Oh, OK. I don't have a new job. (I have the same job I've always had, which is to write books, of course, and the much more tangible job of picking up EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD from the floor of this house every day in an endless loop of picking up EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD from the floor only to make my way around the house in a complete circle only to find that EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD is back on the floor again. If I could give up this crazy idea of "control" then maybe I'd just leave the things all over the floor and wade through them instead of demanding they remain on shelves and in cupboards and maybe then I'd find some kind of zen-like freedom wherein I'd become one with the butterflies and feel the pulse of the wind under my feet or some such zen-like thing that has never actually happened to me.)
I just have that song stuck in my head.
But the kids DO have the flu. Little fevers spiking in the night, the cough that turns to a barf, falling asleep in strange places, sweaty pallors, all-encompassing misery. Their sickness makes me worry, which triggers my own sickness, which includes middle-of-the-night panic attacks during which I have to phone people I know to advise them that I CANNOT breathe and yes, I know that I am actually breathing but the thing they don't understand is that I CANNOT breathe, but yes, I see your point, if I wasn't breathing we wouldn't be having this 3 am chat now, would we?
Sorry to wake you.
I AM still breathing, after all.
I've had panic attacks for my whole life. This is not new. You'd think I'd have figured out how to manage them better by now, but the tricky bit about panic is that each time it happens, you think, "Oh, damn, this time I'm actually probably going to die and I hope my kids don't find my cold dead body in the morning and have to figure out what numbers to dial on the phone and have to spend the rest of their lives in therapy to try to recover from the horror of it all."
What IS new is that I've recently realized that reading about other people's dollops of anguish can make your own dollops of anguish* seem more manageable and sane, or at least can make you feel less lonely when your dollops of anguish rain down on you at 3 am like a hailstorm of animal poop.
So I feel it is my duty as a person sometimes caught in an anguish storm with no umbrella, and one who divulges too much personal information on what probably should be a writing blog to say, "Hey, don't worry about it. Happens to all of us. Or at least, to some of us. And you ARE still breathing! And we are all (some of us) (mostly) OK. So go back to sleep. You're all good."
You're all good.
Go back to sleep.
The kids will be better in a day or two. And even though they are sick, they'll still be able to drop EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD on the floor, so get some rest. You'll need your energy tomorrow to pick that stuff back up.
* Dollops of Anguish would be an excellent name for a band if you were seventeen and styled yourself after 80s metal bands. Think about it. And go ahead and use it, if you in any way fit that description. Just please thank me in the liner notes. Because that would be most excellent.