Wednesday, 5 September 2012

What do you do?

Wendy who makes great coffee at our local cafe looked at me this morning, and asked a direct question. Not rudely. I could see she genuinely wanted to know. "What do you do all day? While the kids are at school I mean, what do you do?"

I felt immediately embarrassed. I shuffled my feet a bit, and looked at the ceiling for inspiration. My mind was a blank.
"Heck I don't know!" I laughed awkwardly.
Wendy looked at me hopefully, "Do you go out a lot?"
Ouch. If you could call spending an inordinate amount of time in the supermarket, going out? I wondered what Wendy wanted to hear from me. I hoped in our brief morning encounters I hadn't come across as someone spoilt and frivolous, frittering away each day...  Yikes! This wasn't the sort of conversation I wanted to have.
"Oh well, I do some cooking (burgers last night!), cleaning (the bathroom, though not often), I blog, a bit." 
"You used to write didn't you?" she asked.
"Well, some writing, some editing, that sort of stuff." I mumbled. "I go op shopping!" I said with a bit more enthusiasm. But then worrying that now I really did sound frivoulous, I ended with, "Arch still sleeps a lot."
Then, muttering about Arch being asleep right now, in the car, I grabbed my coffee and ran.

In the car, I took a deep breath and started the engine. It wasn't really a difficult or hostile question...just one that at the moment, was kind of hard to answer..

This 'bringing up the kids' period of my life, is really a brief moment in time.
Occasionally I do fight rising panic at the thought of what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, and indeed what happens next. Arch goes to school in 2016, so then what?  Here's a picture of him at school - after the Book Week Parade last week. He clamoured up into a chair in Ellie's classroom, looking like he belonged there. Maybe I should just start dropping him off with the others in the morning, and see if anyone notices?


For a while I kept an old business card of mine on the kitchen window sill. It had my name, title and place of work. The card looked impressive. And in a small (and yes, rather pathetic) way, it reminded me that I once had a clearly defined role in the world, and that in itself had its benefits.
One night, a family member (and not a distant one) picked up this card. "What's this?" they asked.
"It's my old business card."
"Really? I had no idea.."
What that comment meant, I don't know. No idea? No idea I had a good sounding job? No idea I worked for that particular organisation? No idea I was qualified for that, or anything?

If you asked me about my previous qualifications I could rattle off my degrees and work experiences, but in the end, so what?

Sometime sooner or later, I may be looking for another job on top of the one I already have. But at the moment, I'm living a life that has many facets to it. And yes, without wanting to sound too defensive, sometimes I even get to sit in the sun at home without having to be anywhere else. In my "working" days, that was a yearned for but unattainable hope!
Now, I get to spend a lot of time with my kids - and they're growing up fast. I'm trying to make the most of it, good times and bad, and I don't want to waste time panicking about future unknowns. God knows where I'm going, so I'll trust Him to work it out and show me the way, in His time.


For a book that made my heart sing, on the seasons of life, and how even the slow seasons of life turn out to have purpose.. check out this:
http://naomireed.info/product/my-seventh-monsoon/

7 comments:

  1. meant to post a comment yesterday and say how much I enjoyed (and could relate to) this post!

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  2. Thanks Nic - you're always an encouragement to me!
    Your post was excellent and as always your comments hugely interesting and thoughtful.
    I'll try and remember to ask you what on earth you do with yourself everyday next time I see you!
    sbdx

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  3. Hmmm, if you asked us what we did at H.O. it would be chat and send emails! So I know which is harder. But you can't beat access to sunshine and the outdoors, well, in summer. Love archie's lounge jacket :)

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  4. Lisa. not jane. not sure who that is? maybe Jane gets more done than I do.

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  5. I think i was saving what we ACTUALLY did at work for another post Jane, I mean Lisa. Of course we chatted and sent emails - we were flat out networking and liaising (mostly with each other - but occasionally with the outside world). The big question being: Was that the best use of our time? Which, I think, now, given our present circumstances, we can say a definite NO! Miss those days (social aspect and pay only):-)

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  6. I think what we are doing is downright fabulous (if not so glamorous), and our children will be thankful for it, when they have the maturity to reflect. I remember when R was an infant and I felt so lost, having left work to stay home with a baby who slept most of the time. I asked my other (new) mom friends "what should I be doing? what do I do all day?" they laughed at me and told me to enjoy it because it would be the last time I would have that problem (heaps of quiet free time), maybe ever. :) I love my life, and even though I am also thinking about the "what next" when everyone is at school, these days are precious. Sit in the sun! (Today I took a well-earned nap on the couch!)

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    1. Thanks again for the encouragement K! Great to hear of your experiences too. I am loving my life - and striking that happy balance of showing that/being real always keeps it interesting.. Does that make sense? I shouldn't write late at night (missed my morning nap today) tee hee. sbdx

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