Full-Fledged Life-Crisis

I can’t say I’m having a mid-life crisis because I’m only thirty-eight and I’m quite sure I’ll live to be one hundred, but certainly I’ve burned more than a third and a quarter pf my days so let’s just say I’m in general life-crisis.

Partly it’s sending Jake to kindergarten and knowing Beth will be there next year.  It’s not that in itself, but it’s what that means for me professionally.

In some ways I have all sorts of avenues to pursue (though who would hire me full-time when I never know when I’ll need time off for the damn MS?). I have plenty of experience in varied capacities in education and  I miss being in schools, doing research, working with teachers, and doing all of that with a group of people I admire and enjoy.

But, what I want to do more than anything is continue the writing I started to focus on once Jake was born. The trouble is, it’s only when I’m writing for text-book companies that I make reasonable money and that is hit or miss in terms of assignments.

The little articles and essays have been nice to see published and having an agent, even though she didn’t sell the novel, lent the process some legitimacy.

This is the first time I haven’t had paid work to do since I was fifteen.  That feels very weird.

I’m looking at this absence of work as an opportunity to NOT dash out and fill the void with something simply to say it’s filled.

I believe in my bones my writing will work out and for now, that’s the risk I have to take.  It’s not risky as in sinking my savings into a business, but not pursuing the fall-back job in my field, is a risk in itself. For me, anyway.

So, I’m going to take it and finish this book (I’m shopping another at this point) and shop it.  And in all this, I have to find some serenity (I can’t write that word without George Costanza’s father’s voice shooting through my brain–“Serenity Now!”) and do the best I can.

So, there I am.  Where are you in your life today?

10 thoughts on “Full-Fledged Life-Crisis

  1. We’re in the same boat, sister. I’ve found some easy part time writing work that doesn’t cut into my “real” writing time. But it’s scary to go “all in” with the novels without any assurances it will pan out. Plus, when the kiddos get older there’s a weird thing that happens. You suddenly have more time for you and it feels wrong. There’s guilt there for some stupid reason. Just remember that one day, we’ll be drinking wine poured by twin cabana boys and we’ll laugh over how silly we were to worry.

  2. Count me in, too. I’ve worked since I was fourteen and apart from during my first pregnancy when I had no work for three months, this is the first time I’ve not had some sort of paying work. Where I live, even awful jobs are hard to find, especially given that I am an American with foreign credentials and experience, and older than most of the others who want to get back into the work force. I’d settle for part-time writing work at this point, but it is not an option. So either one of my books sells and brings in at least a pittance, or we move to another country. My husband is looking at jobs in Bangladesh, the Czech Republic, and China even as I write this…

    The wine and cabana boys sound great, though. Sigh.

  3. Being single, not working is not an option for me. Sigh! However, if I win the lottery, write a huge best seller, or just finally make enough to retire, I’d love to join you and those cabana boys!

  4. Jaye, I’ll meet you on the beach as I’m very much due some drinks and the servants who will bear them!
    Mary, your life sounds so exotic in many ways, though I realize things are never what they seem from the outside. Good luck with those two books…they’ll find a home soon, I can feel it.
    Anti-wife, you are required to appear on the beach whether you’ve met those aforementioned criteria or not! I hope my thoughts of being lost inside my own life don’t come across as trite–I don’t mean to imply I don’t have a nice life–I can’t put a price on having a husband to bring in the steady money, but it’s a weird phenomenon, like Jaye said, there’s almost this feeling that I’m doing something wrong in just living my life. I’ll figure it out soon, but seriously, there’s no way out of beach day, if only for a day….sigh, sigh, sigh…

  5. As far as I’m concerned, being a mother is the most difficult and most important job there is. You are employed but your paychecks don’t necessarily have anything to do with money.

  6. I’ve got two angsty teenagers right now, both of them fuming and venting and giving me a hard time. Being a mother really is an important job, and it’s certainly difficult, but the payment right now is crap.

  7. I don’t have kids, but I can relate to the inability to allow oneself to enjoy the bit of easier-life we’ve been blessed with. I was having this discussion with my cousin and she said she has to constantly remind herself that it’s okay to just be happy. God wants us to. Since then I’ve been mentally singing that George Harrison song as my mantra:
    “All I have to do, is to love you. All I have to be, is to be happy.”

    Kathy, I think you are wise not to rush and fill the void. Besides, you are such a prolific writer that when you cross into that published status you’ll end up with many books on the shelves quickly, with royalties rolling in and piling up.

    By the way, since you worked in education, you’ll get a kick out of this: my cousin’s daughter took her first teaching job in a remote Alaskan village — reachable only by plane or boat — teaching multiple elementary grades, plus music and P.E. She is blogging about it at http//teachalaska.blogspot.com . Really fun, interesting reading. Ah, the energy of youth! Bonus fact: though Iowa is home, she eventually wants to move to Pittsburgh!

  8. I’ve finally got ‘me’ time to write (all kids at school, one left home) and d’you know what? I’m bored.

    I don’t quite know what to do with myself at the moment, so will keep mulling ideas over in my mind until I find a solution.


  9. I don’t know what to say. My kids are in school and still, the day fills up with mowing, taking the dog to the vet, etc. So some days I still don’t write much. Maybe I need to be more organized?

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