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LPC Belatedly Answers Some Questions

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.

12 Responses

  1. Awesome post. Always love hearing more from Twitter Mom. I agree about love later on in life – you can find the person who makes you happiest at any age – just stay hopeful and positive (as I know from divorced aunts who have found their second great loves!)

    I do part-time work as a genealogist and love it (picked it up from my maternal grandmother). Wish I could join that society that you linked to – but TJ was my first cousin (8 generations back) so not a descendant from him. Oh well… :)

  2. In which LPC, without telling us, sorta tells us howish and whereish she met SO.


  3. “Most of all, spend your time with those who love you, they will grow your capacity to be loved even more widely.” – I love Lisa’s pearls of wisdom.

  4. I am a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (the DAR) and I would be happy to assist you with anything you need to come join us. As a lineage society, we do a lot more than research. The DAR is active in education, preservation, helping our veterans and our current service personnel, as well as a variety of historical sites. While we do require some paperwork, it really isn’t as horrible as it is often made out to be.

  5. “..but I do think you’re going to have to get very clear about your own value”

    My Mum is in her late 50’s and hasn’t dated in about 20 years. I feel this is possibly the most important thing I could tell her as it is most definitely where the problem stems from.

    Always so wise, and generous with your wisdom. Thank you Lisa.

  6. My mother was in the DAR and resigned due their racism. This was in the 70s or 80s. Maybe they’ve changed since then. We’re all life members of the Mayflower Society. I was pretty uninterested in them due to their sexism, but have been told they are better in that regard. One of the best things about our country (or maybe just the Western US) is that your heritage matters little. What matters is what you do with yourself. (The other is that we have good drinking water.)

  7. I so sympathize with not-tough-enough! I had a client who was as mean as they come, a real 1980s style lady-manager, who let loose on me over a bureaucratic fine point in front of a group, and there I was – without even a tissue- stuck at the table for 45 more minutes trying to calm down enough to not crawl under the table. I was so upset I never wore that suit, which was new that season again. After it was all over the witch acted as if it never happened, we did what I was criticized for planning and I vowed to 1) never attend another meeting without at least two tissues, 2) excuse myself until I regained my composure if this ever happened again. It’s mean and poor managerial practice to BULLY employees. I would add that this has happened to me much less as I’ve matured so there is hope for those of us who get upset easily.

  8. HI Lisa, first I really liked your advice about the workplace chastising, so wish someone had advised me like that – I love the idea of just saying “Understood”, agree sounds like a tough Marine, who takes no messing with! Secondly, I hope I have understood correctly, but I gather you are getting married – if so, Congratulations, that is awesome, so happy for you. (If I have got this wrong, please forgive me and I will cringe with embarassment and blame it all on my wonky reading glasses….) xxx

  9. If you decide to join the DSDI, I would love to hear about it. Your link is the first time I’ve heard about it, though I, if it is open to anyone who is a descendant, I would be eligible. Will have to look into that…. My grandfather was the one into all the research, and he did the paperwork for us for the Jamestowne Society. In recent years, my dad has become interested in geneology and has carried on the research of my grandfather. He got me a geneology software for my birthday, so that I could have it (and also start working on my hussband’s geneology, should we want to.) Might be interesting to get more into. But then it makes me wonder about whether or not to we will try have kids and what geneological impact that might have… (I am an only child, and my dad has no siblings, and my grandfather had a sister. So our last name will end with me, unless we have a kid. And we have already talked about possibly giving a kid my last name…) Anyhow…

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