there's funny business and monkey business and risky business and show business (like no business i know) - but what is my business?
My card, if i had one, which once would have read "mother" must now read "mother-at-large". the space for daughter would be filled in with "in absentia" and as for a trade - while a working writer once, that was so very long ago.
and so what is my business? i am a corporation of one. each day i awake, ready to gear up my factory, open the doors of my office, straighten out my desk and answer my phones. i have no product to sell nor service to provide. i merely exist to service me - a charity here and there - a worthy cause will draw me in - but day to day it is me. i am a full time job. no time off for good behaviour or vacations. wherever i go i take my work - me - with me.
i am a work in progress and at the end of each day's toil, i take an accounting. my pluses and minuses are added up and run through my fingers like a maddened scrooge. who, i ask each day have i helped or hurt? have i insulted or been insulted - slighted or been slighted? i try to be a good wife, mother, friend but am i good enough? did i exercise? check. shower, manicure, pedicure, facial, hairdresser...the list goes on and on. pay the bills, market, call the repairman for the plumbing, dishwasher, refrigerator, stereo, tv. computer.
clean out the garage, call the travel agent, the art consultant and the gynecologist. take my daughter shopping. i would go to the car wash but it has been raining for a month and i would walk the dog if i had one. the list, while endless, runs in a silent loop. no matter how many times i go to the market, someone eats the food. every month i pay the bills, only to have to pay them again.
i looked at some old photos of me the other day and i was shocked - not at how young i once was but at how old i had become. who will i be when i can no longer run my own business? will i be like the old lady in the market, with her walker and her hired companion? i don't want a walker and i don't want a paid companion and i don't want to end up in the business of just staying alive.