Feb 07 2013

The Venn diagram of me

I spent a good chunk of today gathering and prepping allll the paperwork needed to do our taxes. Oh, I don’t do them, no no no; numbers are not my strong suit and I would inevitably screw something up and break the internet and the zombies would win and that would just be the end of that. I gather everything to take to a nice tax professional and pray that it is a quick bit o’ adding and thus not a ginormous (and unexpected) tax preparation bill.

But while gathering and humming and watching five inches of heart-attack snow land gently on the fifty year old branches hanging over our humble abode, I came smack up against my reality.

Taxpayer occupation: mumblejumbleIdon’tevenunderstandwhathedoes

Spouse occupation: homemaker

And that’s not just “homemaker,” but hoooomemaaaaakerrrrrr, like it’s slowing down and echoing down a large metal hallway, eerie music and all.

Even before having my masters degree ripped to shreds yet again in front of my eyes this afternoon, I’ve been struggling with the “what do you do?” question. I have no quick answer, no elevator pitch. I’m more than any one thing.



But…I’m also a flutist (teacher and amateur performer)…and a writer.


Let’s not forget a homeschooler. I do a lot of that.


I do quite a bit of freelance work. I call it freelance rather than “I will do anything for a paycheck short of selling my soul, just name it.”


Volunteer work is big in my life, through gifted organizations and school and homeschooling.


I’m a vocal advocate for the needs of gifted kids and their parents (especially their parents, including a book to come out summer 2014 on their needs); how do you slip this little tidbit into the quickie-don’t-really-care-but-asking-to-pass-the-time “what do you do?” conversation without diving into a hot mess?


And, oh yeah, I’m a wife and mom. You know, a homemaker.


Interesting how “Jen” gets more and more squished, hm?

I am every one of those things, passionately, but I am more than my descriptors.

I am simply the Venn diagram of my life.


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  1. Robin Steele

    Not exactly a Venn diagram (or, in this case, a “Jen” diagram) — but it’s certainly reminiscent of the fact that all the colors in the spectrum intersect to combine that brilliant white light in the middle of it all.


    1. Jen

      I love that Robin, thank you!

  2. Rebekah

    Could you just make up an occupation? You know, like Venn Diagrammatist?

    1. Jen

      I need to come up with something. “Homemaker” grates on me.

  3. Colleen Fourie

    I love this! Sounds just like a friend of mine, so I shared it with her…I love the way you write!

    1. Jen

      Thanks Colleen! 🙂

  4. My Kids Mom

    I answer, “I am not paid for any of my work.” If I tried to list what I DO, they’d get up and walk away. Saying it like that reminds them that stay-at-home parents are often very busy, important people. Me, I’m busy reading your blog!

    1. Jen

      If I listed all of what I do, people’s heads would explode. Mine is trying.

  5. Peter Lydon

    You missed the square Jen – that’s the Universe – and you’ll note – all of you is in it – whole and complete.

    1. Jen

      Sadly, I do not feel whole and complete, but the sum of the millions of my parts. :/ When I am fully in one of those parts I feel complete (I only want to teach flute, I only want to write, etc), but when juggling all the bits I feel pulled a million directions and at wit’s end. Not a pleasant feeling.

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