Thoughts on normal life

Sometimes I get lulled into brief periods of smug self-satisfaction. My son is happy, my husband content, my parents relatively healthy, the cats well-behaved and I am writing and teaching, earning little but unaware that there are storm clouds gathering and soon I will be waking up with my heart beating out of my chest, afraid, angry and envious of all the people I know who aren't me.
So, there is the condo, the assessment doubling and the need to have all the windows replaced. There is my son's looming college attendance coinciding with the end of my child support from his dad. There is the silence from my agent vis a vis selling my memoir or even liking it enough to read it. My husband tells me there may be a lay-off. There is the bottom line which looks impossible so then I go and get some sort of job that ruins my life because let's face it, work is hard and I'm an artist and artists aren't that great at coherent work.

The latest life ruining job possibility is with a massive medical software giant located in Madison, Wisconsin. I spent the day there yesterday being interviewed and tested, asked to solve math problems and programming problems I could barely understand. I did well in discussing a case history and my presentation was fine albeit a bit rushed. I spoke to people about my desire to leave Chicago and live in Wisconsin being trained and then sent out on the road for 4 days a week like George Clooney in that movie about frequent flying. Now this place is no sweat shop. It's full of amazing art and organic food and whimsical decoration and people half my age doing something mysterious with this record keeping which I actually believe in, an effort to focus and standardize health care so patients will be treated by doctors and nurses that have all the information they need.

It took four hours to drive home to Chicago and when I walked in my husband greeted me with news about his father's deterioration with Alzheimer's and his decision to send more money to his daughter who is doing something mysterious in Florida. We immediately quarreled and the cats were gloomy and needy and it struck me that I have no idea of how to have a normal life because I'm a writer and life will never be normal. If I get this job I'll take it and write. if I don't get this job I'll scramble for other jobs and write. if my agent fires me I'll find another one. I will get published again. I won't give up. I will continue to teach and take care of my kid and help my parents and listen to my husband and cuddle my cats.


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