Years ago an old-friend asked me, “what do you do?”
Every now and then, that statement comes back and haunts me. I am sure I don’t need to explain how those words can make a woman feel. It has always bothered me. That a “friend” would ask me that. “What do you do?” As if my existence in this world or worth was predicated by how or whether I could answer that question to someone else’s standards.
Sometimes, when I feel down this statement comes in and I begin to feel even worse. I begin to question my talent, my education, my gifts, my identity. Usually comparison comes swiftly. But this morning I have had enough. I’ll answer that question in less than 15 minutes. Not because I feel it deserves any justification and certainly not because I need pity because someone was an a**hole to me one day. Today I am making the choice to recognize it for what it was – an ignorant statement from a miserable, aging, lonely person. I can understand now that in their life what a person “does” matters. How a person makes money matters. What initials a person can put behind their name matters and how THEY can benefit from it matters. I see now that it was said because my life was going well. You know those people who always have to find a dig? Those people that always try and knock you down a peg because they can’t stand the thought of some recognizing their dreams, or of someone being happier than they are. Today I am done with it. It was said, it sucked, it is gone.
I’ll tell you what I do.
I am a mother, a wife and a friend. I pray and work every day to be a better at those things than the day before.
I continually check myself and my motives to identify ways I can be more like Jesus. It is not easy. But every single morning I open my eyes I keep after it.
I fail. I make mistakes.
And that is all I have to be. I had several more points but they aren’t necessary so I deleted them, I know who I am and I know what I am “good for.” And if I were to list anymore of my skills, accomplishments or activities then I would be giving that stupid statement even more power. To be even more frank, if you are reading this for a list and are disappointed not to find one then that is on you – not me. (If you are still curious, I am sure Google can help you)
Know this, your life does not have to be defined by what you do or what you have. And if you are feeling like you don’t have much and you see those that do and start making judgements to your own worth, know this. There are many, many people who look like they “DO” a lot. Who look like they HAVE a lot. Some who get recognized daily for being great. MANY of those people are broken, lonely and miserable inside. They are unhappy because at some point they lost balance and chased after titles, position, appearances and money. If you have love, a family, children that drive you batty, your sanity, and your health than you are GOOD. You don’t have to DO anything for ANYONE, if someone in your life is asking you those type of questions, it may be time to reevaluate their place in it.
Now, I am so glad to release that bull from my mind. I refuse to be in the Rat Race.
p.s. I also make a pretty mean cheese board.