Over the last couple of years I’ve been wearing so many hats that when people asked me what I did I struggled to decide what to tell them first. Because invariably they didn’t want to hear about the eight different things I did in detail, they were just trying to start or continue a conversation.
I’m guilty of asking this question too. However, I feel that for some reason the question, ‘What do you do?’ creates a judgement around what you do, where you are in your life right now, how you live your life etc and I wonder whether we really need this judgement.
And so as I was sitting in my ski, paddling the canals of the Gold Coast one rainy Sunday morning I came up with an answer to the What do you do question and it goes something like this …
I give to charity so that women who are not as well off as me can have a chance at life that they wouldn’t normally get.
I eat well and I exercise regularly so that I am not a burden on the health care system.
I live as compassionately as I can so that all people live with respect, all animals can live without cruelty and the planet has a chance to thrive and support life for much longer than I am on it.
And to fund these things I work – I create recipes, sell ebooks and do affiliate marketing and I work with an entrepreneur and try to bring her crazy ideas to life.
I wonder if I’ll ever actually say it this way in a conversation with anyone, but I feel much more comfortable being judged on how I live rather than how I make money. Because let’s face it, in this world we need money. The kicker is how much we need. And I’d say we need a lot less to live well than we think.
Basically, I’m living well. And here is where I’m coming from:
I give to charity
I’m well off. I mean really well off. By this I don’t mean I have millions in the bank or drive a fancy European car, but I live in a beautiful part of the world, 300m from the beach. I can afford to go out to dinner and to the movies, I can do pretty much anything I want to do. I go on holidays regularly and enter events as often as I can.
I was asked recently if I’m rich and I replied YES! I have everything I need in life – love, food, shelter. I give gratitude everyday, and thank the universe for what I have because I know that there are millions of people who would look at my life and be envious. And so I can afford to give a little bit to help others in need. And yes I feel guilt that I don’t give more. Because I probably could.
FYI My charity of choice is One Girl. (I was even featured in one of their advertising campaigns for Do It In A Dress which is pretty cool.)
I eat well and exercise so I’m not a burden on the health system
Good food and lots of exercise is super important to me. It’s one of the things that I value most in the world – that I can eat well and I can exercise and keep fit. I’m nudging 50 but I feel about 30. I don’t have to go to the doctor or the pharmacy to help me feel well, to reduce my aches and pains or to help me live without being sick. Fresh fruit and vegetables, swimming, riding, running, moving are all things that help me achieve my goal of living a long and healthy life. I’m grateful that I don’t have medical issues that prevent me from exercising, but I also recognise that what I do day in and day out helps me to not have medical issues.
We are told constantly that our health system in Australia is bulging under the stress of unhealthiness. I feel like I’m doing my part to not contribute to the stress of the health system. That’s not to say I don’t have aches and pains or the occasional health problem, but I treat it first with good food, plentiful rest and movement.
I live compassionately
I guess everyone will think that they live compassionately but what it means to me is I don’t hold grudges, I try to be kind to people and if I say I love animals I don’t turn around and eat them. I also do what I can to reduce what I use. There’s the whole mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” and many people will buy products knowing they can be recycled (which is great), but the first step is to reduce. Reduce the amount you consume. We are a consumerist society, we are driven by media and advertising. But how many pairs of shoes do you need? If we create the demand the supply will follow. I’m trying to live much more minimalistically. I’ve got a long way to go, but I love the fact that I’ve been able to reduce the clutter from my life.
So that’s what I do. I’m living well.
And the work? Yes I work, but it’s not the driving force for me. I cook, I take photos and I share them. I sell some recipes and give away others. I promote and share products that I love. And I manage a number of Instagram accounts and do a whole lot of other bits and pieces – but it’s the three things – charity, health and compassion that drive me the most.
What about you? What do you do?