Take a good look at this picture. Do you notice anything ... alarming ... about two of these trapeze artists? Check out the gal on the right, the one in the pink tights, and the one in a dive, clear at the back.
Where the heck is dive-girl going? And what's holding pink-tights up?
I'm feeling like those girls today.
It's 9:34 on Friday morning, and I should have been in SLC an hour ago for the beginning of the Story at Home conference. Instead, I'm at home, waiting for UPS to deliver the book that we sweat, toiled, and labored over for eight months in anticipation of this one. single. event.
A lot of people are counting on me. I've made promises that I can't deliver on if UPS doesn't get here soon. How strange, to have worked so hard for so long, only to be tripped up by something as simple as the late delivery of a single box.
The problem is, I'm not sure they'll leave my box on the porch if I just take off before they get here. I put a giant note on the door, telling them to do just that, but you know how things are.
So, I find myself here, up in the air. With no swing, no net, and no one reaching out to catch me and flip me somewhere safe.
The thing is, I live on that trapeze. I'm perfectly comfortable taking on big projects, assuming responsibility and risk, hanging from my knees and grabbing as many hands as necessary to keep others from nosediving into the stands.
But I gotta tell ya', it's astonishing what one 'eye roll' from one spectator can do to an acrobat's concentration. And if you've got a dozen hands stretching out from recently vacated trapezes, all expecting you to catch them, you really can't afford to be distracted.
I'm getting word that a couple of 'sisters' in my new 'ward family' -- and sometimes I nearly choke on the irony in that phrase -- are making no secret of their eye-rolling attitude about me.
I realize I have a gigantic personality. I'm wired for hundreds, not tens, not really even ones. I marvel at the people who choose to be my friend; they must have incredibly anchored cores to weather a relationship with me. Like uber Weebles, they never, ever seem to fall down. How blessed I am to have these remarkable, surprisingly sane women and men in my life who willingly add a spare room to their hearts and paint my name on the door.
In a couple of weeks, I'll be speaking at a dinner in my ward, hosted by the women's auxiliary, on the subject of Sisterhood. And because I don't even know who the local eye-rolling backbiters are, I've got to find a way to hold on tight to that trapeze and reach out for those who are depending on me to catch them, all without becoming distracted by the possibility that it could be her, or her, or perhaps that entire table back there in the shadows, filled with women who seem to believe that just because the lights are dimmed all around them, they can't be seen whispering behind their hands and smirking at one another.
To you in the audience, who have no investment whatsoever in the work and sacrifice and energy and -- maybe most of all -- the emotional wherewithal required to go out there time and time again to do the things I know I've been put on that swing to do, please know this:
One day you may be the lady in the nosedive. And you have my word, no matter what you've said or done to me in the past, I will fly as fast and as far as I can -- net or not -- to catch you before you fall.
It's the role I've been cast in.
And the show must go on.