When I was five I wanted to be a tree.
Don’t know why. Just knew that I needed to come up with some kind of answer for the grown-ups who kept asking.
Over the years, I turned into a banker. Don’t really know how that happened either. It just happened and kept being for about 20 years.
These days, I’m not sure what to say when people ask “what do you do?” I make paper and paper art like cards, journals and posters. I sit with people in spiritual direction. I love people and accept their love. I plant stuff. I cook. I listen to music. I read. I watch that youtube clip of Susan Boyle over and over. I laugh. I cry. I provoke arguments. I seek peace. Sometimes I just sit in front of my computer and click on the stumble upon icon.
I guess I’m at That Point of life where describing What I Do doesn’t seem so clear cut to me. I think I’m ALMOST ready not to have anything following a comma after my name. I do wish I could come up with an answer though. So many folk really seem to need it.
What do you do? How do you answer that that question?
12 thoughts on “what do you do?”
here’s a poem i wrote when i was HATING that question:
“I want a new question-
one i’ll answer with
a slow dance
shoulder blades stretched like wings
wrist barely drooped and swirled
palm on cheek
fingers through strands
moving as though watched
through birder’s lens or hunter’s sight.
I want a new question
one i’ll puff into like the
tiniest pair of lungs
then lean my ear toward
catching the exhale,
poised just on that edge words can’t approach.
I want a new question
polishing my not knowing
to a radiant sheen from this murky silt,
turning my faltering compass point true.”
now i just say community work and wait to see if they ask anything else or not!
“… polishing my not knowing to a radiant sheen…”
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
“What do you do?” is such a loaded question sometimes… You made me think of this many moons ago by reminding me that we “make a living to have a life“. Like you, a number of things in my life have made me rethink and reevaluate what’s really, really important.
On a side note, here’s a link to another blogger’s take on the “What do you do?” question:
Suzemuze (Susan Murphy): “It’s all about the stories”
it really is a constant juggling act, eh?
the post from Suzemuze is great – SO appreciate your sharing it.
A very rich question, Lisa. I tussle with a variation of your query – is it OK to ‘just’ do the wonderful and ordinary things that call to you? Is it enough?
I have to keep reminding myself of a quote from 18th century Quaker, John Woolman, “Love is the first motion.” That “love”, however ordinary it may seem, is like a pebble thrown into a pond, with all the seen and unseen concentric circles emanating outward. I figure its my responsibility to be faithful to those calls of love, and let the rest of it go.
So, if you ask me what I do, I usually say I’m a kind person. People’s responses often surprise me. in a good way.
Keep those great queries coming, girl!!
…”is it enough?”
seems to me that it is THE POINT!!!
thanks dear Kind Person.
I’m retired, and my answer usually is “I do what I never had time to do when I worked full time: cook with fresh vegetables, sleep late, NEVER go anywhere on Saturday that isn’t fun, really listen to people, give my husband my time, have people over for dinner on a Wednesday, call people I love, spend time with God, plant some, finish quilting projects I started 20 years ago, do nothing, keep several books going at the same time …
I first told this to a woman sitting next to me on an airplane. We spent the next two hours talking about spending time with God. She said no one had ever said that to her before.
My list evolves all the time, and while it’s still a list (not unlike “here’s what I do”) it helps me rethink how I do spend my time — and don’t.
oooooooooo Trish, your list is wonderFULL. THANKS for sharing it!
I especially appreciate “… how I do spend my time – and don’t.”
I’ve decided my new answer to that question (which usually makes me groan or want to strangle the person who asks) is to say I am a Storycatcher. But no one has asked me The Question since I thought of that so I don’t know if I will really say it! I do think it’s a good answer, though.
Storycatcher ~ i LOVE it, Robin!
next time i see you, i’ll be sure to ask The Question (so you can practice).