Trisha, her sister Julie and I had the rare opportunity to listen to a conversion between Alanis Morisette and Margaret Atwood. It was at the bridge event of the University of Alberta’s Festival of Ideas. I know I have so much to say about this evening, but I will start with an idea that Alanis focused on.

Her view is that today, society judges you on three things: wealth, fame and looking 21.  And she finds this so sad, as we should be judged upon our service and compassion and intellect, along with a long list of other really smart words she used.

I know that society’s views won’t change quickly, so instead I will adapt these three concepts to Kirsten Redefined.

Wealth – I may not have a $1.2 million dollar home and that darn Porche 356B 1967 Turbo I have been longing for for ages. But I am wealthy in the love my friends and family have for me. And I have wealth in my health. And I do have more than many others in this world.

Fame – I may not walk the red carpet, or even be well known in the city I live in, but I am known for the things that really matter by those who do know me. I am honest and caring and generous and compassionate. And funny. And within in my career I am known for taking pride in my work and staying true to my word and being dependable.

Looking 21 – I know I do not look it, but I love spending time with my friends and being goofy and I can never see that ending. My girls have already talked about how our yearly trips to Vegas will be when we are 50. When we get the break from our “real” lives, we are silly and find humour in so many things and giggle. And my friend Jessica and I have made a pact to never allow the other one to wear “mom” jeans, so I know we will always be young in that aspect.

I admit I have been caught up in the lure of the using material things to define myself. But through these last few years I have truly accepted and honour those things that are really important to happiness. The friends that matter know what I have to offer to the friendship and that isn’t dependant upon anything that money can buy.

My success is not proportional to the square footage of my house.

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