Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Do I Work????

How many times have I been asked, "Do you work?" How does a person answer such a question? I guess technically I am unemployed, but I really have a hard time saying I do not work. I am so tired at the end of the day that it is an effort to chew my supper.

How did I get in such a predicament? Many years ago I went to college, studied hard, graduated and proceeded to be gainfully employed while my husband went to grad school. In fact, I had a wonderful job at University Hospital in Madison. But then, when grad school ended, we moved and there were no openings in the hospital in the little town we resided in. I worked in a factory for 3 months.

With the birth of 3 children, I stayed home with the babies. Did I work? Hmmm. Soon the kids were in school. Then it was volunteer for this and that. Cookies to bake. Carpooling. Did I work? Hmmm.

Soon we decided to home school. That added teaching to the list of "to dos." Back to English, Math, Science, History (I didn't like history the first time around), Greek (Yikes!!), music (oh no!), but work? Hmmmm.

When they trotted off to college, I figured it was my turn to work, but after sooooo many years........ I had discovered that I wanted to write. Enter correspondence school. Two years of study, lessons and writing and I was pumped to go. Work?? Hmmmm.

In the midst of pursuing my new career, another move was thrust upon us. Packing, cleaning, carrying, travelling, carrying, cleaning and unpacking.... Work???? Hmm.

By that time those college kids graduated and moved back in. Now they run a music studio from our home. Entrepreneurs, I guess. Gotta give them credit. About 100 kids come through my home every week. Do I work?? Hmm.

In my spare time I fill in at a local bookstore. That's legit work. I get a paycheck. I even work at the polls on voting day. That is more my civic duty, but I do get paid. I really want to write, but haven't pulled any kind of regular paycheck from that yet.

So, what do I say when my husband comes home and asks what I did that day? Hmmm. Can I say I worked? Some people would think I haven't worked for years. Is it work if you love what you are doing? Is it work if the regular paycheck is not there? If that is the case, maybe I've never worked.

Do I work? That was the question. Once I get over being insulted, I can now easily grin and say "no, not exactly." I know what I do, and someday it might even be considered work.


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