For those who do not know: I am not teaching this semester which technically also means that I am not working (in a regular job which pays at the end of every month).
The reason: My Ph. D. degree is long due and I am yet to defend my thesis and get a degree. In this post, I will refrain bad-mouthing my University and get to the crux of this post - My status as a non-teacher and a non-working individual.
For the most part of my life I have always been either a student or more recently, a teacher. I have enjoyed being on either side and hence had something seemingly purposeful to say when asked, What do you do?
Of late, I have to explain in more than one sentence as to what I am doing. Sometimes, I just respond by saying, I am a Ph. D scholar.
Period. The queries don't stop there. They continue like constant dripping on a rainy day: You were working, na? What happened? Don't you have a job now? So, you are sitting at home idle?
Well, it is true that I had been working and that I had a job but that does not mean that I am idle! On sunny days, I take it in my stride and nonchalantly brush off the queries and patiently reply: I am writing research papers and also working on a couple of other academic things
but on not-so-sunny days, I refuse to answer and simply try to cut off the conversation. Simply put, I am tired of explaining to all and sundry my status of being a non-teaching and non-working woman.
While some are pleasant and chirpy: One needs a break
or Being at home is good
or Take this as an effective 'me' time,
others quip in, No personal money now
or Aren't you bored?
Well, all of the above is proved right at some point but sometimes it's just a bit repetitive to hear the same words over and over. Translation of being a non-working individual is idleness and prolonged sadness. I see that there is a general belief among most of the people (I know) that being at home is endless pain and misery. The joy of having time to oneself, sleeping and waking at will, prolonged time in the bath, extensive reading is practically unnoticed by people. The fact that not working equals to not having money is a very crude way of looking at employment.
Even today morning, my close relative called up and asked me, What work do you do, anyway?
I realise that I cannot blame people and their views and beliefs. Their world-view is limited and narrow. On my part, I should strive to not take things personally and brush them aside and do what I am doing: Being happy and controlling time!
So, what have you to say about the non-working status? Isn't it fun and joyous (even though for a limited period)?