Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Sister’s Sedentary Lifestyle Worries Sibling

DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to visit my sister, who is single and retired. We talk on the phone a lot, but we haven’t spent time together for a couple of years. I was surprised to see how sedentary her life has become. Basically she sits around and watches TV all day. She looks at romantic movies back-to-back from the time she wakes up until late at night. The only time she looks at anything else is when she is watching political news.

I thought I was going to lose it for the week that I was with her. I tried to get her to take walks with me. I suggested that we go to the mall or to visit friends. Nada. She just gets up, showers, cooks a few food items and sits in her chair. I am worried about her. This is no way to live. How can I get her motivated to get up and move and engage with her friends? -- Motivate My Sister

DEAR MOTIVATE MY SISTER: You may not be able to motivate your sister, but it is worth it to keep trying. Get her a fitness watch that can connect to yours. Encourage her to take walks in her neighborhood at the same time that you take walks in yours. Show her how you can stay connected and stay active. Perhaps you can entice her by suggesting that you watch a movie and take a walk. If you do both together, she may get inspired to join you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: At my job, we usually get bonuses at the end of the year. This year, I did not get a bonus. We did have a modest holiday party, but that was it -- at least for me.

I have worked at this job for more than 10 years. I don’t know what happened. The big boss didn’t say anything about us not getting bonuses, but I surely didn’t get anything. I am afraid to ask my co-workers in case I’m the only one. But I wonder what happened. Should I ask my boss? -- No Bonus

DEAR NO BONUS: It’s worth it to ask your boss, privately, about bonuses and what happened. It’s unfortunate that nothing was said to the group, given that it has been common practice for the company to give bonuses. Talk to your boss to find out what happened. Ask the questions that you want answered, including whether anyone else got a bonus and whether the company is financially healthy. � It is important for you to learn what happened for several reasons, including getting a sense of how you are regarded in the company in relation to your peers -- especially if others received bonuses and you didn’t. If nobody received a bonus, that could be a sign that your company is in trouble, in which case you might want to start looking for a job.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)