When we meet others, we often ask what they do for a living. It helps us to form an opinion of them, to define them in our minds, to describe them to others. We tend to identify ourselves with the job we do, whether it’s a profession, a part time job, a full time career, or just “work”. It’s interesting to note that I once read that “job” stands for “just over broke”, which is exactly where those who consider their place of employment as “just a job”, or “it pays the bills” often find themselves.

I myself don’t have “a job”, (thank goodness because then I’d be just over broke). I’m not “gainfully employed”, nor do I have a profession, a career or full time work.  I could describe myself as a” stay at home” Mom, except for the fact that my kids are in grade 5 and 7, but I am a Mom and I am often at home, so it’s not entirely wrong. Or maybe, a “domestic engineer”?  Actually, I’d never call myself that but it is an accurate description, nontheless.  There are actually many benefits to this “not working” thing, short of the obvious “not having a steady income “.

I am here for my kids for pretty much everything under the sun. I drive them to school, pick them up, keep them home when they’re sick, school trips, horse back riding lessons, hockey practices and games, homework, dentist appointments, doctor’s appointments, and of course, making sure they brush their teeth, wash their hair, clip their nails etc. etc. What it really means to me is that I don’t miss out on any wonderful (or not so wonderful) moments with them because I know that they aren’t always going to be under my feet, bugging me to make them something to eat, or help with their homework, or do stuff with them. Every parent plays a vital and unique part in raising their children, teaching them life lessons, and making sure they are taken care of. Right now, the best thing I can give them is my time and attention. I may not be able to buy them whatever they want, or take them wherever they want to go, but fortunately, their Dad can. (I’m partially joking when I say that because their Dad and I are not together, but honestly, we still share in their upbringing and always will. And I absolutely acknowledge everything he does for our girls, day in and day out).

I get to indulge in my passion for blogging, reading, and whatever else my little heart desires. Most people don’t have the time to pursue what interests them. Most people probably don’t know what they would do if they did have the time because they are too busy working at that job and trying to pay the bills. They may have never even thought about what would make them happy. I remember asking my (ex) husband once what he would like to do if he could do anything he wanted. He looked at me like I had rocks in my head. He really hadn’t thought about it before. But to me, my passions are what my life revolves around. I may not have that steady income that others have, but we all know that a steady income doesn’t guarantee happiness. And happiness is something that I definitely do have.

I have the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not out shopping everyday or travelling or having all these wonderful, exciting adventures. In fact, I’m mostly at home, on my computer reading or writing or doing housework, normal day to day stuff. The freedom I’m referring to is the fact that I don’t have to be somewhere Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, which I’d hate. Even when I worked full time, it was usually shift work, which I always found gave me more flexibility. The typical M-F job (there’s that word again!) makes me think of being put in a box. How does one ever get things done working like that? How do you get to a doctor’s appointment or dentist appointment, or any other appointment? Other than by taking time off. What if your child’s sick and needs to stay home? I get that it works for many, many people out there and they absolutely love working M-F and having their weekends off. I’m just saying it’s not for me, being the non-conformist that I am…heehee.

So how is it that I am able to “live the life of leisure” as I like to call it, or “the life of Reilly”, as my significant other likes to say?

The fact of the matter is that I work on an “as needed basis” for said “significant other’s” fire alarm business when he needs a second person to do fire alarm inspections. It’s actually something that I enjoy doing as I was a licenced fire alarm technician up until two years ago when I let my licence expire because I wasn’t working in the field anymore…but that was before he decided to go into business for himself…I’m contemplating renewing it, which now requires several tests and an exam…figures. It used to just be a matter of signing a piece of paper and sending in your money!

But I digress…so I do work some, and I blog (which I get a little something from) (not this blog) (it’s another one, you should check it out sometime, http://www.firefightingincanada.com/content/blogsection/3/41/) and I am a volunteer firefighter (which does actually pay, it’s not entirely volunteer). But the biggest reason that I am able to stay home and meander through my days doing whatever my heart decides upon is my “significant other” that I mentioned earlier. I agree to be at his “beck and call” should he need me to work with him, and he agrees to let me come up with a way to “define myself” from the comfort of our own home. I also acknowledge every wonderful thing he does for our family of four and I love him immensely.

I think I wandered way off topic there for awhile but it all comes down to this…how do you define yourself?

As for me, I am a mother of two beautiful daughters, partner to “significant other” of my dreams, blogger, volunteer firefighter, and someone just trying to understand who I am and what I’m all about regardless of my employment status, or lack thereof.

Jennifer Grigg