How I Am

How are you?
She asks.
Compared to what?
I think.

I have no idea how
I am supposed to feel
at my age,
never having been
at my age before.

But I do suspect
it ought to be
somewhat better
than I feel
right now.


42 Responses to “How I Am”

  1. This poem is sad in a way, but lovely written.

    We ask people how they are doing all the time, I once learned that in the English language, no one expects a real answer but even if you are miserable, you are to say : “very well, thank you.” It is a phrase.

    Compared to other times, you might feel worse. Better times will come soon I hope.

    Now maybe this poem has nothing to do with how you currently are doing. Maybe a {{{{ Big Strong Hug }}}} helps a little. And one of your nice ups of tea?

    And how are you doing really?

    • belfastdavid Says:

      *Big Smile*

      Thank you Ina, I am fine really – the poem was written as a gentle bit of fun about that particular greeting – as you say it is meaningless really! ๐Ÿ™‚

      But I am looking out on a grey, windy, rainy day and your hug has greatly improved my mood ๐Ÿ™‚

      Just off to make that cup of tea now ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    I found, where I walk with Karley people say: “how are you” and the answer is: “thanks (for asking, I assume), and yourself?”. I have been practicing, but I am not good at verbal short hand – though it doesn’t give one much time just walking past someone… on the other hand at the supermarket checkout people are usually saying ;”How are you today?” and they certainly could not care less about one’s answer, –
    but there is one checkout lady who just chats with the others on checkout so that one feels like a passing shadow (except when it comes to hand the cash over ๐Ÿ™‚ – and I feel very annoyed at it??
    Though isn’t it nice when someone really wants to know how one feels …
    Ooops! rambled a bit here!
    I like your poem, just wonder why you are wondering if you should feel better than you do – coming back to: “compared to what?” Actually if you play this game and say :”compared to being caught in a storm” – you will always feel good ๐Ÿ™‚ (chuckle!)

    Wish you a happy week,
    with Love,
    Vera & Karley

    • belfastdavid Says:


      Thank you for providing me with a big smile on a Monday morning ๐Ÿ™‚
      I feel your frustration “grin*
      In our supermarkets they adopted the American habit of the checkout girls saying “Have a nice day” after you had paid – The falseness of It used to really annoy me!!!

      And yes it is lovely when someone really wants to know ๐Ÿ™‚

      I am smiling too because the poem was really about playing the “compared with” game. Our weather today is beautiful compared with yesterday “chuckle”

      Wishing you and Karley a week of smiles.
      With love

  3. When asked the question, “How are you?” The first thing I think usually is – “You don’t really want to know.” So I end up saying “Fine, how are you?” and most times I don’t really want to know either. I like the last stanza a lot. Cool!

    • belfastdavid Says:


      The games we play which help oil the wheels which make the world go round ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. I was once told .. never lie.. so I often say .. hanging in there lol.. depending on the day! thoughtful piece David.. enjoyed it..Katherine

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Katherine,

      I am often tempted to respond by saying “How long have you got?” ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. They say there are four stages to a man’s life:
    1) Ow! I want my mommy!
    2) I am indestructible!
    3) Guess I better watch my cholesterol.
    4) Oh well…It’s only cartilage…

  6. christine Says:

    Hi David,

    I enjoyed thuis; I remember it from before.

    I usually say “not bad” when asked but thats only because in early recovery I was told never to say “fine” !

    I am certainly not fine at the moment. I also suspect I could feel somewhat better. Roll on the end of the antibiotics!! Hope I will be okay for us both on Thursday.

    Lots of love
    and a big hug however you feel



    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hi Christine,

      If you are going to be okay for Thursday then you need to look after yourself in the meantime.
      So make sure you do that!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      (Big gentle hug)

      Lots of love

  7. Hi David –

    It’s a lovely piece of writing. It makes me think, “my momma told me there’d be days like this…” lol I believe her more the older I get! Cheers, xysea

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Good to see you here Abigail,

      Your momma was surely right!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have put a link to your blog up on my Home page now – hope you are Okay with that

      Take care

  8. Hi David,

    This made me smile. There are so many conventions in society that are very annoying.
    I avoid answering the question if possible. If I can’t I usually say “I can’t complain and you?”.
    Oddly for about half the people I say this to, it irritates them and I get a sarcastic ” Well aren’t you lucky” back. *LOL* people confound me.

    Then again this poem also remindeds me of how many people I’ve smiled at on my way somewhere.
    So I try not to get too annoyed about it, because for some I guess it is as meaningful a conversation they’ll have all day. The social politeness is something we miss when it isn’t there. Can’t win! Annoying when you have it and missed when it’s replaced by a machine. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope you have a good week ahead of you and that the sun eventually comes to stay. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hi Tikarma,

      Thank you for making me smile this morning.
      I seem to have touched into a world-wide phenomomenon (Have I spelt that right? – WordPress doesn’t do a spell check) here. Or perhaps it is only in the English speaking world? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Smiling at people is different though – I try to remember to do that when I am out and about – it seems to smooth the way through the day – particularly when I get smiles back ๐Ÿ™‚

      The sun has been flirting with me through the last few days. And if I am honest I prefer it not too hot and with a little bit of a breeze.
      And anyway it is a pleasure to walk through a soft and gentle rain ๐Ÿ™‚

      You have a real good week too


      • christine Says:

        What a lovely sentence, “The sun has been flirting with me…” !


