The Ask LPC section of this site is on the blink. Has been for some time, apparently. Boo. We’ll get it fixed, now that I’ve faced up to the problem. In the meantime, I thought I’d give some very long overdue responses. Here’s what you’ve been asking me. As always, I make no claims of wisdom. But it’s polite to answer questions as asked.
Q: “I work for a pretty cranky guy. His method of managing often involves chastising people. I just walked into his office to ask about something and he started complaining about me and my assistant not completing a certain task soon enough. I had a valid response, but found my voice wavering and almost started to cry! I’m obviously a sensitive gal. How do I toughen up at work?”
A: Toughening up will happen in its own time. In my experience you get tough at work as you start to believe that probably it isn’t all your fault. You may not be sensitive, per se, you may simply have high expectations of yourself. Every time you are scolded, you may suspect the chastiser is be right. Approach this two ways. First, nail down all details so you are rarely surprised with a failure. Second, give yourself regular reviews and full acknowledgement of what you do well. Oh, and when push comes to shove, if you feel that too much emotion will show in your voice, say as little as possible. Rarely do you actually have to say much of anything. A simple, “Understood,” will make you sound like a Green Beret, the toughest of the tough.
Q: “My question for you might be a little nosy- so if you decide not to answer I understand. Or you might be able to answer without mentioning your own experience. Anyway, I’m 56 and single- divorced- and am starting to wonder if it might be time to just stop trying to date. I woke up one morning so relieved I didn’t have anyone to bother me or compromise with- which worries me a bit, since it seems like the first stages of “set in her ways.” I read your post on attractive (net plus) and it could be that my off and on unemployment for the past couple of years is creating a sense of ‘net minus’, so I’m not feeling all that attractive, even though I’ve been able to keep the ol’ body in good shape. So, reading your last post, the one about being so happy you found a partner, has me wondering how you met referenced partner. Do you care to share? Does he have any comments about women this age dating? Advice? I think for me, I should be more settled financially before I date, but then what? I want to stay hopeful and positive, but (and maybe it’s the dreary Seattle weather) it’s feeling a bit… not hopeful. Any thoughts, advice, or stern admonishments appreciated.”
A: Let me first hasten to tell you all that this reader signed her question. Happiest of New Years! I am very sorry to be answering so late.
Moving on. Dating. As I am to be married, I clearly believe in late life romance. I don’t think it depends on financial stability, per se, but I do think you’re going to have to get very clear about your own value. Because while I believe in romance, I also believe in the underlying contract of marriage. You make a deal, and you should understand what you have to offer. Then you find someone who values most what you do best. Nobody gets shortchanged.
I recommend working. A lot of people do it, which means it is a good place to meet a partner. Most of the work of dating is handled by the day-to-day to-ings and fro-ings. As far as my own experience, let’s just say it’s implied in these words.
I think you should remain hopeful. People like to love. They will do it despite themselves. Most of all, spend your time with those who love you, they will grow your capacity to be loved even more widely. If you decide you don’t need a man by your side, from what I’ve seen of family widows, you’re going to want a best friend, a happy hobby or two, and maybe a dog or a cat.
Q: “What is your opinion about genealogical lineage societies? My ancestors also date to early America – early 1600s Massachusetts to be precise. My family has maintained a detailed genealogy and has passed the history down through the generations, but we have not joined any of the genealogical societies in existence which commemorate and record early lineage. I have considered submitting my family’s genealogy to pertinent organizations (i.e. Hereditary Order of the First Families of Massachusetts), primarily to formally preserve this history and to aid its dissemination to my future offspring. Are you or any of your family members involved in such societies? If so, would you mind sharing your experience?”
A: I’m conflicted about them. I have had little desire to join, but like you, I have been happy for the documentation passed on by previous generations. The DAR, and other societies too, I imagine, requires all kinds of paperwork. My great-grandmother on my mother’s side seems to have filled it out, because I have a copy. I rather liked reading the old names, Samuel, Abigail, Isabel. My father knows his family history in detail. In fact, thank you for bringing this up. I am going to ask Dad where he keeps the records. And maybe look into joining this society. Then finally, perhaps I will have some experience worth sharing.
More questions remain. One way or another I will respond. I’m honored to have you all listening.