DearPeggy.com


Personal Reflections on my Roles in Life
by Peggy Vaughan

I'm 70 years old - and while I'm well aware of many of the drawbacks of getting older (mostly health-related), I'm also aware of a growing freedom to be more candid and "say whatever I think." This is not so much because I've gotten more courageous as that others are more tolerant of an older person's quirks - so that things I "couldn't have gotten by with" at an earlier stage of life are now generally more accepted.

One thing I realize is that I have let my various roles in life (daughter, wife, mother, friend, consultant, author) define who I am much more than is necessary - or desirable. But I still have trouble acting on an understanding that I've had for some time: "A role is only a task; we've been using it as an identify."

SO - I'm trying to figure out (in addition to the roles I play) just who I am as a person. I find that (like many people) I am quite contradictory. For instance, I'm super-responsible, but I think I'm a "wild person" at heart who has always kept myself under very tight control.

I'm also a person of high integrity, but still feel guilty a lot of the time because I'm such a perfectionist and never feel I'm "good enough." And I'm a "compulsive helper" who is not good at receiving help from others—not because I don't need it, but because I don't want to feel "indebted" to anyone else. I'm gregarious and quite a talker, but I LOVE alone-time and often wish I could live like a hermit.

Since it's an ongoing process for each of us (at whatever age) to try to clarify the various aspects of our lives, I expect to continue this effort to identify my priorities and make choices that reflect what's most important at any given point.

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