"I dropped the ball"

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Welcome to At The End Of the Day. I’m Hannah Sung and I write this newsletter for a people-first perspective on the news. Subscribe and support this work by paying-what-you-wish.

Dropping the ball

I wrote an email to my editor this morning. Subject line: “I dropped the ball.”

Inside, I dashed off: “I found it impossible to write my newsletter in time for you to edit this week. I’m sorry!”

After a few work calls and meetings, I went back to look at that email again. “I dropped the ball?” Actually, I thought, I’m not sure that’s a fair way to talk about someone who got a lot done this week.

While I didn’t hit my newsletter deadline with my ever-patient, flexible and kind editor (hiiiiiii Laura!), there were a few things I did manage to do:

  • Map out a new podcast series and assemble a remote recording kit

  • A last-minute live radio hit on the first day of school 

  • A dozen+ meetings

  • Taught our first 3-hour class in a new journalism course I designed with my co-instructor at Carleton

  • Taught an evening workshop to podcast creators 

  • Wrote a recommendation for an amazing colleague

In the tiny pockets of time around that:

  • I prepped my young kids to go back to school in a pandemic

  • Braided my daughter’s hair in a new way for the first time and took her to the park

  • Shopped for the hat my son NEEDED for back to school (10 years old and suddenly fashion is a thing)

  • Supervised multiple backyard playdates including one that is happening right now

  • Invited the kids to watch the federal leaders’ debate (one kid fell asleep on the couch with his mouth open and the other one provided commentary on what they were wearing -- my children! They are both me)

All of the above in four short days. Just writing out this list makes me regret saying I dropped the ball when I have been madly juggling all this time.

And as I wrote last week, I don’t want to glorify endless productivity. Truly. I’ve specifically got that on my mind a lot these days.

Which ball breaks?

I remember hearing a woman speak about the juggling act we do in life -- work, life, caring, relationships and more. She said we all have many balls in the air and sometimes we drop a ball. It’s a fact. But which balls are okay to drop? Only a few are made of glass.

That analogy of glass balls has always stayed with me.

Trust is a ball that can break. Family and relationships are balls that can break, too. Almost everything else is a tennis ball that can wait ‘til next week.

Today, I guess I’m saying this for me as much as I’m mentioning it for you, too. Because when I stop to think about what really matters, I start to hate the phrase, “I dropped the ball.” Some balls will be fine. And I’m keeping the important ones aloft.

Cheers to the people doing the juggling act - that means you. And thank you for reading every week, even on a week that I don’t get edited and am mostly needing a break. I appreciate you.

And now I’m off to a burger, fries and a beer…long live Fridays!

Take care,


Need Advice? AMA ✍️

Last week, I did a call-out to ask whether an advice column you’d like to see me do an advice column. I’m super-into the idea of an advice Q&A. I think you are, too! Thanks for all the nice messages on Instagram.

I’m still collecting Q’s. Write me to describe your work query or conundrum.

I’ll treat it the way I do with my own friends -- think deep, be a cheerleader on your behalf, ask a few tough questions (I like to think I’m tough but kind), reference the smarter work of people I’ve read and I can do this all over a cup of tea or something stronger (cheers! You BYO glass to the inbox).

Hit reply to this email to send me your question.

Further Reading

Annamie Paul was the unexpected hero of the leaders' debate, Maclean’s. Completely agree with this assessment of the “iconic moment” of the debate

Hybrid work risks becoming the next ‘career killer’ for women, Globe and Mail

👋👋👋 Please meet...

Every week, I hear back from many of you with super-thoughtful responses. Let me introduce you to each other!

Name: Jill Barber

What I do: Singer songwriter

Secret talent: Making kid costumes out of anything

Last great book I read: How To Lose Everything by Christa Couture

What’s on my mind these days: The wildfires burning in BC and beyond. Vaccine equity for lower-income countries worldwide.

What keeps me happy and moving forward: Solo walks, phone calls with friends, listening to and playing music

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