What do you do … 🤔


What do you do … 🤔

When I was asked what I did, I would respond with “I’m a software developer delivering mission critical applications to BC’s major forest product companies.”. And invariably this would lead to more questions about the work itself.

Now that I’m retired when I’m asked the same question, I say “I’m a road cyclist.”. People look at me with a questioning look, and then say, “No. You have too many wrinkles and grey hairs to be a pro cyclist. What do you really do?”

It seems employment is the only worthy thing to do.

What do you do, is the wrong question. It answers how we may pay the bills but it doesn’t begin to answer who we are. What interests us the most. What our personal goals are. We are what activities we enjoy, the foods we prefer to eat and drink, the places we have visited and want to visit, the books we read (or not), the movies we watch (or not), the sports we enjoy (or not), what we dream, and the things we Google.


If you were able to see what I have Googled during the past week you would see a list of light weight touring kayak sites, books authored by Eden Robinson, David Herlighy, and Danny Laferriere, polarized training specifics, various recipes for muffins, salads, and stir fry techniques. That’s who I am this week.

Google searches leave an interesting, and revealing trail. Businesses know this, and are cashing in. They are a glimpse into momentary interests. A cursory, fleeting look that may, no will, change over time, as we continue to navigate through this life experience.

The next time you meet someone for the first time, don’t ask them “What do you do?”. Instead, consider asking them what movie they have enjoyed recently, what book they would recommend, or what they Googled last night?

You will surprised with the response, and where the conversation leads.

You may not learn how the bills are paid, or paid at all, but do you care?

6 thoughts on “What do you do … 🤔

  1. As I am an ESL teacher (which is something you should never admit to at a party when talking to an attractive member of the opposite sex–they will just walk away) I often teach this question as a contrast to What are you doing? So often my students get it wrong when I ask it.
    What do you do?
    I am studying English in Canada.
    Oh well, it makes for a good first lesson…..I guess.

    You’re right, though. Too often we let the job define us, when it does a generally poor job. I am an ESL teacher, but I would much rather say I am a blogger, or writer. Someday, when it pays the bills, I will. That I promise myself.

  2. The past week I’ve been hill walking in some glorious surroundings with lovely weather and had a great time.
    But come home to a worrying family situation which will take some sorting out,you still worry about your children even when they’re grown up and flown the nest,but that’s another story.

    The weathers suddenly turned nasty as well,going from 20c and sunny to 12c 40mph winds and torrential rain,so done no cycling for 7 days or the rest of this week judging by the forecast.
    I’ve been toying with the idea of a turbo trainer in the garage for some time,and this weeks weather has made my mind up for me.
    Just a matter of how much to spend and which model to buy.

    I’d call myself a professional tinkerer and general fixer/mender man,anything from bikes to lawnmowers (now retired) almost.😉

    • I have the same weather. Sunny and hot one day. Wet, windy, and cold the next. I don’t like the turbo trainers. Instead, I belong to a gym with spinning bikes and a weight room. I like the company, and the spinning bike saves wear and tear on my bikes. Sorry to hear about your “worrying family situation”. You are right though. I have 3 grown kids and I still worry about them. Being a “mender man” is a good thing. You must be popular around the house 😀

    • You’re right. That’s a better way of putting it. I listened to a discussion on the radio yesterday defining the difference between addiction and passion. I used to think I was a cycling addict. No longer. Addiction is a compulsive physiological need with negative consequences. A passion, on the other hand, has very positive consequences.

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