Monday, April 22, 2013

What Do I Do?

You know that moment, the one where you meet someone new and they ask, "So, what do you do?" For some reason that question was on my mind while I was mowing my lawn today, and I felt like sharing my thoughts.

My first answer: I'm a mom! Yes, with enthusiasm, because without it, somehow that title seems to be one society tells me I should be ashamed of. Well. *hands on hips* I have six kids, but even if I only had one, it wouldn't change my opinion of the job. It's not an easy job, not by any means, but it's a job I volunteered for for life. As for what that entails, let me tell you some of it.

I do yardwork. I don't love yardwork. I find it relaxing when I *want* to do it, but mostly I wish the yard would take care of itself. Take today, for instance. I asked my kids why they didn't play on the swing-set anymore, and my nine year old informed me that it was because the vines were too scary. After mowing the grass around and under the swing-set, yep, there's a scary vine growing there. Very pokey-owie mean vine, that I argued with for a couple of hours convincing it that it would like the compost heap much better than the swing-set.  My 4 year old son was all over the swings and slide as soon as I'd cleared the way.

We put the swingset in front of snuffalupogus here...  It's a high-maintenance spot.

I do counseling. I have six kids who don't always get along. But not only do they have sibling issues, but they have friend issues and school issues and grade issues and worries about the future and dreams and hopes and all kinds of things that they like to share and tell. Mostly I just listen, but sometimes I dispense advice. Sometimes they even listen to it. Once in a while they spark something I feel passionate about, and they have to tell me to get off my soap-box because I won't stop talking.  I'm not sure those moments serve any purpose other than for me to realize I like to talk.

There are a bazillion other things that fall under the large umbrella of motherhood, but everyone already knows the chauffeur, cook, maid, organizer, slave driver, librarian, reader of books, and teacher titles. Mostly I forget things and then run to play catch-up because I've forgotten something important.

I also do non-mommy related things.

I have an art degree. I do portraits because I LOVE to draw people. There's something about eyes and lips and ears that I just love. And wrinkles. I don't get a lot of commissions for portraits, but I do get quite a few commissions for caricatures. I volunteer for all kinds of art things in the community and church so that I stay in practice with software. I figure if I spent all that time learning skills, I'd better not lose them.

I do footzoning. I certified in this about seven years ago and just recently my clientelle has started to pick up. I even have enough clients now that I have to keep a calendar in my purse so I can remember when I have appointments! This is exciting stuff for me!

I talk. A lot. I think there's something about being home with a four-year-old that makes me never shut up when I'm on the phone or in a car with an adult. Or at a friend's house. My poor friends :)

I write. I love to read, and I love to write. I sit and write when I am avoiding any of the above listed jobs. Because let's face it, chores and cleaning and yardwork are really never done. And there are so many story ideas that come while I'm puttering around the house, or listening to the crazy things my kids say. This world is incredible when it comes to inspiration. Writing is another way for me to talk without annoying everyone that I know and love. I posted an excerpt once.

There's always a to-do list longer than I am tall (and I'm not short), so I prioritize based on what sounds fun that day or what will impact my kids the most if I don't do it. Daughter wet the bed? Well, crap, I'm doing laundry and washing a mattress instead of catching up on blog posts and twitter.

I love what I do. I may not always do it as well as I'd like, but I keep doing it hoping that eventually I'll get better. No one has told me to stop yet (er, well, no one I actually listen to). I tell myself more than often enough that I need to do better. But now I've managed to answer to myself what I do and how I value what I do. I expect there are plenty of people out there who value things differently, and that's awesome. It would sure be boring if we were all clones.


  1. You know, Chris, I think of myself as a positive person, but I think you are totally more positive than me! *lol*

    (Maybe I just feel strongly about my opinions and therefore need to fit my own opinions of myself? *rofl*)

    1. It's hard work getting a positive attitude about things and I struggle with that a LOT. But there was something about being out in the wind and the sun... All was good in life and I was happy with who I was, even if I was not exactly liking the job I was doing :) It was a good feeling.