I'm dreading Christmas; every year, it’s the same thing. I work till Dec. 24 and I’m so busy there’s no time to feel any joy of the season. The 25th is a day of cooking, hosting and cleaning. By the end of the day I have a huge headache and can't wait for people to leave.
I suggested to my wife that we do something different. I’d gladly pay for take-out or go to a restaurant, hire caterers, hire students to serve and clean, etc. But my wife insists that it’s important to maintain tradition and serve a Christmas dinner for family and ourselves.
When I was a kid, there was a wonderful lead-up to Christmas. It was a peaceful time of year for me. Now it's just another day with extra work and extra stress. I think my wife’s being inflexible.
- Christmas Headache
You’re BOTH sticking to rigid routines, more than tradition. Look at yourself, first – whatever your job, instead of going into overdrive mode, find ways to shave off an hour here and there during these pre-holiday days, hire a student to do odd jobs, whether at work or with cleanup tasks at home.
Any preparation you can both do ahead as a more-relaxed project together, do so.
Your wife has a skewed idea of the family scene at Christmas … it’s about being together, happily and peacefully, not about multi-tasking until exhausted. She’s over invested in everyone else’s Christmas enjoyment, and not mindful of your joint energies and good spirits.
It’s not too late to ask for some pot-luck contributions. People like to participate – it doesn’t matter whether they bring a home-made, store-bought or deli-prepared item, it makes them part of the overall goodwill.
“Traditions” need to be upgraded for the current reality, when you’re too tired and stressed to do it all yourselves.
My boyfriend lives in another country; we’ve seen each other 2-3 times annually. He says he likes me but, when together, he only wants sex. He’s been away for six months, without communication for the last few. I don't see any outcome from this relationship. Shall I move on?
- Long Distance
The outcome has already happened: You’re his sexual “truck stop” not his girlfriend. He’s not connected to you, even when you’re together. End ALL contact.
My boyfriend and I are in our 20s and in a two-year long-distance relationship. I’m in love with him and want to spend my life with him. We’re both in the same career field and I feel there’s more opportunity in my large urban centre than in the small city where he lives.
I don’t want to move somewhere where I have no possibilities of growing in my field. I’m determined to focus on my passion but I also don't want to lose him and I feel this long-distance deal has had its run. What should I do?
- Next Step?
Your question sounds more like an ultimatum: “Either he moves here, or I’m being held back; I’ll have to choose between him and career.” Stop polarizing your positions. If you’re tired of long distance, look harder at job possibilities where he is (he’s managing to work there) and consider an early-stage plan for living together.
It may work out well for getting work experience, perhaps for starting a family. You may even create career growth there, together. In time, you can both consider moving to the big city, as a next stage.
I reported someone at work for wrongdoing. Soon, men I didn’t know started following me around, but only when I’m alone.
Garbage was left around my house in the middle of the night. It’s very hard to get evidence, but it’s very frightening. Are there group supports for women being stalked?
The best support against stalking is the police. Make a report of your suspicions, detailing the time and place of incidents, even without evidence. Once your local police know what to expect, you can contact them immediately when you feel you’re being followed.
They may install a camera outside your house, if more garbage-strewing or other vandalism occurs. Meanwhile, if you feel you’re being hounded, or made uncomfortable at work, you should also report this to your human resources department or the person to whom you made the first report.
If your anxiety increases, also speak to your family doctor.
Tip of the day:
The joy of a family Christmas is the get-together, not the elusive picture-perfect image.