I naturally hold a grudge, so I try to become more grateful. But sometimes I get so angry that I have a hard time getting over things. Advice?
Grate instead of thanking
I believe the practice of gratitude is most important when the going gets tough, not that I’m an expert because, to be honest, I’ve never encountered a grudge that I didn’t like (working on it! ). So instead of letting the steam escape from your ears, use it to power your engine (Hallmark card, do you mind?)…. that sort of thing. I love having a good stew – and I’m not talking okra – just like the next guy, but even I have to admit it’s exhausting.
So when your mom tells you that she has always loved your sister better than you, think of it as an opportunity to
blame him for the rest of your life be grateful for being so independent and happy on your own. When your boss tells you you’re fired, see it as an opportunity to bad mouth on all social networks work on your resume writing skills. And when your husband says he’s having an affair with a 25-year-old, think of it as an opportunity to empty bank accounts and stash the dough in the Cayman Islands pluck your chin hairs while watching The Bachelor, eating a pot of Chunky Monkey, and dancing naked in your living room to Donna Summer. I know, you feel better already. Me too!
My son recently broke up with his five year old girlfriend. I would love to stay in touch with this woman who I really love and feel very close to, but I don’t want my son to feel uncomfortable. I could ask my son for permission, but part of me says it’s outdated to ask for his permission to maintain this relationship: like, isn’t that acquiescing in patriarchal control?
I miss her
I totally understand where you come from! It’s hard not to get attached to the partners who come and go in our children’s lives. And five years is quite a long time.
Nevertheless! You must submit to your son’s wishes on this one. Not because he’s a man and you give in to patriarchal control, but because you respect your son’s feelings during this (possibly) difficult time. Maybe there will come a time when they will become friends again, he will have recovered enough from the breakup, or they decide to get back together (but don’t hang on to the idea) and you can resume your friendship with the man. ‘ex.
But for now, mourn your loss (quietly!) And keep your distance. Think about how you would have felt if your mom had remained friends with one of your exes. Shit, right? Maybe you can transfer some of that energy into a care package for your son – some homemade candy, a good book, the possibilities are endless. So if there’s any money left, buy yourself a treat, even if it’s just a fancy donut. Sugar has a way of making everything better. Except diabetes of course.
I am back home with my parents because I went through a rough patch. I needed a place to land and they were kind enough to offer me their spot. The problem is, every time I come home I see this photo on the wall that I hate. This is a photo of a trip we took (me, my sister, my mother and my grandmother) that has sentimental value for the four of us (great trip, three generations of women, etc.)! I asked my mom to take it off, but she won’t. How can I convince her to remove the photo because no one other than my grandma looks good?
Call me vain
Alright, I will! Just because you don’t like the photo – we are all very critical of pictures of ourselves no matter what we look like – don’t give you the right to tell your mom what she can have on its own wall. Looks like you’ve made your opinion known and despite that your mom refused to take it back because, get it, she might love it!
Now it’s your turn to be an adult, smile and put up with it, and be thankful that you have at least one recording of what feels like an amazing getaway with the women in your family. Nobody tells you you have to put it on your wall – and I suspect you wouldn’t like it if someone did. But I’d dare to guess that one day, after realizing that vanity – like fart rock, sea monkeys, and the thigh master – doesn’t serve anyone, does nothing, and only adds to the mess of your life, you will.
Dear Gaby appears in the Round table every Friday. Yes, Gabby is an advice columnist – but not just any advice columnist. Because that would be boring! Gabby combines wisdom with the mind. And a pinch of snark. She is by no means a qualified therapist, but she has seen and loved a lot in her time. Her goal is to make you think while she makes you laugh. Gabby welcomes all questions and requests and is only too happy to hear your opinion, no matter how different it may be from hers. Write to Gabby at [email protected]