I hate the question, “what do you do?” Anytime I’m asked this I get a very specific pain in my chest and my eyes glaze over as I got into my self-preservation trance. No answer I have is suitable to most people, especially me. There is no quick explanation or label for what I do and often, that is exactly that people are looking for.
The real answer is that who I am and what I do are not separate, so it is hard for me to pick one thing that I do to define myself by. In an average week, this is what I do:
- I write.
- I blog.
- I create.
- I study.
- I cook.
- I minister and plan curriculum.
- I advocate and serve.
- I deal with spreadsheets (badly) and messaging (well) for my own brand and other people’s brands.
- I talk… a lot, to many different people from vastly different worlds via many different channels of communication.
- I think and think and think and think and, well, you get the idea.
I also clean my house, make lunches, sometimes put my clothes in the hamper, often brush my teeth, try desperately to exercise, wash my hair (not enough), put on makeup (probably too much), travel, make my bed, think way too much about food, maybe have sex, clean fish tanks, mix a mean Vodka drink, read textbooks (too much) and fiction (not enough), walk a dog, feed a cat, counsel children, converse with The Husband, and worry incessantly that I’m not doing any of it right; that is, when I’m not spending time congratulating myself for how I am kicking ass at all of it. I do that sometimes too.
Here is the kicker, all of this works for me. I have been this way my whole life. I’ve also been catching crap for it since I was old enough for my mom to forbid me using the car to drive to a retreat team meeting after softball practice AND my part time job. Guess what? I found another ride. I’m a hustler. I’ll find a way or make a way to do what is in my heart. It works for me. Always, has.
What doesn’t work is the stink-eye I get from other people when they think it’s too much. What I love the best is the judgement wrapped in faux concern or envy or awe in “how I’m doing it all all the time.” You know what? I am, because I also listen to myself, know when to ask for help and, most importantly, have mastered the art of saying no. It may look like I do too much, and somedays, I just might because it feels like my head might explode, my house will self-destruct, every kid will end up in jail or counseling by 20, and I’ll die of a stress induced heart attack at 39 (good news, too late!). But most days, it feels like I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to do even if no one else quite understands it.
That, my friends, is the simple answer to question about what I do.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.