Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Feeling ruled by others’ expectations

Q: In a lot of ways my life is really great right now. I just got engaged, Iíve finished my graduate degree, and Iím finally going to therapy to address my lifelong anxiety.

But Iím still struggling, and Iíve realized now that Iíve gotten my degree, I have no idea what I want to do next, outside of other peopleís expectations. On top of that, my fiance ó who is in the mental health field ó thinks I might have undiagnosed ADHD, and preliminary reading matches up with the spaciness and absentmindedness and the general inability to focus on anything ever.

I guess I just want some reassurance that this will pass, and things can get better. And some reassurance that my struggle is real, and that Iím not a weak pansy looking for an excuse for not living up to my potential.

Happy But ...

A: Wait ó since when is "living up to my potential" such an obligation that one needs an excuse not to?

You donít owe it to anyone to use your life in any particular way. Sure, there are obligations we all assume when we live in society (obey laws, not be a nuisance) and when we form relationships with other people (donít exploit othersí affection for us, make a good faith effort to be the people we claimed to be, meet financial and child-rearing obligations) ó but thereís a vast amount of flexibility within those boundaries.

If you went to grad school, for example, fully believing it was the right move for you, but you have since come to see that you were living out other peopleís vision for your life ó or if you just realized, oops, itís the wrong field for you ó then it would not be acting in bad faith to follow a different path.

Whether "this will pass," who knows. Probably. Most things do ó and then "that" will kick in.

So tend to your health, and breathe, and take the time you need to sort yourself out. The idea that life is linear is one that canít die soon enough. Age is linear, but the rest seems to work better if we embrace it as loopy. Both senses intended.


Tell Me About It: Bean-counting brother needs a lesson in kindness

Q: My sister owns a few apartment buildings and my mother lives there rent-free. My mother plans to give my sister slightly more in her will. Our brother is angry about this, he wants my sister to just charge our mother rent. My sister thinks our mom...
Published: 09/21/18
Mark your calendar for these Halloween events

Mark your calendar for these Halloween events

13 Ugly Men Halloween PartyThese "ugly" men sure know how to party with three floors offering new tricks and treats, DJ dancing and a light show making the 10th annual Halloween party a "Party with a Purpose." Benefits Beat NB. 8 p.m. Oct. 26. Yborís...
Published: 09/19/18

Tell Me About It: Frequently displaced wife has had enough moves

Q: I have been married to my second husband for 24 years. We have a 16-year-old and I have two adult children.I have moved seven times in 17 years for his job. He didnít have to quit and take another job, but they were opportunities for him to climb ...
Published: 09/19/18
Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Spare the gore and take the kids to these family-friendly Halloween parties planned at theme parks and attractions in the coming weeks. Creatures of the Night at ZooTampa The weekend nighttime Halloween party at ZooTampa at Lowry Park returns with...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Busy couple seeks ways to downsize for the future

Q: Over a decade, my salary has tripled (Iím quite well-paid now), my work hours and responsibilities have increased, and ó because Iím so frequently tired or short on time ó my "outsourcing" has increased, too. Think: frequent takeout, a dog-walker,...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Parents want bully brother to be his best man

Q: Iím getting married. Thatís awesome. However, my parents want me to ask my brother to be my best man. The idea of letting my brother, whoís spent his whole life being the biggest jerk he can manage, stand up and give a speech about me makes me wan...
Published: 09/17/18

Tell Me About It: Mom is frustrated by teenís dislike of academics

Q: I have a 15-year-old son who is obviously bright but hates school. My husband and I canít helicopter him to success because (a) we donít want to be helicopter parents, and (b) he has developed ninja-like skills when it comes to evading any attempt...
Updated one month ago

Tell Me About It: In search of ways to stop the family over-talker

Q: During extended family get-togethers with my side of the family, there is one person who does 95 percent of the talking. When I ask someone else in the room a question about their lives, this person always jumps in and takes over the conversation ...
Updated one month ago
Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens will open Florida’s tallest launch coaster in spring 2019, company officials announced Wednesday. The triple-launch, tiger-themed roller coaster called Tigris will hurl riders 150 feet into the sky, turn them upside down and swirl...
Published: 09/12/18

Tell Me About It:

Mom-to-be decides who will join her in deliveryQ: I am six months pregnant with my first child. Iíve been fixated a bit on who to have in the delivery room with me, I think because itís one of the few elements I can control in this pregnancy. Should ...
Updated one month ago