Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm predicting a knockout in the third round.

Published November 30, 2008
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

In my mind right now, my life is an inspirational movie about a young, female boxer about to take on the fight of her life. No, no, I’m not contemplating assisted suicide. It’s not “Million Dollar Baby.” Think “Rocky” on estrogen.

Syrupy voiced boxing announcer: “In the right corner, we have (ahem) heavyweight champion Sarah Clark! In the left corner, we have the heavyweight contender, in fresh form and ready to fight: The Holidays! This could be the fight of the century! Let’s get ready to RUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!”

Crusty boxing coach: “Okay, Sarah…this guy’s big and he’s mean and he’s no stranger to fighting dirty, but you can beat him! I want you to get in there and give him your famous left hook right off. He’s gonna try and get you with the gingergbread sucker punch and the turkey kidney shot, but you know how to deal with those. Don’t back down. Give it all you’ve got! You can win this! You’re the greatest! You’re the champ!”

Me: “And we throw in the towel when?”

I’m a little stressed. Can you tell?

To say my life is busy is to say Niagara Falls is a small leak over a couple of medium sized rocks. At this time in my life, I am a wife, a mother of five, a full time employee, a full time student, and an active volunteer at my church. I’m able to keep my sanity and get things done with a interesting mix of organization, determination, slave labor from the kids, random acts of kindness from my husband, and frequent breaks in which I just sit around and stare off into space...and drool…and sometimes cry. Overall, it’s a good balance.

Enter the holiday season. Holy Juggling, Batman! I don’t think we’ll get out of this one alive!

If I had a Batplane, I’d be in Tahiti right now. Don’t get me wrong. I love the holidays. I love baking pies and making gifts and decorating the house in red and green. I just think I’d appreciate all of that more in Tahiti…far, far away from finals and field reports and time clocks and domestic violence groups and choir programs and vacuums and laundry soap and did I mention drooling and crying?

Crusty boxing coach: “What kind of talk is this? You’re the champ! You do more in one day than most people do in a week AND you have an A average! Are you going to let a little holiday knock you out in the first round?”

Me: “I don’t know. Are YOU going to embroider Richard’s stocking for the wreath and cross stitch his stocking for the fireplace? Are YOU going to finish the sketches of the kids for their Christmas presents? Are YOU going to bake up decadent treats for the neighbors and plan a Christmas program for church and keep a choir of juvenile offenders motivated until concert day? Are YOU going to take my Ethics final three days after getting your wisdom teeth out and then prepare the food you’ll need to bring to the family Christmas party? Well, ARE YOU?!”

Crusty boxing coach: “No. Because I’m not the champ. I’m just the crusty old guy who trains the champ and then dies of a heart attack to give you a dead hero to live up to. I’m just the…*gurgle* *sputter*…pain…in my…chest…Champ, win this one...for…me…” (Collapses).

Me: “Nice try, Crusty. Now bust out the embroidery floss before I give you my famous left hook.”