Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Strung to Pieces

A hush fills the auditorium. The awestruck audience sit on the edge of their seats, focused on the graceful marionette dancing across the stage, his strings blending into the background as if the puppet were a real boy. When the curtain drops and the fans jump to their feet to applaud the performance, the puppeteer steps upon the stage to take her bow.

A flawless performance. Or so it seems.

What would have happened if that puppeteer had ten puppets to manipulate at once? Her focus spread across many instead of just one? That audience probably would have left within the first five minutes. Nobody wants to watch a poor performance.

Say we do the opposite and have ten manipulators to one puppet--each in charge of a string. Suppose we replace them with all our goals and the marionette with time. What do you think will happen?

Many of us, whether a student or an author or a stay-at-home mom, believe we can do it all. I'm one of those peeps. But lately, the strings are being pulled in different directions. Soon, the marionette will be shattered into several pieces. What good would that do?

We need to take a different approach.

Yes, we can do it all, just not at the same time. We spread ourselves too thin, and can't perform our best in what we're trying to accomplish.

This may seem like a no-brainer to some, but I've recently come to this conclusion. Taking a step back to focus on the top few priorities in life, the most important things, will produce far more happiness and success than attempting to accomplish the vast list we create for ourselves. See, I think that's a key to enjoying the journey. To me, there is no point in reaching a goal if the results aren't standing ovation worthy and I didn't have a good time getting there.

We are given a certain amount of hours in each day. Some think it's not enough. Others believe it's just the right amount. Whatever the answer may be, make what you do with it a joyful ride.



Angela Carlie writes fiction about young people. She's the author of the Lords of Shifters series, Dream Smashers, and Land of Corn Chips. She lives in the beautiful state of Washington with her husband and teenage son and crew of furry critters. Traveling, hiking, kayaking, reading, and writing are activities that rock her world. For more information, check out or


  1. This is something we all have to keep telling ourselves. Don't get caught up! Enjoy the ride! Thanks for the reminder my friend.

  2. I know exactly how you feel, Angela. Good luck finding your balance.

  3. We all have to find that balance at some point. And that could mean something different for everyone. You'll figure it out!

  4. This post resonates with me. I always try to do too much. But I'm getting better--prioritizing and letting things slide a little. Yes, I have to enjoy life too.

  5. I am SO with you on this. I think it's one of the greatest lies we tell our daughters in particular -- that they can be anything they want. It's only true in part. They CAN be a great mom, a great career woman, a great anything ... but not at the same time. We see women out there who seem to be doing it all effortlessly, but they're not. They're stressed, they're on medications, they hire help, they barely make it from one day to the next. Like that swan skimming across the water, under the surface their feet are kicking like hell.
    Sometimes I think we need to step back and reevaluate our priorities! It's too easy to get caught up in where we are and think we have to continue down that path. With the exception of having to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, there's very little we MUST do. The key is finding the time to do the things that the WANT to do and that will matter down the road.

  6. I'm totally with you Ang and Jessie. I'm currently in a re-evaluation stage. Am I happy doing what I'm doing? What are my priorities, etc. I love writing and will continue to do that, but there are some other job related things I have to reassess to see if it's still something I want/need. And I'm trying to take a deep breath on writing, too, find the right balance.