Friday, March 2, 2007

The J.O.B.

When my little sister was 13, she was unembarrassed to answer "starving artist" to the question of what she'd be when she grew up. I thought she was cute, of course. She's 15 years my junior and now an adult, pretty much following through on her teen vision of herself.

So it's not fair at all to start a reflection on my current situation with a story about my baby sister. It's just that I'm in a really unfamiliar boat here, navigational tools labeled in another language, on a sea for which I received no map. When I was dreaming of my life at 35 I was pretty sure it would be designed by me. But as my territory increases and my knowledge decreases by the inverse (math is not my strong point, I think I may have mentioned), I am stunned to find that I do not know what the hell I want, or even if I have it now.

So here is what I have, on loan from God, in no particular order: three daughters ages 8, 6 and 3; a husband who chronically works just a bit longer than the time at which he plans to arrive home (I may have to edit that later, but it's the truth); a real estate career as hot and cold as the market; acreage in the currently swamped Lorane Valley; a 100-plus-year-old shacky shack that once held Sunday School pews; another 100-plus-year-old home on a city lot a mere 20 minutes away, which we rent to another family who wishes they lived in the country (oh, maybe I'm wrong about that, but they want to keep livestock in the back yard); a Shetland pony, an Arab, a Quarterhorse, a Mustang and a Thoroughbred (just in case anyone should consider us particular to a certain breed of equine); various animals weighing less than 80 pounds apiece; too many bills for comfort.

And that last little bit is the crux of the problem. What I do for a living and what I do for life, these things are looking mutually exclusive and I don't know how to reconcile the two.

Maudlin musings not suitable for public consumption.