Saturday, August 21, 2010

Is Your Life a Circus?

If you’re like most writers with families, day jobs, or other community duties, you might think you qualify to join the circus.
First, there are three rings in a circus, and while you might prefer to think you’re the ringmaster, you might instead be a performer in one of those rings. RINGMASTERS stand in one place, don’t they? They crack the whip, announce the next event, all the while dressed to the teeth in a fabulous outfit complete with top hat and tall black boots. Nary a hair out of place, or a smudge of jelly on his red coat, or a harried look upon his face mars his perfection. No, we are definitely not the ringmaster. You might as well admit some invisible puppet master is behind the scenes directing the hours in your day.

Circuses have JUGGLERS. Yep, I bet you just said, “That’s me! I juggle so many things in the course of a day. I breathlessly stay on my toes, hoping I don’t drop the ball, or miss a cue, or confuse one thing for another and make a mess of everything. Yes, that’s me—I’m a Juggler.”

Circuses have HIGH WIRE PERFORMERS. You say, “That more closely resembles me going through my day—walking a fine line, meeting deadlines, carpooling the kids, making doctors’ appointments on time, taking my turn at the Food Bank, or making my word count for the week. That’s me—I’m a High Wire Performer.

Circuses have performers—sometimes animals, sometimes humans—who jump through hoops. Maybe you are really a PERFORMER WHO JUMPS THROUGH HOOPS. You re-write an entire chapter at the request of an editor, you try to remember your husband’s instructions on taking the car to the repair shop, or you forgot the one dozen cupcakes for your child’s school the next day, so you stay up until midnight to complete the task, or…fill in the blanks.

We are a busy people, aren’t we? Circuses are supposed to be fun. Children squeal with laughter, parents smile when they see their son or daughter clap with delight, and the entire audience applauds every feat.

Hmm, something’s missing here. Fun? Are we having fun yet? Yes, I suppose we are, although some days might make us want to shut our bedroom door, crawl under the covers, and sleep the day away.

Personally, I’ve never cared for circuses, and my children didn’t either. Somehow, it all seemed more like work, and at times, a little cruel, and too controlled.

So, I prefer to see my life, especially my writing life, as an ADVENTURE. Sure, I sometimes walk that high wire to make a deadline; or I juggle three things at once in order to get my blog written, my 1000 words for the week, and my most recent edits finished; or I jump through hoops to please my editor, my publisher, my husband, my readers, and hopefully, somewhere along the way…myself.

Celia Yeary
Romance…and a little bit o' Texas
TEXAS BLUE-eBook and Print


  1. Great post, Celia. Adventure is a better word. I never liked the circus either.

  2. Hey, Linda--It's surprising how many people really don't like the circus. Yeah, adventure--bring it on. Celia

  3. I definitely like looking at it as an adventure better too, Celia. An ever-changing adventure with joys and challenges hidden behind every boulder and tree. LOL
    Another intriguing, thought provoking post.
    Thank you!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Oops...I accidentally hit post. Onto the comment:

    I'm not a big fan of circuses either--the clowns. I find clowns rather disturbing. Although when I was a child, I had a brief fantasy of becoming a high-wire performer, which ended with my discovery of a fear of heights. LOL!

  6. Hi Celia,
    What a cute blog! Looking at our lives as an adventure is such a good way to look at them.
    But, I have to admit, sometimes I do feel more like I'm in a circus.
    Good luck with all of your writing.

  7. Great article, Celia. I don't like circuses either. The very word evokes thoughts of heat, smells, noise, and confusion. And they seem more sad than joyful to me. As for living in a three-ring circus, I think I've done that. It seems we have to do so many things in order to have time to do the things we want to do. And I usually put the "want to do" things last, but I don't think the really successful authors or other creative people do this. Is this a "southern thing" or a "woman thing" or a "wife and mother thing?" Linda

  8. I actually liked going to the circus when I was young. I used to pretend at home I was a trapeze artist on our tree. I guess I'm in the minority here. LOL

    Great post, Celia! Have an awesome Sunday!

  9. Very creative post, Celia. I don't think I'm any of those circus people, and I'm not real sure I'm living an adventure either. I think I'm more like riding in a convertible, cruising at a leisurely pace down a one lane highway to my destination that lies at the end. I gaze and smile, or frown, at the sights on either side of the road. My foot stays steady on the accelerator and my hand on the wheel drives me straight on.

    But it's a bit of work trying to avoid the pot holes. :)

  10. REBECCA--thanks! I'm glad you see it all as an adventure, too. Celia

  11. KEENA--funny! yes, a fear of heights would kill the desire to be a highwire performer! Celia

  12. GAIL--thanks for stopping by.I've often said when my kids were young and at home that we lived in a three-ring circus. Now? I like adventure, better. Celia

  13. LINDA-hmm, good points and good question. Probably, it's a woman thing to put ourselves last. I've heard young mothers say they never remember eating an entire meal off her plate--she's finish up whatever the children left on theirs. That's really putting yourself last. I've often heard that "your family comes first." And everyone agress. Right? But is that always true? I say no--there are times when we should say--you all take care of yourselves--I have something I want to do. Celia

  14. DIANE--yep, you're in the minority! But it would be a boring world if we all liked the same things--think in terms of our books. (and I did have a good Sunday. thanks.) Celia

  15. MISS MAE-Hahahaha! yes, I can see you rolling along the highway, taking in the the sights--and those potholes always puts a dent in things. Thanks! Celia

  16. Celia,
    What a fun blog. I'm the ringmaster. Trust me. If I don't run the show the house goes kapt. Never really went to a circus though and clowns kinda creep me out, but maybe one day....


  17. Celia,
    What a great way of viewing life! I much prefer adventure as opposed to circus because hopefully, there won't be any (or at least not as much) elephant poop to step in! ;-)

  18. STEPH--so, we have one ringmaster among us! Truth is,if we're mothers and wives, we are forced into that role. Who else will do it? Thanks!! Celia

  19. MAEVE!! You made me laugh. Oh, you're so right!Thanks for the great one-liner comment! Celia

  20. Oh yeah, life's a circus. Sometimes I feel like the juggler spinning plates on sticks--trying to keep them all balanced without having any crash to the ground.

  21. Hey Celia,

    Sorry to be so late in getting here. Somedays I feel like the physical rings of the circus floor and everyone else is gliding, soaring, dancing, or thrilling to some excitement above me while I become one with the elephant poo.

    The only circus performer I ever wanted to be was the girl in the flashy costume that did the trick riding on the stunt pony. Yee-ha!


  22. Love this! I would agree with the ones you claim but I kept thinking.. hm, I think I'm one of the hoops trying to keep the craziness around me constrained. ;-)