reach for things we could (and should) know.
It's not always easy to "drop everything." It requires us to pause our
daily juggling act for just a minute, sometimes more. It asks us to find
places for all our armfuls, places where ideally, our armfuls will be
safe (and still there when we return for them). It requires us to
believe that "dropping everything" is worth it, when juggling everything
is the skill we've learned to value.
As far as I can tell, there's really no choice. In order to reach, we
must be willing to drop. In order to pick up, we must be willing to put
down. We must think of "drop everything" not as an act of
irresponsibility, but as an act of growth--one with a belief that what
we drop can still be picked up, and that what we pick up in the process is well worth adding to the armfuls.