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What Defines You? – 2018-01-25

Was talking about this with a family member. Mike and I are looking forward to retirement, but often people are defined by their work and retirement is comparable to letting go of life. Have had many friends who have no depth to their topics of conversation: work is all they have. One of Mike’s favorite sayings is, “you can love work with your whole heart, but it will never love you back.” 60 days after you retire, you are forgotten by all but your closest friends. And, honestly, there are many who cease to live once they cease to work.

This topic raises so many questions: do I allow myself to be defined by my works? By what I do or am I defined by who I am? Or maybe a combination of the two?
Am I defined by what others choose to think/believe or by what I know to be true?
When I am around people who require chameleon relationships, and I blend in for the moment, does that make me any less of who I am in the real world?
Am I defined by the places I’ve been or the places I will go? Literally or figuratively?
Can I be defined by a word? A picture? Or is the definition a story? What does that story say?

In reflection, there will always be those who try to assign an inaccurate definition, as if their defintion changes the truth.

For those who say that my years as a stay at home mom were not significant, I point to my children and say, “those years were priceless, because my children are priceless.”

For those who say I could have done more, or coulda, shoulda would done things different, I can only say that each thing I did had both a promise and a price. Sometimes the promise was a learning experience and the price was paid through the school of hard knocks; sometimes the promise was in an amazing experience and the price was in stepping outside my comfort zone and taking a chance. You cannot know the price or promise another has paid until you have lived in their skin.

There will be parts of life which will be redefined with Mike’s retirement – yes, for me as well. But this is also a time of promise, we can choose to redefine much of what the next chapter looks like.

For me, I am choosing not to redefine myself. I find that my words are too simple, my definition too small, and the glimpses God has given of this next chapter are too big to be limited by my minute words and descriptions.

How do I define myself? I am a child of God, and I will let Him define me.
9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. I Corinthians 2