Your attitude is what defines you

Published 12:37 pm Monday, March 11, 2024

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Dear Aunty Pam,


I am rehabilitating my knee following a bad fall and am having to use a walker. I hate it! Using a walker is my worst fear, and even though I just turned 70, I’ve always looked (according to friends) and acted 20 years younger. Now, I feel like an old woman ready for the scrap heap.

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There’s another problem: I was recently invited to a ‘newcomers’ party at the retirement community where I live. The management does this each month and all of us longtime residents are expected to go and welcome whomever has moved in. I have always enjoyed going because it’s a wine and cheese get-together with music and sometimes dancing. This time, however, I don’t want to go and be seen as a crippled old woman. My friends say I’m being ridiculous, but they’re all active and upright. I told them they don’t understand but one day they will.

Am I being unreasonable? I don’t want someone’s first impression of me to be pitiful.

Thank you.





Dear Rosie,


Unreasonable? Not really. An old fart? You bet.

Look, Rosie, when my mother-in-law was in her early 90s she would go grocery shopping with her walker (the really cool kind with a built-in seat), take the seat top off and store bottles of wine inside. It goes without saying that she was the most popular gal in the joint.

I can well understand how going from feeling youthful and active to becoming dependent upon an apparatus is humbling and distasteful. No one wants to think about the confines of old age. But you are simply rehabbing—you’ll soon be back on your own two feet, so why not make a lark out of it? Have your friends come over for a little wine and decorating pre-party, and arrive at the Newcomers’ party with your walker festooned with ribbons, flowers and glitter! Trust me—not only will everyone be blown away by your dynamic spirit, but just think of how inspiring you might just be to those residents who do depend on walkers, canes and wheelchairs.

This walker doesn’t define you, Rosie. Only your attitude will.


Cheers, dear!!