Saturday, May 12, 2007

What do you do?

(or how a simple heartwarming visit turns into a rant about what I think when someone asks "what do you do?"

My MIL called to see if she could bring her cousin over to look at all my pretties. Kerry's not home, Shaun's at work, me and Emily are still 1/2 a sleep in our jammies. Of course I say sure, come on over. Then I run around sweeping the floors and closing the door so no one can see the upstairs. I forgot 70 year old women can open doors. Ann is great. She ohhhh'd and ahhhh'd over everthing. Kerry's mom appreciates what I do but she's not crafty, apparently she talks me up like crazy. I made her a book for her 70th, took the pics at the party and then worked like crazy to get it done in two days. She loves it, shows it to everyone all the time.

Not that I need someone to validate what I do (I don't really even know what to call what I do) but to hear Ann and my MIL talking about me while I'm in the room made me want to cry. I get the usual "when are you going to get a real job?", "so-and-so is hiring, you should apply", "what do you do all day?", or "it must be nice to sit at home and do nothing all day", "someone's got too much time on their hands", this is usually heard when you give a hand-made gift and usually I mumble something "oh, I want to be home for the kids", "oh, I scrapbooked all day, made a few cards, nothing much really."

Never do I say in my big, grown-up voice "I am a self-employed scrapbooker(for lack of a better title, 'creative engineer' sounds good). I make things, I try to inspire others, I enjoy what I do and I make money at it! My hubby works hard and gets paid very well so that I can work at home and raise the kids and the pups. They are ours and we feel we should be the primary care givers (I know not everyone can do this). Maybe we drive used vehicles, maybe the house needs new flooring, but the kids don't want for anything, and I am here to see that they don't. Sure it means sacrifices and sure it means saving longer for the bigger stuff, but we still manage to save for their educations and our retirement, which if we didn't do then maybe we'd have a newer car, hardwood floors and already been to Disneyland.

Oh, so I'm re-enacting the story of Ann's visit to Kerry. "And Ann thinks the painted floor looks amazing and my cards are the best and blah blah blah" and Kerry says "how to you stay so grounded when everyone rants and raves about your stuff?" And I say "I just come upstairs and look around!" I might be creative but I never said I was nice!

What I really meant was that the house isn't that tidy right now, because frankly I've been sitting downstairs on the computer, I mean, planning classes. And then I want on to tell him that even though he thinks I'm great, and Ann and Doreen think I'm great, I look at Heather's stuff, I look at Yolanda's stuff and I think "Damn, their good! I wish I could be that good." And I know that they think that too, if not about me, about others whose creations they have seen. Oh, I have done a great job of getting off track.

I told Doreen and Ann that I should take a picture, because Kerry might not remember Ann and she'd be gone before he got home. And all that ohhhing and ahhhing made me realize that this intrusive taking pictures and documenting crap is paying off. I'm preserving memories, making treasured items. So I pulled out the camera and snapped away! What do I do for a living?
Eat potatoes! I can't be a creative engineer with out the energy they give me.


Dawn said...

Feel better?

You rock, in a thousands ways, and everyone around you sees it and knows it.

I wish the "What you do" question would be replaced with "who you are" a little more often!

Your biggest fan clearly knows the scoop on both those fronts--great picutre of you two!

Heather said...

I am grinning ear to ear, have a huge warm fuzzy place in my heart for you, teary eyed and ready with a BIG HUG!

YOU, my dear friend, are YOU! Being YOU takes a lot! That's what you do!
I can't even express what you DO for others!
You do BIG. You do it for others. You do it, because it's what you do!
Keep on doin'! Unfortunately, not everyone you meet wil 'GET IT'!
But, know that there are people who are close to you that always will!