What do you do all day? Is a question I dread. When I am asked this question, I know the asker actually wants to know how I can justify my existence when I don't go out to work, in order to earn money, in order to have my lovely lifestyle. Why do I get to have a lovely lifestyle, when 'they' do not?
A wise friend tells me not to feel bad, because the askers of this question are simply jealous. While I'm sure she is right (and she has a similar lifestyle to mine) - the question still makes me cringe. How am I supposed to respond? And, more importantly - why, WHY do I feel I have to justify myself?
We have made choices, Rick and I, that enable us to live the way we do. Choices and circumstances have lead to this way of life. We chose to not have children. A choice for which we have been criticised. I have been told I have a small life because I don't have kids (thank you, old friend).
I didn't leave my job - the one I loved - it left me, and in no shape to get another. Rick works all the hours God sends - and then some - in a job he loves and at which he is very,very good. I help him all I can. If I could figure a way to force him to relax, I might be happier with myself, but I guess I can't have everything!
My health over the past few years has been pretty rubbish - though it's getting better all the time (thank you, new friends, for the advice and encouragement).
The bottom line? I do have a good life. I know it, I am greatful every day. And - if I'm allowed to make a belated resolution for this year - I choose to not feel guilty for not working three jobs, when I simply don't need to. I choose to not feel guilty, period.
For many years I have kept what is apparently called a 'commonplace' book. It is like a diary, but not really. My commonplace books (I have three so far) are simply notebooks in which I write quotes I find, pictures cut from magazines that appeal to me for some reason, passages from books I have read that have a special meaning for me. If you read my notebooks, you would know more about me and the way I think and feel - than if you actually met me! This is one of the quotes -
Maybe one of these days I'll be able to give myself a gold star for being ordinary, and maybe one of these days I'll give myself a gold star for being extraordinary - for persisting. And maybe one day I won't need to have a star at all. Sue Bender