Self

I am at that point in life where I don’t have anything to look forward to. I am 30 and single with an uneventful life. My social life is limited to work because I live alone and hardly have actual friends with whom I would love to hang out. I am feeling stuck. I know I need to change but I find it hard to break out of my routine. Where should I begin? – Stuck forever

Dear Stuck, It is true that some of us have felt, at some point in our lives, that we’re in a rut and doing the same things over and over with the same people and not feeling satisfied with our existence. It’s at this point that we must make a choice to either keep doing what we’re doing and hope…

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Family

I can’t keep my plants alive. I forget to water them, or water them too much. Somehow, I always manage to kill my plants. It seems like such an easy job. Why can’t I do it right? Is something wrong with me? If I can’t even keep a cactus alive, how could I ever be a good mother? Plants should be easier to manage than babies, right? My friends always joke about this but I’m starting to think that maybe there’s some truth to that? – Motherhood Undetermined

Dear Motherhood, Simply put, to care for plants, you could go online and acquire information on proper watering etiquette, make a watering schedule and hang it in a conspicuous place (like on your fridge) and set an alarm on your phone for the times you need to water them. But your concern isn’t really about plants, is it? Caring for…

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Relationships

I am a married East Indian man, and my wife and I share a house with my parents. My father has always had an abusive personality. He used to physically beat me during my childhood. For the past one year, he and I have been having problems. I am resenting his abusive nature so much that I don’t want to speak with him anymore. We’ve been avoiding each other for months, but last week he approached me out of the blue and proposed, “The New Year is almost here. Let’s forget all our differences and start a new relationship.” Can this be possible? – Troubled Son

Dear Troubled, It appears that both you and your father have different personalities and worldviews. He seems traditional, and, as such, demands complete and utter obedience from you, his son. You (I’m presuming) have been raised in Canada, where all forms of abuse, from anyone, is frowned upon and where equality and respect are valued. Nonetheless, with your father’s “proposal,”…

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Health

My friend is not eating properly and is working out all the time. It’s come to a point where the gym told her not to come back. All she had today was a muffin! She’s someone who doesn’t really take anything seriously and is always cracking jokes. So when I tell her she needs to eat more and she just makes a joke. I’m concerned for her health. What should I do? – Concerned Friend

Dear Concerned Friend, What you’re describing your friend not eating properly (or enough) and excessively exercising raises red flags. To me, it seems she’s dealing with an eating disorder. Whether it’s anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, the cause of such disorders is less about food and more about the emotional instability that some people feel that leads them to use…

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Career Advice

I am a highly educated woman with a Master’s degree in the social sciences. I want to work in the mental health field. The problem is that the jobs that I want to do and have been applying for I’m either overqualified for (educationally) or don’t have the exact skill set for. I’m getting frustrated and, quite frankly, a little depressed. What can I do? – Overeducated and Underemployed

Dear Overeducated, It wasn’t long ago when having a university degree (at even the bachelor’s level) meant that a person would be guaranteed a job. Well, times have definitely changed – so much so that a person like you, with a graduate degree, is finding it difficult to acquire a job. I sense the frustration in your message. I have…

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Family

My family always celebrated Christmas with fervor. We always bought the biggest tree and bought our children lots of presents. Earlier this year, I lost my full-time and part-time jobs, and have been living off my investments, which are almost depleted. How can I tell my kids that there will not be a Christmas this year? – Christmas Blues

Dear Christmas, You have been very fortunate to have celebrated Christmas in the past with such financial “fervor.” In today’s society, most people associate one’s love for another by the price of one’s gift, by the size of the coniferous tree in one’s living room and by the Christmas carols played on one’s new home stereo system. It must be…

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Career Advice

I need advice with regard to my career as I have to choose between schooling or jobs at this moment. I endeavor to successfully completing a study program by October 2019. Currently, I’m in dilemma about my job situation. I have a few of good job offers but cannot take them as the time conflicts with my school. This is a very sweet offer and I believe I won’t get an offer like this again. Please advise. – Study or Work

Dear Study, The way I view your situation, you have two options, both of which could lead to positive results. Unfortunately, since you can’t have your cake and eat it too, you are forced to choose only one. Choosing between two good options is not always easy. What I see is that there is a competition between an employment offer…

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Relationships

I am jealous of my best friend. She’s smart, funny, beautiful, and I feel overshadowed in her presence. She’s also my future sister-in-law and my in-laws have already started comparing us. I’ve been fat-shamed and apparently, am not up to their beauty standards either. They all live in a very tight East-Indian-style joint family and I am worried for myself because my fiancé is a very dedicated son. How do I make them realize that they need to treat me better? – Jealous BFF

Dear Jealous, Though it is not pleasant to be criticized for who we are, I am less concerned about what others say to you or who they are comparing you with. We all, including your friend and future sister-in-law, know someone who is smarter, funnier and more physically beautiful than we are. This is a fact of life, and you…

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Workplace

The receptionist isn’t kind to me at work. I work in the accounting department so I often need supplies or things shipped. Whenever I ask her for anything I get an eye roll and attitude even though I’m asking politely with a smile on my face. However, she’s nice to me whenever I don’t need anything from her. How do I deal with her negative attitude when it comes to work? – Ellen Degeneres, be my receptionist

Dear Ellen, You seem to be a conscientious person – kind and polite with everyone you meet and meticulous at your job. That’s wonderful if others you interact with also are as committed as you are. Not everyone, however, displays your values. The receptionist is a prime example of someone who is unprofessional; she only wishes to socialize at work…

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