DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm a senior citizen who has already fallen twice. I was exiting our post office, pushing on the door at my speed -- slow. A young man flew around me and pushed the door wide open with his speed and strength. He did nothing wrong, but the door came back toward me with full force. I did not fall back, but I could have. I will order stamps by mail now.
As a senior citizen, I have given up on many things. I just need to say that someday that young man, with hair turned white like mine, might be glad to have the door held open for him.
My second fall resulted in a six-week cast on my broken right wrist and six weeks of physical therapy. My daughters and daughter-in-law took turns bringing me food and much more for six weeks. For now, I'm healed. -- Unsteady Senior, Sayre, Pa.
DEAR UNSTEADY SENIOR: So many people move through space unconsciously, not considering for a moment how their movements affect others.
Years ago I was given the advice, "Watch your wake." This is powerful to contemplate. When vessels move through water, they leave wakes behind them. If you've ever paid attention to boats as they pass each other, you know how dramatically different their wakes can be, depending on each boat's speed and the angle at which each passes through the other's wake. Even more, a boat's wake has an effect from quite a distance.
The translation for all of us is to pay attention to how we move through space and with whom we are sharing that space. If we are lucky, we will grow old, but with that can come what you are experiencing -- a feeling of vulnerability when sharing space with others.
Of course, each of us must figure out ways to protect ourselves. But wouldn't it be great if we all paid closer attention to the impact our movements have on those around us?
Thank you for your comments.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My upstairs neighbor is having a beef with a neighbor on my floor, and now they are involving me in it. I am friends with each of them, and we used to all be friends together. But something happened between them, and now they come to me independently and talk about each other. Also, when they host events, they often will invite me but not the other. So it's messy.
I have no stake in being friends with one more than the other. I don't appreciate being drawn into their drama. How can I get them to keep their beef to themselves? -- Caught in the Middle, Bronx, N.Y.
DEAR CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE: Tell your neighbors individually that you will have no more to do with their issues and that you would appreciate it if they would not include you. Although you are happy to remain friends with them, you will not be a party to their drama.