Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What do you do?

What do you do?

It's maybe the first question you get when you meet someone new.  What someone "does for a living" is a basic piece of information that helps us get to know someone.  It helps us slap a label on them and fit them into neat little well-defined compartments.

If someone says they are a doctor or lawyer, our impressions of them socially would be quite different than if they answered teacher, police officer, ....or pizza delivery guy.

But I don't personally consider myself defined by my source of income.  What I "do for a living" isn't what makes me money.  I consider most of my "living" to be accomplished outside my place of employment.

What do I do?

If you mean what do I spend most of my time doing, the answer is probably laundry.  (Or it might be "yell at my kids" if I'm having a particularly bad day.)

But I do a lot more than that.  I daydream.  I write.  I crack corny jokes. I pet my dog, tickle my children, walk in the woods.  I play video games, read books, make love, swim in the ocean.  I sing karaoke, eat bacon, and enjoy a good glass of wine.  I procrastinate, use big words, and run barefoot.

Those aren't the answers people are looking for when they ask, "What do you do?"  But those answers would tell them a lot more about who I am than what I do to draw an income.

In that regard I'm only a waitress.  I figure I spent so much time in high school and college being an over-achiever, that I spend the rest of my life under-achieving.

But saying I'm a waitress doesn't do me justice if it automatically stuffs me in the same mental compartment as some "loser" pizza delivery guy.

You see, I'm "only a waitress" because that's what I choose to be.  It's a part-time job that keeps me home with my children during the day.  It gives me the time and freedom to pursue the real living I make doing all the cool stuff I spend my days doing. 

Instead of participating fully in the rat race of achievement, I've chosen to have my time instead.  That's one commodity you just can't get back once you've spent it.

So today, what will I be doing for a living?  Today I will braid my daughter's hair and paint her toenails.  I will read with my son.  I will practice archery with my oldest.  And I will walk the dog through town, breathe fresh air, and enjoy the rain.

What do you do?

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