Susan L. Farrell, Author

Circuses and Monkeys


The phrase “Not my circus, not my monkeys” is one that has helped me to keep things in perspective. There is truth to this statement. I have a tendency to worry about things that really aren’t my responsibility. It isn’t my circus, or my monkeys. Just because someone is not doing something the way I would, as long as they are not causing harm, it doesn’t matter. I have gotten much better at letting go of these things.

Recently I saw a tee-shirt that made me laugh. In fact, I bought it for a friend who will also think it’s funny. It stated “This is my circus. These are my monkeys.”

A few days later I realized that there is truth in this statement, too.

Our life is our circus, whether it’s calm or chaotic. Our life is our responsibility.

Our monkeys are also ours, whether they are well-trained or unruly wild things. The consequences of our choices (monkeys) are our responsibility.

Just like we don’t want to take on the responsibility for other peoples’ circuses and monkeys, no one wants to take on ours, either.

I think this is just another way to look at the importance of each of us taking responsibility for our life and how we live it. And it’s important to remember that our “monkeys” can affect other people—either positively or negatively.

If you like this blog, you will love my book series, “52 Weeks of Wisdom: A Woman’s Guide to Self-Empowerment.” Click here for more information and to order.


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