I once sought counselling from the local pastor at my church. This was back when I was still trying so hard to be a Christian. My then-husband and I were having what seemed to be insurmountable marital problems. He was a bossy German American and I was a sweet, pliable, stoic Norwegian American, albeit somewhat stubborn. Clearly the two didn't mix.
During the course of this annoying consultation, the pastor said to me, "The trouble with you Ruth is that you don't see. You see through!"
Nobody had ever put it to me like that, but upon reflection, I would admit that this might be true. In time, I decided that it wasn't necessarily bad to be such, in fact, I subsequently watched myself to note those times when I was trying to determine someone's motives. And even more, I realized that I had a long history of doing just that.
I remember once at a family birthday party at my Aunt Lilah's when I was in early grade school. Several of my boy cousins came up to me and tried to entice me to go near a certain tree in the yard. Something about their behavior triggered suspicion, so I declined and ran away. I learned later that they had found a hornet's nest in the ground and they wanted to see what would happen if someone stepped on it.
You can't count on empathy when other people have their own agendas.
Seven years later, my then-husband and I decided to divorce. We helped each other through it, kept it amicable, and still have family gatherings where three generations laugh together and at one another. Yes, if you get over yourself, it can be done.
Growing old does not define me. I am more than that. I am more than just plain 'ol Grandma Ruth that tries to remember everybody's birthday. I like to read, to explore ideas, to figure things out.