Friday, May 6, 2011

An Athlete With His Priorities Straight

If you're a baseball fan, you've probably heard reference to the Phillies starting pitching staff as the Four Aces.  One of those aces manages to fly under the radar because he is so unassuming.  Until recently, he was undefeated as a pitcher at Citizens Bank Park, including the years when he played for the Houston Astros.  Last week, Roy Oswalt missed a start with the Phils because his hometown, where his three young children were staying with their grandparents, was ravaged by tornadoes.  The children, ages 6 and 3 years,  and 6 months, had to be routed from their beds in the middle of the night and led out in the rain and wind to a storm shelter.  Oswalt rightfully felt that his place with his family.  Thank God, no one was injured.

Upon his return to Philadelphia, Oswalt spoke to the press and explained that on his list of priorities, baseball comes in behind his wife and children.  He could walk away from the game today without looking back.  Baseball is something he's good and at he enjoys it but it's not the be-all, end-all of his life.  Baseball does not define him.

In this day and age when football is played on Christmas Day and baseball on the afternoon of Good Friday, it is refreshing to encounter and athlete who has his priorities straight and has the courage to say "My little girls come before a meaningless game."

I have a different job than Roy Oswalt does, but what I do for a living does not define me either. I work more than 40 hours a week and it's never enough to get everything done.  I don't much care. I wish I could work part-time but the economy has not been kind to my husband's business, so, tag! I'm it!.    In a few weeks, an important meeting with all the big-wigs in our health system will take place late on a Friday afternoon, the same day on which my son will be going to his first prom.  I'm going to have to pull an Oswalt and leave early.  Inevitably, someone will look around the room and ask where I am.   I'll be where I belong.

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