What Do You Do?
November 2, 2009, 12:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Do you define your life by your 8 to 5 job that brings in some coin of the realm? Or something deeper?

I got an e-mail from an old friend the other day in which he told me everything developing in his career. I wrote back and asked what was going on in his life. His response?

“I just told you everything that’s going on.”


Nothing about his wife, his kids, his hobbies, a book he’d read that inspired him, a conversation with a friend that made him laugh or weep.

What about you? You’re at a party, you meet someone new and they ask, “What do you do?” How do you respond? Do you tell them about your job, or do you tell them what stirs your heart?

Do you know what makes you come alive these days? Some people don’t know. They’re starved their heart into such a catatonic state that their biggest aspiration is to catch a good flick or play eighteen holes of golf on Saturdays mornings. Their dreams have melted into the sand and been washed out to sea.

What I would answer if someone asked me what I do:

  • I water-ski like a madman
  • I dirt bike with my boys into back country over our heads
  • I take long walks with my wife and talk about what we’ll do when the boys are gone
  • I write novels that I hope set people free
  • I meet with my men’s group to pray and laugh and cry together
  • I play guitar with a bit of ability and a lot of passion

Enough about me. Let’s talk about your life.

What do you do?


10 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great post — I ride my bicycle on park trails and imagine I’m in another place and time. I play with my dog and wonder what she’s thinking. I write — working at becoming a novelist –. I garden in season, and hang out with God, my friends and my family. All in no particular order, except they usually come after my day job, where I’m a corporate paralegal. (Gotta feed my dog somehow.)

Comment by Cindy Hays

Sad? Yeah, I totally agree, but when there are many days when you have no more than two hours to call your own and the rest you are busy at work, the answer to What do you do? tends to be about work. I have a bicycle that is gathering dust. I have a table saw that has been turned on once this year. I did actually complete a novel this year, but I had hoped to complete it last year. And though I might like to get off this ride and smell the roses for a while, there’s just too much work for that.

Comment by Timothy Fish

The plan is to start posting on a regular basis soon. Please don’t ask me to define soon.

Jim, you don’t have to define soon. A wise man named Webster did it for you:

… without undue time lapse…before long…


Comment by Nicole O'Dell

I run, I bike, I dance (when no one’s watching) I travel, I write, I try to be myself in a world trying to make me like everyone else.

I look forward to the book coming out Jim and more blogs!

Comment by Jim Murphy

I laugh, I smile, I cry, I love, I read, I watch, I play, I hold small children while they cry, I patiently wait for them to calm when screaming, I work on the same things with them over and over and over again until they get it.

I am a Special Education Teacher

Comment by Heidi B

I read, read, read! I walk 3 miles a day and about 1 mile with my dog! (He can’t walk 3 miles and he’s only 5, while I’m 72!) I think about God a lot and long to see Jesus when He calls me home. (I’m getting impatient). In the meantime, I’ll keep volunteering for whatever I can do at church – and keep reading and walking – with Him by my side every step of the way.

Comment by Evy Shaw

I try to bring a smile with my work, read to change my life a little more each day, dream and plan so I know where I’m going. But my prayers are flat and dry too often cause I’m not really living all out. I knew it – your book convicted me – I know it, now I have to do something about it!

Comment by Kim

Live it, Kim! I know you can.

Comment by jimrubart

LOL, I sure hope I wasn’t that old friend! If I was it was probably just my lack of social/communication skills and not a distorted view of what I “do”. Actually, I want to do so many things I tend to do nothing for lack of focus so I probably WAS that friend.

Well, maybe not because those who know me know that I have never defined myself by my job – I have always had a clear perspective that a job is just a job, a means to an end, not a life. My life is my wife and kids and I have happily sacrificed career opportunities in exchange for more time with them. I don’t need a lot of money. I am already rich in so many other ways.

Comment by Steve Meddaugh

You’ve invested wisely, Steve.

Comment by jimrubart

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