Date: 2009-10-18 05:56 pm (UTC)
And I've learned that emotional work is hard work, undervalued work.

Amen to that!

I dread the question of "what do you do?" because I know people mean "where do you work?" when they ask it. So I usually respond that I'm on disability. If they are inquisitive enough, the next question is usually "what do you all day?" and I actually like that question better. It does often come with a sense of judgment attached ("if you're not out there working and being a productive member of society, what in the world could you possibly be doing all day?"). I usually treat it with a bit of sense of humor at first - "well, I watch a LOT of television" and then if they seem like they actually want to know more, I get into the good days/bad days aspect of it and talk about all of the neat things I get to do on good days.

But none of that really qualifies what I DO. Because, yes, I do a lot of emotional work on myself. And taking care of my health is a full-time job in and of itself. And managing the parts of my life made more difficult by being chronically ill is a big job. And talking openly about my life as someone with chronic illness and trying to spread awareness and advocate for others is a big job. But it's hard to say all of that in answer to "what do you do?"

Maybe I should change how I answer that question. "Well, I spend most of my time and energy on staying as healthy as I possibly can" or "My job is to manage my chronic health issues" or "As a disability activist, my primary focus is on advocating for myself, and it takes a lot of energy just to do that!" heh.

Anyway. I like your answers a lot.

Great post.
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