oh, and what do you do?

For years and years before my husband retired, I was an executive's wife often finding myself at awkward gatherings and being asked, "oh, so what do you do?" OR "so, where did you go to school?" and I couldn't help but always think, really? That's the best you got, huh? That's what you really want to know about me? 


because I would have loved to have told you how I'm passionate about photography and writing  and how nature calms my nerves or how I have the tendency to fall into books and devour them and that I'm fortunate to remember all the corners of my grandmother's house.

But you didn't ask. 

So today…it's your turn 
I'm asking

are you

believing, devouring, enjoying, forgetting, remembering, noticing, loving, questioning, holding, feeling, watching, cherishing, choosing, making, needing, wanting, anticipating or realizing

most importantly
what are you passionate about

this post was written as part of the bella grace blog hop in recognition of 
one lucky person will win a copy of the current bella grace magazine, just by leaving a comment here on my blog. a winner will be chosen on wednesday, may 11th.


  1. Love this post. I've always thought the same thing. What do I do? Code for what is your job so I can determine your wealth, intelligence and standing in society. Where did I go to school? Pretty much the same thing. Ivy league? Community College? Oh. How nice.

    That's not who I am. Nor is it any way to judge my worth to society. I am so many things. A wife and mother who takes those roles very seriously. A creator who loves photography, pottery and so many other crafts. A caretaker who remembers to send a card or letter to someone who is still grieving after losing their special loved one long ago, because grief doesn't have a calendar. A reader. A friend. A lover.

    I cry when I'm mad and make jokes when I'm afraid. I wish everyone would realize that you really shouldn't sweat the small stuff because life can be very short. I wonder why I have so much and others have so little. I don't understand war and doubt I ever will.

    Yes, I am a partner in my own company and I have a bachelor's degree in Sign Language Studies. But that's not who I am. It's not even the most important part of who I am.

  2. I have thoroughly be enjoying their Grace Notes. Your post is perfect. I remember when I had babies and all people could ask about were baby things and not about me. Often I would refuse to talk about the baby things, like what do you feed them now. I love that you have noticed this and responded. And still I find people don't know what to ask me since I don't work now, other than what do you do with all that time.

  3. I agree-I hate this question because it's lazy. I want to know what makes people interesting-what are they giving to the world? I usually ask someone where they volunteer because that tells me alot about a person and being a passionate life-time volunteer (I started when I was just FIVE years old, so this year marks my 40th year of service!) I really *DO* want to know. I think life is more about what you GIVE than what you GET. The funny thing is, the more you give, the more you get to keep for yourself-all the experiences I have had serving others has enriched and informed my life. I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of. Tell me how you give and you tell me who you are.

    The thing I am most passionate about is advocacy & education of future health care providers. I help them learn about rare disease and patient-centred and collaborative care, chronic illness and disability, ableism and inclusion. It's the most important way I serve right now. I am helping to change the way health care is delivered in British Columbia.

    What a great post!

  4. Oh yes, the executive's wife, totally get that and the annoying "What do you do?" question. I use to dance around the question, not working and having nothing that was my own. Now I say I am a photographer, somehow that comes easier than I am a writer, even though I have been published in both now.

    So how should we phrase the question we would like to be asked and want to ask of others?

  5. Such an insightful post, Beth.

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  8. I don't have time at the moment to reflect on & answer some of the questions you asked (I am sitting at my desk eating fast lunch) & thought I would take a quick peak at my FAVORITE blog! And once again you brought the tears! I don't know what it is but sometimes your words just speak to my heart & soul. It catches me off guard & amazes me (in a good way) that someone so far away that I've never met in 'real life' could feel like such a soul sister or kindred spirit! I guess sometimes it feels good to feel like there is someone (maybe others) out there that I could relate to on more than a superficial level. Once again THANK YOU. I just love & appreciate you, your words & beautiful pictures more than you may know!

  9. I think who we ARE is so much more important than what we DO - although sometimes, the things we do reflect who we are. But that's a different question, really. And in answer to yours, can I simply say, "All of the above?" Because your word choices are SO good :)

  10. Oh, you nailed it! And what am I passionate about? Loving this man who loves me the way I am -- hips and all; passionate about learning about my family -- the ones decades, no, hundreds of years ago, so they don't "die" in our family memory; passionate about a sweet little Purr Girl who pulls me up when I am down and all the flowering trees and daffodils I am seeing and my amazing friends who give me so much more than I deserve and the fact that life is just so darned good, even when it is prickly and tricky -- it's still so good.

  11. I could have written this!!
    I remember when my two children were still in diapers, and a neighbor asked this same question of me.
    "So, what do you do?"
    As one kid was yanking on my clothes trying to get my attention, and one had just been stung by a bee and was screaming his lungs out.
    Oh yeah, know how this feels.
    Great post!!!

  12. This is lovely.

    I wrote a blog post a few years
    ago that compared raising children
    to cathedral builders ~ you put your
    heart and soul into it, never (please
    God) to see how it finally turns out
    "in the end." When I was in the midst
    of child-rearing and homemaking, I
    wish I'd had the foresight to answer
    the "What do you do?" question with,
    I'm building cathedrals!"

    I will always be passionate about
    my children, but now that the youngest
    is 17, I'm delving deeper into writing,
    yoga, walks with my little Gracie-dog,
    photography, reading, and so much
    more. I can confidently say that I will
    never be bored, or hopefully boring : )

    Visiting from the BG Blog Hop. I was
    April 22....

    xo Suzanne

  13. Great post! I've been listening to a lot of Brene Brown and she said instead of "what do you do" it should be "what do you love" imagine the possibilities of that conversation <3

  14. Sweet Beth... I was a little late in discovering Bella Grace and now that I've found it, I can't get enough of it. I ordered a whole bunch of the previous issues all at once, and how excited was I to find you within those pages!!!!

    So, I supposed I just answered your question... I am devouring that beautiful magazine right now.. and I'm yearning to try a different way of photographing, seeking inspiration everywhere I go. Hmmm... I think it goes deeper.. I'm yearning for a more meaningful creative way to live. I love that you are still here. You inspire me. love love xx