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.