A: I think the big question here is do you really want to marry into this situation? Go ahead and talk with your fiancé. If he’s unwilling to change then I’d return the engagement ring. This problem will cause grief all of your days unless you rectify it now. Leave it to him to speak to his mother. You are worthy of a better relationship. Don’t accept second-place in his life.
Q: How about some family relationship advice in honor of Thanksgiving? Should families eat in silence or scream profanities across the turkey?
A: Everybody should shut up and cogitate upon the meaning of the holiday. The day is coming when fewer and fewer people will be around to sit at that table. No matter how irksome they are, they are yours. Suck it up and be civil during turkey time. Or go to Waffle House and call it a day.
Q: My beloved daddy just died. My only children, twins, will depart for college in a few months. I have had some success as a freelance writer but am currently lacking clients. I’m fairly depressed but am trying to regain my motivation for this next phase of my life, personally and professionally. What suggestions do you have for kick starting yourself?
A: First of all, ease up on yourself. Allow yourself time to grieve for your father. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s natural to be depressed at a time like this. Just don’t wallow in it.
Although it seems like you’re “losing” your kids, you’re actually gaining more in the long run. Talk with friends who are empty nesters. Tell them how you’re feeling about the big change coming when the twins go to college. It’s always comforting to commiserate with someone who has had the experience.
Decide to look at this new phase in life as a grand adventure. You are about to have more time and freedom than you’ve ever had. Embrace it with a playful spirit! See it for what it is: an opportunity to experiment, reinvent, dare, and try things you couldn’t before. Imagine what you’d do if you had no fear, doubt, worry, or insecurity. Then start acting as if this is the case.
What lies before you is whatever you make of it. Make it matter.
If you don’t know how to start, just quiet your mind and listen. Pray or meditate. Ask for what you need, and expect the Grace of an answer. Trust that you will be heard and direction will be given. Understand that the best is yet to come — if that is what you choose.
Finally, remember that your deep sadness is situational; your father only recently passed away. It will get better. I hope this quote from Simone Schwarz-Bart will encourage you. “Every day you must arise and say to your heart, ‘I have suffered enough, and now I must live because the light of the sun must not be wasted, it must not be lost without an eye to appreciate it.’”
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of ‘The Cracker Queen—A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life’ and a keynote speaker. Visit her at thecrackerqueen.com.