Saturday, February 25, 2012

What I'm Doing

As a housewife in the D.C. area, I get a lot of strange looks and the awkwardly phrased question, "So...what do you do?" Often, there is a badly veiled connotation that the speaker believes that I don't really do anything. I've even had people say these very words: "Don't you get bored sitting around doing nothing?"

I just laugh and tell them....

First of all, I'm being a housewife. People don't realize how totally awesome this is. Because I have flexible hours, I can babysit, go to Bible studies, meet up with friends, a totally fluid, not exact, often spur-of-the-moment schedule. I relish it! This also means I try to cook a lot. Since I (in my totally fluid, not exact, spur-of-the moment nature) don't use recipes... and when I do look at them, I never follow them to the letter, I often get in a rut of cooking similar things for several weeks, and then move on to something else. I'm grateful that Paul never complains, and he always seems to think it's better than what he would have made on his own.

Also, being a housewife means that I feel responsible to do a lot of the chores around the house. On the whole, this wouldn't be such a bad thing if I weren't so irresponsible. Clean the bathrooms? I say.... oh yeah, they definitely need to be cleaned....right after I finish reading this chapter....and the next one....and the next..... So cleaning and picking up are things I struggle with. When I really get going, I enjoy them and it's satisfying work because the difference I make is really obviously apparent; it's just the getting started that is SO hard. But again, Paul is gracious....and prods me on to love and good works when another month goes by and the kitchen still hasn't been mopped. (yes, that's probably the priority on the cleaning list right now.) A few other things that I think fall under the privilege of being a housewife: working in the backyard to get it ready for planting, grocery shopping, laundry, sewing, scrapbooking, decorating, and occasionally setting up or hiding surprises. I'm so glad I can have this life--it is full and varied, and I know I'd go crazy if I had a regular 9-5 job where I knew what was going to happen every day.
But, believe it or not, my life is even more full! I am also a piano teacher. Without taking the time to count, I think I have about ten students. So it's not a lot, but enough to feel like I'm beginning to understand how different students need different styles of teaching. My students' ages range from 5 to that explains some of the need for different styles as well. I enjoy it though, because almost all my students are really excited about their lessons and really practice over the week. I see them all improve quickly, and it's a joy to my heart to be able to teach them something that I loved learning.

Lastly (and this is probably the most exotic) I spend my time writing. For the last year and a half or so, I've been working on writing children's chapter novels. I've finished one draft, which I'm calling Home in America, and am currently editing the manuscript and trying to prepare it to submit to a list (still being developed) of children's book publishers. This first novel is a mid-grade (8-12) family story about a little girl (8) who has to deal with brothers, school, and friends. Through funny, interesting, and heartfelt situations, she learns to be herself and sees why her life in America is so wonderful. (no, she is not an immigrant...."native" Americans can learn to appreciate their home as well.) The second story I'm working on, which I've set aside half-finished in order to complete this first is a very different sort. It's a young-adult fantasy dystopia about two opposing city-states and a teenage girl's quest from one city to the other to find her missing father. It's a really fun adventure story, and I'm excited to get back to it when I'm done with Home in America.

Also, you may see that I spend quite a bit of time reading. I do this because I love it, but it's also my form of research. I like to read old classics pretty much just for fun. But I delve into the children's/YA genres to see what the trends are in story-lines and analyze how different authors use dialogue, description, and foreshadowing techniques. It's so fun and interesting...and it's something I've wanted to do my entire life.

So when people ask, and I go on for about fifteen minutes telling people "what I do", most of the time, the condescending looks slide off their faces and are replaced by often inspired, kind of jealous looks accompanied by the words, "That's so awesome. I wish I could do that too...."

I mean really, who wouldn't want to be a housewife?


  1. I love that you love where your life is at right now. What a gift from God, Kathryn. :)