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Slowing down

Dear Annie: I am old, and I worry about falling. I have read advice to us old people on numerous websites on how to avoid falling. But one thing is missing: It is important not to hurry.

I have only anecdotal evidence, but I have observed that hurrying often leads to falling. One friend died after a fall rushing to answer the phone. My wife and I are careful not to hurry. — Taking It Slow

Dear Taking It Slow: Once we stop rushing, it is amazing to see how much more life we have to truly live. I love your letter. Thank you for your very wise suggestion. I would take it a step further and say that it is good to slow down whether you are old or young. Savoring life and not rushing allow us to appreciate the beauty this life has to offer. Many people are constantly trying to get to the next thing or the next step in life, and they miss out on all the wonder and joy of the moment. Meditation and gratitude journals are great ways to slow down. There are many other methods as well.

There is a profound Navy Seal saying: “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” I’m going to ask my readers for some tips on to slow down and enjoy life.

Dear Annie: I sympathize with “Bewildered and Beleaguered by Family,” who “always got abuse, judgment and blame” from family. I had to put up with a father who always felt he had to be contrary, no matter what, and who always yelled at me at the top of his lungs, frequently accusing me of things I didn’t do.

Eventually, I grew up and moved out of state, but despite what I went through, I tried to maintain decent relations. My parents called me and sent letters, and I called them and wrote also. Then, one day, I suddenly and inexplicably was told not to write to them anymore.

I don’t let it bother me now. I’ve moved on, and I believe others can, too. I remember the following quote from Bernard M. Baruch: “Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” — Not Looking Back

Dear Not Looking Back: I am so sorry that you had to endure that type of emotional abuse as a child. I wish I could go back and tell you to say to your dad, “What is more important to you: contradicting me and yelling at me all the time or having a positive and intimate relationship with your child?”

Without self-awareness, one cannot change. But you, my friend, have changed. Congrats. You sound like an incredibly wise human being. You survived a difficult childhood and came out on top. Chances are your dad was not nearly as psychologically aware as you are and didn’t even know what he was doing. He was probably repeating what he saw his dad do. If he does reach out to you, you will be in a position to help him see how much pain he caused you.

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