What Don’t You Say?

I went to the grocery store earlier this week. There were no available handicapped spaces. (I know, what a surprise!) I parked in a regular space. I had just enough room to take the rollator out of my car.

When I returned to my car, there was a different car next to me. The car was running, the driver inside. I had less space to put the rollator in the car. I thought, “What the heck. I’ll try anyway without asking the person to move.”

Of course, as I put the rollator in the car, I lost my balance and fell against the car next to me. The passenger side window opened, and the driver said, “That was loud! What did you do to my car? Is my car okay?”

I said, “Yes, it’s fine. I fell against your car. I have nothing sharp in that side of my jacket. Your car is just fine.”

She said in a very patronizing voice, “We all need to be more careful.”

I said, “I agree.” I didn’t think there was any point in explaining what had happened, and that her car was never in danger from me.

I don’t blame her. I bet she was surprised when I fell into the car. I don’t have black and blue marks. I didn’t hit my head. I just fell into the car. No one expects that. Certainly not if you’re just sitting in your car.

In this case, my best bet was not to say too much. Sometimes, when I explain, people get all excited and want to call for medical help. If I’m awake, speaking, and moving, I probably don’t need medical help. In this case, because I didn’t quite have enough room to move, as I put the rollator in the car, I got dizzy and didn’t quite maintain my stance. It happens. It’s one of the “benefits” of living with vertigo.

I have discovered something important, at least for me. I agree with people much more than I used to. (Maybe I am maturing? Probably not!)

The more I agree and don’t argue, the more I consider other peoples’ positions, the fewer arguments I have. This doesn’t work for everything and everyone. It works more often than I would have imagined.

I’ve been practicing what I don’t say.

I didn’t argue with this woman. I agreed when she said we all need to be careful. I agree with that. The fact that I was as careful as I know how to be? Well, that’s irrelevant to this conversation. I didn’t say it.

If you, like me, tend to discuss and argue, you might try not saying those things. You still can say anything you want. I have found it an interesting experiment. Since I am continuing to experiment, I am still considering what not to say. I continue to be a work in progress.

Dear adaptable problem-solvers, that is the question this week: What don’t you say? You might have more choices than you realize.

4 thoughts on “What Don’t You Say?

  1. Susan Watkins

    I find this one a real struggle but I am slowly learning to pick my battles and conversations. Having gone through some serious life changes in the last couple of years (divorce, house move, children leaving home) there have been lots of occasions where I’ve just learned to not say anything, and a few where I wish I hadn’t said anything. It always seems to be easier in hindsight to think I should have just let that go. I also find it easier to step back mentally when I’m not tired. Joys of life I guess.

    1. johanna Post author

      Susan, when I’m tired, I have no filters. In the brain, out of the mouth! (Sometimes, even when I’m not tired!)

      Best of luck to you in your new-life journey.

  2. Louise Stahl

    Additionally, I have found it fruitless to argue with God & wrestling with angels.
    When the Grim Reaper comes for me, I will meekly follow. If the Nazis come again, who knows?

    1. johanna Post author

      Louise, I still have philosophical arguments, and I choose who to have them with. As for the Grim Reaper, I’m going down fighting. Well, at least for now.

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