As a kid I was fascinated by the process of making cartoons. Although my mom started me early on E. H. Shephard’s drawings of Christopher Robin and Pooh, I grew especially to love the work of Charles Schultz and, a little later, Bil Keane.
My dream of becoming a cartoonist was interrupted by what I now think of as temporary insanity. I got it into my head that I didn’t want to be a “starving artist,” and opted for pre-med in college instead of design.
About 15 years later and $200K poorer, I left my Internal Medicine practice to be a full time stay-at-home mommy. Now, when I’m not writing or illustrating or working on the Molly books, I teach my kids cartooning.
I get asked a lot if I’ll go back into Medicine when the kids are grown. And, when I think of all that debt, I feel guilty that I hated being a doctor so, so much! But the truth is, I seriously hope not.
So, I’m going to wrap up this brief post of procrastination and get back to squeezing in 100 Continuing Medical Education hours that are due Jan. 1 so I can continue to pay the AMA and remain legit.
Each night I thank God for all my blessings, especially for my truly amazing and awesome husband who supports me and all my career whims. “What am I putting down as your wife’s job this year?” asks our accountant each January.
And when I wake in the night sweating and trembling, fearing that I failed to wake up to my pager and missed a Code Blue, or that I am getting my 20th ICU admission of the (36-hr long) night, or any number of what can only be called post-traumatic-stress-disorder flashbacks that all physicians suffer as a result of residency training,
I close my eyes and picture colors, paints, pencil sketches, and brushes.
And breathe again.