Juggling Eggs

My friend Tom travels frequently, often internationally, for his job. The airlines love him for it. His daughter, not so much.

“She thinks I don’t spend enough time with my grandchildren or with my 92- year-old mother,” he told me the last time we had lunch together. “Every time I talk to my daughter, she harangues me about it. I’ve tried explaining that I’m in the last phase of generating a big enough income to save what my wife and I need for retirement. She doesn’t want to hear it. If you were me, what would you do?”

I said, “Well, I’d start with buying two dozen eggs.”


Let me explain. I told Tom that he should take a Sharpie and write on each egg a different priority he’s juggling. Then, the next time he and his daughter are together, he should put all the eggs in a pile, and ask her to help him decide how to ensure that each egg gets enough time and attention.

Here’s the list of some of the things Tom’s juggling:

  • Work – making sales
  • Work – executing projects
  • Business travel
  • Maintaining a strong relationship with his wife
  • Supporting his wife’s work obligations
  • Dealing with his aging parents
  • Spending time with grown children
  • Spending time with young grandchildren
  • Home maintenance/repair
  • Managing finances
  • Regular exercise
  • Relaxing/reading/meditating
  • Socializing with friends
  • Planning for the future
  • Keeping an eye on investments
  • Volunteering
  • Church
  • Vacation
  • Hobbies

Tom and his wife will be visiting the daughter and her family next week. He plans to do the “egg thing” when they do.

Stay tuned to find out what happens.

In the meantime, tell me about all the things you’re writing on eggs.






6 responses to “Juggling Eggs”

  1. Steve Carnevale says:

    I have the same problem. Instead of arguing, put the person in your shoes. Brilliant! As usual Dr. Schofield.

    • George Schofield says:

      Thanks, Steve. Juggling wasn’t in the job description when we took on this many things at once. We had to figure it out as we went!

  2. Ashley says:

    It is all about perspective isn’t it? Great idea for communicating for adult kids.

    • George Schofield says:

      In all the conversations we’ve had (and there have been many), helping people to be available to listen is one of the greatest skills an adult can develop. You have that. I’ve seen you in action.

  3. Jim Templeton says:


    I like it. It will be interesting to see comments from other readers. Thank you!

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