What do you do?

It’s a totally normal question, but I feel it comes with some weight in my present life. “What do you do in Scotland?” I always assume it initially means, “Why do you live in Scotland” and the easy, normal response is, “My husband’s work brought us out there.” Maybe, or maybe not a follow up with what he does. Then there’s the variety of follow-up questions from “Are you working there?”, “What do you do all day?”, “Do you have kids?”, and “So what do you do all day?”

I know these are probably innocent enough questions, and I’m probably more sensitive to them from my vast amount of time unemployed mixed with a preconceived idea that a housewife without babies sits around and eats bon-bons all day. Back when I was not-totally-intentionally unemployed, my life wasn’t glamorous in the fact that I was actually dedicating about 6-8 hours a day job searching, applying, and interviewing…. but of course it did have a lot of extra padded time for the gym and meeting for lunch. But people always asked, “Aren’t you getting bored?” No. I never got bored. There’s always stuff to do and fill the time productively.

But it seems from my encounters, people have a really hard time imagining how they would spend their time if not slaving to the man or changing diapers. I don’t really get it because isn’t that all what we’re working towards…getting out of the grind? Well I’m out baby, and this is how I spend my time.

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Horsey selfie.

I do work. Just a wee bit. I have two clients whom I manage their social media and create content. So that’s creating a two week calendar every week, scheduling all the posts, responding to consumers throughout the day, writing blog posts, and a once a week call with my employers. I also work Friday mornings at the stables I ride at in exchange for a lesson, because as it turns out, horseback riding is an expensive hobby. This is not easy work as it turns out…. filling and hanging about 60 hay nets and 30 water buckets, grooming and tacking up the school horses, sweeping the yard, etc.

Speaking of horses…beyond my stable job, I spend a lot of other time horsing around. I volunteer every Tuesday with the Riding for the Disabled Association (The RDA) for about 3-6 hours (depending on need). I take 2-3 riding lessons a week, and take a night class for a general certificate of Horse Care on Thursday nights. The class is two hours long and an hour away. So that’s a pretty large chunk of time where I’m busy and smell like horseshit.

For the last year and a half I also volunteered on the board for the American Woman’s Association. This commitment was 3 Wednesday’s a month: a board meeting, a general meeting, and my position, hosting/welcoming newbies to Aberdeen for a coffee.

Then all my other hobbies: book club, golf lessons every week, actually going out and golfing, running/working out/training for stuff, planning travel and holidays (more time than always anticipated), writing personal blog posts, entertaining guests, meeting friends for coffee and/or lunch, staying in contact with friends stateside, attempting to sew, taking pictures of sheep and coos, and walking my dog an hour, if not two hours every day.

How appropriate...our bookclub book for the month.

How appropriate…our bookclub book for the month.

I might also spend a fair bit of time trying to get Stella to pose for pictures.

I might also spend a fair bit of time trying to get Stella to pose for pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These coo pictures won't take themselves.

These coo pictures won’t take themselves.

Walking Stella is such a chore.

Walking Stella is such a chore.

Leaving the last bit that takes up my time…. Domestic Goddess/Manager of the Fellowship of the Babcock duties. I meal plan for the week, grocery shop and cook. I clean…not well or consistently, but it’s there! I fight with the gym to change membership rates, waste hours rearranging my day for a plumber that never shows, figure out the process of renewing car tax, sort out the weird expenses and bills we still have in the states, help my mother book her travel/figure out instagram, and engage with the neighbors. Phew.

AND. I tend to average about 8 ½-9 hours of sleep a night. WINNING.

So for the past (nearly!) 2 years…that’s what I’ve been up to. It’s a tough life I lead, but have faith I’m never bored and always well rested. Unless we have a 6 am flight…

4 Comments

  1. Renee Shortz

    until a person goes out of their “norm”, their comfort zone, their own country, they will never really understand what it’s actually like. To live in another country. To pack up and move and put your American life on hold. To find ways to fit in and do things and learn about another language or culture. To continually find ways to feel like “yourself”. People will always ask, until the end of time. Even when you go home, they will ask “But didn’t you get bored?” I say enjoy and take advantage of every moment. Savour this time. It makes you richer 🙂

    (do you also get “but don’t you miss your family/friends/home?” a lot? I still get it… 22 years later!)

    Reply
    1. Lauren (Post author)

      Oh my god yes! Or, “I could never move abroad, I just love and/or would miss my family too much.” Like we’re these heartless, awful people because we changed countries, bwhaha!

      Reply
  2. Lillian

    I just wrote about this earlier this year! It’s so hard to explain and makes me feel so small. We do so much and have sacrificed so much yet just because we don’t have ‘that job title’, it all seems like never enough. I would love to know more about the social media you do for your clients… it’s something I’ve thought of getting into myself 🙂
    http://www.lilliansmall.com/2016/02/thoughts-from-an-expat-spouse/

    Reply
    1. Lauren (Post author)

      Just read your post- yesssss. So glad it’s not just me!!

      Reply

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