The question was: "How do you feel about where you are in life?" "How do you hold up the way you do?"
Where I am in life now is in the house, on the couch, on the bed or in a walker or on a cane, gritting my teeth now and then against pain.
The answer is easy. I was lucky enough to have been born to two people who were part of "the greatest generation". They provided an atmosphere of quiet acceptance which was our norm, nothing extraordinary. My father, although born in the USA, was brought up in North England.
They lived by and for the sea. During the Great Depression smart young men served 5 years' apprenticeship in the shipyards before going to sea, then it was into the merchant ships and WWI. My father was torpedoed and survived against the odds. The next challenge was WWII. Now in the U.S. he faced yet another Great Depression and near poverty once again. As usual he stared it down, sleeves rolled up, and went to work against the axis, working his way up to the top in the Brooklyn Navy Yard building war ships day and night. When I was a little girl I asked my father what would happen to my granny if the Germans landed in London. He said "They'll send out the old women with their knittin' needles to take care of it.".
Small wonder then, that my situation shrinks in importance. Now it has become merely a sad party story with a funny twist. The twist is that a rare weekend vacation in Atlantic City ended abruptly with a fractured pelvis and elbow. A man speedwalked into my back as I stood in front of a slot machine. He declared bankruptcy and left the country, leaving me to fall back on quiet acceptance and rolled up sleeves (and an aversion to slot machines!) Months of hospitals and therapy allowed me to get around fairly well until a fall repeated the injuries and now I'm working toward "getting around fairly well" again.
People may call it stoicism. I call it "stiff upper lip" and "never let 'em see you sweat"! I'm still trying to live up to the Greatest Generation as I brag about how tough I am!
That's my story. The secret is it is my freedom from pity parties forever.