By Hook or by Crook

October 21, 2009

It’s down to the wire.  After six months of university-reminiscent reading requirements and paper composition, miles of uphill running, thousands of kicks and punches and the memorization of dozens of impractical Korean terms like ‘Deung joo-muhk ahp Chee-gee’, my black belt testing date looms on the horizon. 

And, what does my seven-year-old do? – Starts a three-day fever with a wet cough.

What does mama do?  I begin a borderline compulsive disorder armed with Lysol can, antibacterial sprays, soap, Emergen-C, zinc tablets and the refusal of motherly affection.  I spent three days turning my head, washing my hands, spraying the computer, the phone, the bed pillows, pretty much anything that wouldn’t need medical attention from the ingestion of Lysol.

How many events in life are so unique, such rare opportunities that the mere thought of missing it brings one to the brink of dismal grief?

Births (the baby is coming whether or not you’re ready), RFP deadlines for multiple-zeros-budget government gigs, weddings (although many of us get second and sometimes third opportunities for those), the Boston Marathon and the Kona Ironman are a handful that I can think of off the top of my head.

There are times in life when re-scheduling is not an option.  Where the curtain will rise and whether or not you are there or feel prepared is irrelevant.  Such events provide a very fine and clear filter on our prioritization – even if it is just for the moment.  When else would it be alright for a mother to withhold hugs and kisses from a sick little boy? 

I skirted that bug and still have three more days until ‘showtime’.  I find myself avoiding human contact, keeping an unusual level of vitamin C coursing through my body and exercising mind-control to keep myself from training.  With this increased rest-induced angst, I find myself wondering further what other success or failures in life are event-specific driven?  

The curtain rises this Sunday on my black belt test but you all can get your latest MarketingSmack right now – and, it’s in English to boot at or visit us at

(By the way, for those of you who care, the afore-mentioned Korean term means ‘back fist’.)


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