“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


i am not this or that. i am all.

i am not defined by the color of my skin.
i am not defined by my sexuality.
i am not defined by the car i drive.
i am not defined by those 15 extra pounds.
i am not defined by that messy house behind me.
i am not defined by ailments or illnesses, 
broken fingernails or anger.
i am not defined by the computer i use.
i am not defined by the thinness of my bank account.
i am not defined by wrinkles or lines or acne scars.
i am not defined by cellulite or bone density,
or that bra strap showing.
i am not defined by what the lines in my palm say.
i am not defined by the price i pay for shoes
or haircuts
or chocolate.
i am not defined by the books i read.
i am not defined by no-children.
i am not defined by my politics.
i am not defined by an unplucked eyebrow or unshaven leg.
i am not defined.

on the nearing of my 58th birthday;
yes, 58 - i am saying it out loud - 
half a month away,
it is the only wisdom i know.  



  1. i love this, but fear you may be defined by your mobile phone. we all are..we can thank Steve Jobs. and I'm afraid that's not an iPhone. ;-)

  2. no. not an iPhone. lol! in that, i am defined by the thinness of my bank account. and ps - though i am not defined by what i pay for chocolate, those almond thingies i mentioned to you/blamed you for are now always on my grocery list. :)

  3. but that said, i LOVE my cellphone, and especially its camera. :)

  4. I hear you, I'm not defined by so many of those things either. :0)

  5. i hear you, yet often feel that as hard as we try not to define ourselves, we are defined in the eyes of others by exactly what you listed....
    wrinkles, etc
    i hope people define me as the girl who makes them smile or think. that would be enough for me.

    happy early birthday......xo

  6. I love this! Love that you are so strong, so sure of who you are. I need to embrace life (and who I am) a bit more. Thank you for inspiring.

  7. kathryn - we should hang out!

    beth - we are defined in the eyes of others by those things. however, i'm mean enough - and old enough - to not care about people who define me using that criteria. it is sometimes hard. ~~~~~ and you are definitely defined as the girl who makes us smile. and as a caring woman. xoxo

    heather - this sounds like i am so sure of who i am, and i guess in many ways that's true, but still, i am insecure. a worrier. a what-iffer. lol! sometimes weeks go by when i define myself by nothing but the thinness of my bank account. much of this comes from just getting older. a trade-off for having to wear reading glasses and owning jiggly thighs. :)

  8. I love that! Looking at oneself like a work in progress where who I am is never really defined, a shifting and moving kind of self...Happy soon to come Birthday to you :-)

  9. just fine. forget defined as it is a fickle fickle fate that has no substance. I am right behind you as I will be celebrating (Yes CELEBRATING in caps ) my 57th birthday in December.

  10. well, definition of 58, i never believed you with age. however, i did think you in late 20's or early 30's...
    and wondered how you had such wisdom at that tender age, it is now explained. you were 40 for while. the 40's is when we learn who we are. you have come a long way. in fondest. tilda

  11. I second that amen. a hundred times or so.

  12. anyes - yes! never defined!

    karen - defined is all smoke and mirrors. one poke and it all disappears. :)

    tilda - well! muchas gracias!!! xoxo

    jeannine & kelly - bless you both a thousand times.

  13. It's funny as women of a certain age what defines us is not the same as it once was. Some people define me by my haircut or my smile, but those that know me (really know me) define me by those things unseen.

  14. I'm turning 60 next month - not handling it well. I also thought you were in your 40's, LOL.

  15. I love this! I think we all need to keep this in mind. A beautiful message and it makes me smile.

    Best wishes on your up coming birthday!
    xo Catherine

  16. but,,you ARE defined,,don't ya reckon? or is that re-fined? Both I suppose, :)

  17. "...it is the only wisdom i know. "

    It's the only wisdom you need.

  18. I love this too! thanks for reminding me about me....so to speak.

  19. Yes.

    I do love your poetry, all of it, but this one in particular is fabulous!

    Birthday greetings to you

  20. your 'manifesto'? - so perfect...and strong. and so wise, even if you don't always feel that way. i have yet to put pen to paper, right now i would have no idea what to write except more and more i can see the start of it :)

  21. Hey, is your birthday next week? Happy soon-to-be Birthday!

  22. I can't count on all my fingers and toes the number of times you have made me sit up taller in my chair... I would have to grow more limbs.

    I want to print this out in bold and paste it to my bedroom ceiling, so it is the first thing my eyes and heart see when I wake. So that I remember. I fall for these traps all the time...defining myself for this stupid thing or that, forgetting that there is SO MUCH MORE to the story.

    I'm going to borrow some of this wisdom, ok?


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