Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Life Less Ordinary

There are times when I wish we lived more of an ordinary life.  Whatever that might be.  Of course, that brings up all sorts of questions as to what constitutes as "ordinary".  The word defies definition, really, and means widely varying things to different people. 

And, let's be honest - I'm trying to carve out a career as a writer.  Weird sleep schedule, Con road trips, (which cost money we don't have, which leaves me caught between wanting to be with my flighty artist friends, leaving behind a family I miss, and knowing that I'm hurting the family budget chasing an impossible dream), my own flighty artist mood swings, chasing an impossible dream that's impossible to let go of - such things do not engender a sense of the ordinary.  So for that, I've no one to blame but myself.

Add in Zack's autism.  One family mini-van that barely runs.  A university administration that's been basically stonewalling me at every turn on a stupid test that has nothing to do with Literature.  A job I'm not sure I have faith in anymore.  And of course, Abby's exhausted too.  Sometimes I wonder how she has the patience to put up with me.  She's to be blessed and sainted, certainly.

And my own impatience.  I see friends doing big things with their writing. I have lots of opinions about that but don't know what I'm supposed to say about what I think and feel about how I see the writing world and my opinion about those who are getting ahead.  Everyone seems to have a mentor.  An older, experienced author who not only guides them along but also acts as a friend and confidant and...let's be honest...a patron who endorses their work.  

I have a few people who have influenced me, given me good advice - but let's be honest, some of them I've met only once.  Not exactly a mentor, really.  I know tons of people I'd LIKE to call mentor.  That's about it.

I grew up thinking writing was just about the writing.  If you were good at writing, that was all the mattered.  Now I see it's more.  

And I'm not sure what to think about that.  

A really good writing friend - a potential mentor, I hope - gave me very good advice via email, recently - there is that.  Thank God for that, and if you're reading this, Thank God for you.  It's people like you that I'll have to thank if I don't quit this.

I'm probably just tired and moody.  Zack woke up coughing at 11:30 - and for some reason it not only jolted me awake, but sort of made me angry. Not at him, obviously.  But we'd just gotten him to start sleeping really well the last two days.  And last night he went out like a light.  I was just starting to think: "Thank God,  now we can get back to normal", and here I am - I just sat down after my 8th or 9th time in a row putting him back to bed again.

Like I said - I'm tired and moody.  The alarm was turned down and I overslept, so no writing today, which always makes me grumpy.  It's Thursday, which means Abby has to work and I have to fly around, get ready for work and feed the kids, take the kids to daycare - which in essence I really love to do - but also means I have to drive in the opposite direction from work, then speed back to work and hope I'm not late and don't miss homeroom.

And I just put Zack back down again.  He's been awake since 4.  Which means he'll oversleep, be too tired to eat much breakfast, and maybe have another bad day at school. 

We have teachers and doctors' appointments for Zack's sleeping difficulties, both on days when we have only one car.  What should I do?  Skip classes at Seton or take two whole days off?  Which is it? Am I actually being a concerned Daddy by wanting to be involved, or am I using it as an excuse to get out of a job I no longer feel effective in, where only one class really excites me - the Creative Writing elective at the end of the day?  And if I'm being a concerned Daddy, how much more of this is work going to take?

Okay.  I'm gonna put an end to this.  I'm sure you get it.  Bad day in the life.  Tomorrow will be better.  Let's just hope I don't run out of gas on the way to work like I did this past Tuesday....