The household has been turned upside down and inside out over the last few days. We are re-organising the books – all three thousand plus of them.

After moving we had a sort of temporary shelter for our library; mostly in boxes in the garage, but it was understood that such barbarity could not last and eventually we would have to take steps to ‘organise them properly’ and the last four days has seen us do just that.

Isn’t it amazing that when you stand up to start organising books it is inevitable that you will eventually sit down to re-discover books you had forgotten you had.

What I found was a slim volume of Quotations from Shakespeare which the author had used as a basis for his life’s philosophy. It was simple but very effective. And when I got a chance to reread it, it was like renewing old friendships; and even today I felt it had a lesson for me to learn.

Do you feel that sometimes life seems to just get away from you, and no matter how hard you run to keep up, it always seems to be that dozen steps in front. I think that often it is because we have taken on too many things, and like a novice juggler we are trying to keep all the balls in the air at the same time without dropping them.

To cope we need to reorganise our priorities, but first we need to recognise what these are. Now my little book on Shakespeare said:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women, merely players.
they have their exits and their entrances,
and one man in his time, plays many parts …”

As You Like It Act II, Scene 7

And many of you will recognise the beginning of that famous speech “The Seven Ages of Man” – but the author of my book used this quotation to highlight that everyone of us, (not just men) play many different parts at all stages of our life.

Have you considered the roles you play within your family, for instance?

For a man it could be father to his children, husband to his wife. But he is also son to his parents, brother to his siblings and even possibly grandson as well. All those people wrapped in a tiger’s hide (Oh sorry, wrong play!)

And each one of those roles requires special considerations, unique objectives and vastly differing relationships. And yet, we will slip easily from one to another without any real thought. We usually understand the complexities and work within them.

But when we get the roles wrong or mix them up, or even refuse to accept them, it is then that we may find trouble ahead.

Working women claim that while their new roles of family providers have become more necessary because of the economic times we live in; their traditional role of the sole ‘domestic queen’ is still being demanded of them. By ignoring the need of expanding their own traditional roles men can be creating excessive stress for their working wives; which in turn affects the relationship.

And sometimes we don’t even recognise some of the roles we are expected to play. In a working environment we have a multitude of roles, some of which come immediately to mind – salesman, retails assistant, or business manager. But once again, think about all the other roles we undertake during our working day.

We can be our work mate’s friend and confidant, mentor, coach and advisor. In a larger group we can be team leader; team coach, team clown or team dissenter. We can also in a wider role be planner, organiser, delegator, or practitioner.

Each one of us, in our time plays many parts. The problem is recognising them, and then prioritising them. If we try to play all the parts on stage at one time we are not likely to have a well organised monologue; but a highly disorganised scene.

So, as it’s Friday, why not take stock of the play which is your life. What roles are you playing at the moment, and what roles are hovering in the wings waiting for their cues; their need to be recognised?

If we want to get our life on a more even keel we may have to write some of our roles out of the script – and then the problem becomes ‘which ones?’ I find that it is better to write out the ones that are not essential for existence and which are not making me happy.

And therefore today I am writing out the role of domestic cleaner and starring in the role of academic researcher – which in real time means I am putting the vacuum cleaner away and curling up with my newly rediscovered book to find out what other lesson in life it can teach me.

Michele @ Trischel
starring in Her Life right now

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