One characteristic of the males in my family is the fact that we long-lived and we age very slowly. We also seem to have better muscle tone than our peers, and we all have very thick hair. It's a wonderful problem to have, but I have discovered an issue that might help writers whose characters are shape shifters. One of the things that older people told me is that there is a "set point" in the way we perceive ourselves. For me, that set point is when I was about 18 to 20 years of age. Even at 62 I don't walk any differently, my sense of humor and flashpoint of anger is much the same. Even my work-out routine does not mirror being older. However, there's this "facial recognition" condition. When I look in the mirror, I expect to see "me." My eyes are the same, my hair is the same, except that now instead of being thick and chestnut, it's thick and gray to white. It feels like wearing a mask. I also hate haircuts, and I only get two per year. Yesterday I told the woman who waited on me to "just cut it all off." I figured by the start of riding season it should look natural and more scruffy--like "me." The screen on my lap-top is reflective, and when I flipped the computer on this morning, again I saw myself. Yet another guise, and it wasn't "me." Then it dawned on me what shape-shifters might experience. No matter what person or object they transmogrify into, they will always have a sense of self. But more to the point, there's a more desperate search to find personalized touch-points. And the more dramatic the change, there is a slight element of panic, disconnection and loss. Yesterday I looked only slightly different than I had for decades, and I could make an adjustment with only a few rationalizations. For a moment this morning there was a flush of a more permanent loss. But this was not a new feeling, it was another example. About four years ago I decided I was carrying way to much tissue, both bulky muscles and fat. I had a work-out trainer change my lifting schedule and I kicked up my cardio from 'agressive' to 'insane.' I lost 80 pounds. There are full length mirrors by their stretching area, and I don't know who this 'new guy' is, but one day I caught a glimpse of him, and turned around, thinking someone else was coming up behind me. You can shift your shape, but you cannot shift the core of your being.