      • belfastdavid Says:


        You are welcome to use it Christine – provided you put it in a poem!!! ๐Ÿ™‚


      • The sun has been flirting with me
        And I flirted back
        Now it is evening and I am all red
        Like the sun is


      • belfastdavid Says:

        *Laughing out loud*

        Wonderful Ina ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Almost forgot the title “the big blush”

        I do hope it is okay I again used one of your lines as a start for an attempted poem. “Man in a room ” was fun to do too )
        If I can, I would like to put this little one here on my blog as well?

        and then I won’t use you anymore as a well of inspiration, promise ๐Ÿ™‚
        {{{ hugs! }}}

      • belfastdavid Says:

        *Big Smile and a blush*

        I am delighted Ina to be used as a source of inspiration. I take it as a compliment. ๐Ÿ™‚
        I often find my inspiration in things other people say, or do, or write ๐Ÿ™‚

        (((Big hug)))


      • *LOL* Almost!
        I find I sit here on WordPress with a dictionary, it is strangley quicker than copying and pasting elswhere that does have a spell check. Even so…I still manage to type words backwards and confuse letters. *smile*

        I have a feeling no matter where you go in the world you will come across the equivalent of “how are you?”
        I live around a lot of eldery people so I always remember to put on my smile when going out, it does seem to be appreciated and I hope that when I’m elderly someone my age will do me the same favour in turn. ๐Ÿ™‚

        And… I do agree that was a most lovely line. ๐Ÿ™‚

        The sun has been flirting with me… ๐Ÿ™‚

        ‘The sun has been flirting with me
        Winking through the clouds
        carressing my arm in tender warmth
        Only to disappear as I turn ’round…
        Look up to see there she is…
        Half a smile….
        Always flirting with me.’



      • belfastdavid Says:

        *Big, big Smile*

        I do love it Tikarma when a blog takes on a life of its own ๐Ÿ™‚

        Love your poem and I can easily imagine the smile on your face as you wrote it – certainly I was smiling as I read it ๐Ÿ™‚

        Smiles are always appreciated, particularly as we get older. You keep smiling – it helps brighten up the day ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. lol …. i’ve felt that way before, too.

    if you ask me how i’m doing
    i’ll never answer “fine”
    i haven’t been within that land
    in a long, long time

    fine is where the people play
    when they shut their minds-away
    and i stay-open
    like a book …
    for any soul who takes a look.

    so don’t ask me if i’m doing fine
    i haven’t been to that land in a long, long time.

    (i wrote that like 10 years ago or so …. one of the few original works that for whatever reason i socked into my memory). even today, when asking a neighbor ‘how they were doing’ i got the standard “fine” and thought what a waste for the possibilities of real pleasantries.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Wonderful!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you Eileen,

      I come away from your poem with a big smile on my face ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. David,

    “How are you?” *grin*

    I like what you did with this. Now, in the Southern USA, we say; “How are y’all doing? How’s your mama’nem (mama and them–meaning rest of family)? And the other person answers; “We are doing just fine, y’all come on up and see us. We’ll be real glad for the company!” And, of course, all of that is just as trivial as the curt “How are you?” because it is what we have all learned to say to show we have manners and are polite.

    “I’m fine” Really! :–)

    Much love, and I DO hope you are well. Take care.

    • belfastdavid Says:


      What a wonerful word – “mama’nem” I have never heard it before and it makes me smile ๐Ÿ™‚

      Now if I was in the Southern USA I would be thinking – Bloody hell when am I going to find the time to go visit all these good people? ๐Ÿ™‚

      The social niceties in different parts of the world are fascinting

      And I am well too – Really! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love to you


  11. Perfect, David. Not a word wasted, and every one absolutely right. I think this is my favourite yet; it’s so true, funny, poignant – just wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Nick,

      I really do appreciate your comment.
      Sometimes we never know whether a poem works or not until we expose it to others. I am delighted with your response

      Take care of yourself

  12. Well, I guess it is the tone in the voice, when the question is asked that counts? Most people just want a “I’m fine, thank you, how are you?” when they ask how someone is! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • belfastdavid Says:

      That’s true Paul,

      Although it is strange how these meaningless greetings become established norms.
      Is there any difference between Florida and Yorkshire?


  13. Big Smile for your ponderings!! I often wonder these things myself… Thanks for making my morning!! Big Hugs!!

  14. I love “compared to what…never having been at my age before”

    A witty piece of writing. Keep up the good work

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