Goodness Guru: So, what do you do?
Have you ever been asked this question? “So, what do YOU do?” What is your response? When I was asked this two days ago I was exhausted and I didn’t know how to reply.
Admittedly, I am addressing this mostly to women because they are often wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and grandmothers — like me. On this occasion, my husband and I sat eating some amazing hamburgers, fries and shakes from a local joint — Iceberg — with several other volunteers. We had all gathered to work on a community farm project and we had been given dinner afterward. My husband and a friend sat talking about fishing. They showed each other the pictures of the “big ones” they had reeled in. And then the friend asked me the question, “What do YOU do?”
I had already explained my job and how it takes most of my energy at this time of year, so I was unsure of how to answer. “Well, I write,” I answered. Then I added, “I am a good shopper.” Which is pretty much true too.
As I sat down at my own house for the first time that day at 9 p.m., I thought about that question. I’m sure many of you will relate to my thoughts. I have a busy career, five kids, 11 grandkids, a sweet husband and two aging parents in my life. What do you think I do!? The more I thought about this the more I realized I don’t give enough credit to my job as a wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt … etc. And as much energy as I put into my career, and managing a household, I put much more emphasis on people and my relationships with them. It’s not unusual for me to spend an hour or two daily on the phone, face time, Marco Polo or in person with family members and others.
Many of you women direct scouts, music groups, sports, and a myriad of other community activities in your day, as well as run a family, so the question, “What do you do?” may seem a bit ridiculous. But, you may short yourself by actually feeling that you may not do anything of great importance because you are not out there running an international business, a marathon or a political campaign.
Well that night I gave myself a little scolding. I hadn’t let myself honestly feel the importance of being a wife, mom … etc. And yet, these relationships are the things that matter most to me! I only thoroughly enjoy a hobby or an adventure when it is being done with or for someone else.
After spending a couple hours on face time as a math tutor with a grandchild I feel fulfilled. After listening to a daughter share great concerns about her career for an hour, I feel fulfilled. After directing a choir for an hour, I feel fulfilled. After actually sitting next to my husband and holding his hand (and not knitting) as we watch a movie, I feel fulfilled. Why? Because that interactions with another was actually the most important part of my day.
Girls, let’s face it. We work very long and hard hours and we don’t recognize how much we actually do. We could answer the question “So, what do you do?” with something along the lines of, “I do so much important work every single day just by being me; it would take an hour just to summarize one day.” We don’t have to be involved in grand adventures, hobbies, sports or careers. We can be amazing just by being women.