Monday, May 6, 2013

If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question, 'what do you do'?

I have been stumped in answering this question before. 

Mr H and I were on our honeymoon in Borneo. He enjoys diving and we headed out on a boat for the day with some other people. I am not a diver, I am also not really into adventure sports. On this day I was going to be snorkelling above the reef and hopping in and out of the boat, hanging out on an island and pretty much enjoying my day.

Mr H had to team up with someone else and they flipped themselves off the boat in all their tanks and flippers etc. Everyone had a great time. I lost 5 kilos from the fear that I would be eaten by a shark or left to drown out on the reef when I floated too far from the boat, but other than that it was fun.

Then at lunch, the woman who had kindly offered to partner Mr H, and her female companion asked me "So if you don't dive, you don't camp out on mountains like Kota Kinabalu, you don't mountain bike, you don't snow board,  what is it exactly that you do - because it doesn't seem like you two are a good match?"

I sat there thinking.

Then I sat there worrying.

I do nothing was all that was going through my head.

Of course I worked, I went to the gym, I went out with friends, I loved books. But that was nothing to these adrenalin junkies backpacking the world. They seemed rather sad for Mr H. He was fun, exciting and wonderful and I was just this little blonde nothing thing. 

Eight years later I am much more confident and would probably ask them if they actually had many friends as they didn't seem like the people many others would like to hang around with, and yep, that is probably why your husbands LEFT YOU.

So if they asked me today, I would say:

 I like to do little things that make a difference to someones day. 
I am social.
I visit new destinations.
I get to know other people and hear about their lives.
I am a part of my local community and involved with what's happening.
I like to learn new things and read books by new authors.
I attend pilates for the injured where women cry at how their bodies are failing them.
I dance (around the kitchen).
I look after my children and provide them everything they could possibly need  and then throw them a fantastic birthday party on top of that. 
Then I blog the lot. 

What about you? What do you do? 


  1. I love that! As someone about to be out of the workforce for a while, the thought of not defining myself by what I do is a little challenging. I do occasionally wonder what Hutch and I have in common,I have no interest in football or hiking and he has little interest in reading or social media, but we do enjoy each other's company so as long as that lasts I think we'll be ok.

  2. Such an interesting questions. I love this concept - but simply cannot commit to everyday. I love the way you have answered. Now you've made me want to do this one too :)

  3. I read, I cook, I look after my children, I clean and travel and blog the lot, too!

  4. Love it! I am asked this often and think I need to memorise something snappy and short. The question, "Where do you come from?" is enough to send me into a spin. There's never a straight forward answer!

    As for my husband and I, we don't have much in common. And that is why we're still together! Great post Claire! x

  5. This is a great question Claire and I love that you are now yourself and can answer confidently. I was the same, even twelve months ago I probably couldn't have answered. But now, I am confident to say I am a writer. I blog, I freelance and I am writing my first novel. One day I hope to be able to say I'm an author!

    I think so many woman struggle with this after having a family. It isn't always your job description that defines you. We are more complex than that.

    Great pondering Claire!

  6. Firstly what an awful thing taht lady said to you - especially on your honeymoon. '...because it doesn't seem like you two are a good match?"
    Thats just awful!
    My husband and I have different interests, we also have things in common and we also enjoy our quiet time together where we dont do anything - its perfect! eight years on I do like your ponderings and thoughts...we all have so much to give and our work/job should not shape who we are anyway...

  7. oh man, it changes everyday.
    and some days i can shout it out loudly and other days i still can't remember.
    today i just want to knit and eat soup. xx

  8. I agree what a terrible snarky thing to say.
    I could add more - you are a cheering commenter and lifter of spirits.
    I swing from a hammock (when I can) as my adrenalin sport.

    1. I like your kind of sport! I need to get more trees so I can get the hammock.

  9. I think I would have to get my cheek on and say "What don't I do!"

  10. My Husband is similar, climbing, mountain biking, diving (though not for ages.) I won't even snorkel. I find it very scary.
    I had similar things said to me, yet here we still are.

    For a long time I felt inferior when I'd think well, I like to read, to socialise, to hang about the house and bake... but now I don't mind. Plus there is blogging. Though that can still get weird looks!

  11. That was a nasty thing for them to say - on your honeymoon!
    My husband and I are completely different too, but I think differences make for a balanced relationship.
    I sew and quilt and craft and bake and take care of my house and family. That's what my contribution to this world.

  12. See, I can never think of these things on the spot. Never!
    But gee, what an amazing list, Claire. I bet it would have made them sit up and think twice. At least you're prepared for next time! :)
    PS. My hubby and I have vastly different interests and it makes for a far more interesting relationship. x

  13. Great answer!!
    I am passionate about dancing, tasting different cuisines, embracing the first-time mummy experience and blogging! :)
    To celebrate my first Mother's Day on the weekend, some other first time mothers and I decided to put our dancing shoes back on and create a Mother's Day video!


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