If I don’t say “now-a-days” because only old people say that, does that mean I’m denying who I am, Or being sensitive to the times? Am I trying too hard to be like the young people, Or am I blending in?

I don’t want to grow old so desperately that I am ultra- sensitive to idioms and styles and obsessions that measure up to 2019-times.

Yes, this makes me a product of my mother. My mother, the person who refused chemotherapy when she had cancer because she didn’t want to lose her hair. At the time I was dumbfounded: “ARE YOU CRAZY!” I thought, “What does losing your hair have to do with survival?”

Well, now I know it has everything to do with it. Although my mother was a beauty queen, and I am most certainly not, I might make the same choice if I had to. Don’t judge. If there’s one thing I know about people – I mean: KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt- All people are different! What motivates you, inspires you, causes you to want to wake up in the morning, was not the same for my mother.

Don’t you wonder: If your identity was cleaned away from you – everything you worked for, stood for, fought for, thought about. Everything you saw when you looked in the mirror vanished – what would be your response?

Really…

For reals… What would you need?

I do those personality tests where they ask questions about your reaction to certain situations, and then they ask questions about what your friends would say about you in certain situations. They use the answers to help you define your character. It helps when looking for work, or finding meaning in how you respond to life. They have been a tremendous boost to me in the last few years. Although I answer as honestly as I can, I always feel like I have to make up the parts about how friends would define me. How would I know? I have friends, I even have people I call best friends. But I don’t spend time with them. No one asks me to have tea with them. Or dinner. Or a drink. I love them, but very rarely does anyone call me to chat about life. Most of them don’t even read my blogs.

So how do I assign meaning and value to my life outside of what I see in the mirror, or at my job? Parents, how do you assign value to your life outside of your role as a mom or dad? Who are you really if it’s not what you spend most of your physical and mental energy cultivating?

Do you get it? Everyone wants to preach to me that my value is more than what I do, but that’s not reality to me. And I’m guessing it’s not reality to a lot of people. Which is why it’s urgent that we don’t judge other people for any reasoning or belief or philosophy about how they do life.

I don’t want to be perceived as old! It’s long road between a useful me who cares about life, and a frail one.

That’s who I am. That’s my reality. When I am slow, or can’t see the tiny print on the menu, my value is threatened. When I am most alive, I am energy! and strength! I know it could have terrible consequence. I know it’s erroneous. But that’s me.

Who are you? What threatens your survival? What do you wake up for? What makes your average day into an awesome one?

What I am saying here is there is no more important character trait than empathy. Find common ground that has comparisons of equal value to you. Empathy is the game-changer. Empathy builds love, connection, camaraderie. Empathy saves lives. Even when their choices confound you, empathize. Even when you know a different truth, empathize.