When Your Life is a Three Ring Circus You Need to Become a Ringmaster

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Photo by Josh Davis, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, welcome to the greatest show on Earth!

You’re here tonight to pay witness to a choreography of life changing events. Things which will chill and thrill you, spectacular feats which will make you shriek with fright. Hilarious things which will make you laugh with joy.

Our fearless artists will perform the most amazing death-defying acts ever witnessed by man and woman kind. You will erupt with laughter at the antics of some of the zaniest people the world has ever known.

Tonight, within these three rings, you will witness the fantastic — and it will happen before your very eyes. Pay rapt attention.The action will be fierce. Life will be happening everywhere around you at one time. Some of you may swoon from the sensory overload, but try to stay focused.

The action going on may become the best, or the worst moments of your life.

Yah, da, dada, dada, da, da, da-duh…

Does your life ever feel like this? I know mine does at times. I’ve often got a bazillion things going on — side hustles, home life, writing career— and all the plates are spinning, each of them clamoring for my undivided attention.

It can be so overwhelming at times. And that’s when I have to put on my ringmaster tuxedo and top hat.

The primary job of a ringmaster or ringmistress is to introduce the next act and guide the audience through the experience. He or she is instrumental in linking the multiple acts together into a seamless performance, often participating in most of the acts.

And so it is with life.

Sometimes it may feel the hectic craziness of your life is about to spin out of control and you’re helpless to do anything about it.

Been there, done that and will probably be there again.

If your life begins to feel like a three ring circus then it most definitely requires a ringmaster or ringmistress to reel the chaos in and center your focus on the main act. To move forward in the show of life, you have to concentrate on the most important aspect you need to deal with at the moment.

But keep this in mind. Just because you’re focusing on the one important moment doesn’t mean shit isn’t going on the background. The other plates, all the other issues and happenstances in your life, are still spinning.

There may be a flurry of activity as parts of your life shift and move around for the next act, but the ringmaster’s job, your job, is to keep your focus on the most important thing happening, or about to happen.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. What’s happening in the center ring is what’s important right now.

As a ringmaster or ringmistress your primary role is to draw your attention away from distracting minutiae so you can focus on the most important things in your life playing out where they should be — in the center ring.

Sounds easy right?

Not so much. Especially for those of us prone to distraction. Especially if you have the attention span of a goldfish.

Like me.

In the beginning, your attempts at being a ringmaster will probably be a little tough. You’ll take a lot of hard knocks learning how to prioritize the acts and routines in your life. Don’t panic, you’ll get better over time. Managing the performances in your three ring circus of life will take a lot of practice — and failures— before you learn the best way to evaluate and analyze all the principals.

To be a quality ringmaster in your own circus you need to step back and look at the entire show. Not just the immediate crap going on in your life. It’s important you know each act well and understand or at least be able to estimate how long the performance should or will take. You also need to get a good grasp on the risks associated with each. One or more of the dangerous acts could end up becoming a show stopper if you let them.

It’s taken me years of practice to learn how to emcee all the shit happening in my life and there’s a lot of times I suck at it. As a ringmaster I’ve had some performances when I bombed like a MF, and others when my performance was well, meh.

But once in a great while, I hit the mark and my show was freaking amaaaazing.

The trick to being a successful ringmaster is to remember you are the master of your circus. The different acts of your life are waiting in the wings, waiting to dance into the spotlight, but they can’t unless you announce them to your audience. It’s up to you to guarantee a seamless flow from one act to another.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls please direct your attention to the center ring and the high wire where the renown artist P.G. Barnett will perform the unthinkable; the most amazing death defying act ever performed. P.G. will attempt to cross the tight rope blindfolded without benefit of safety net as he writes his next book without a ghost of a plot.

Folks, the fall could possibly take his life….or at the very least destroy his career. This has never been attempted before.

Take it away P.G..

…The crowd is hushed

….The crowd is hardly breathing.

…..The crowd begins to scream in horror.

Everything is alright folks, please remain in your seats. I assure you P.G. is perfectly fine. I’m sure he’ll walk that fall off and we’ll see him at this evening’s six o'clock performance. Now if all you fine folks will join me in ring number two let’s see what Bumbo and his clowns are doing with all those balloons and tiny cars.

P.G Barnett is the author of the Gifter’s Ring series. His works, A Balance of Evil, Return of the Brethren and The Power of the Three are available for purchase. The fourth and final book to the series, The Rise of the Coven, should publish in 2019.

Let’s keep in touch — paul@pgbarnett.com

Written by

A published author enjoying married Texas bliss. Dog person living with cats. A writer of Henry James' stories. Featured In MuckRack. Top Writer In Fiction.

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