Is it Possible to Sustain Well-Being and Joy Despite One’s Circumstances?

Dear Liz,

I am a woman in my upper 40s. I have a job that has very good health benefits. Also, it pays enough to support my family. The issue is that I am very unhappy in my work environment. Sometimes, or I should say, often, some of the people are hostile. This has caused me to wake up many nights upset. At times, I feel alone and stuck. I stay at the job because I know that I would not realistically be able to find another one like it where I can support my family. I know this probably sounds like such a cliché, but when I look at myself in the mirror, I do not see a happy, joyful person. I see someone who is tired, stressed, and has aged tremendously. The years are going by and I am afraid of never finding a peaceful work environment. It is hard because of the many hours spent at work, and then I find that my poor children see all my unhappiness.

Thank you for reading this. Many blessings to you. Continue reading

Blending Families: Dating as a Single Parent

Dear Liz,

For several years I have been madly in love with a wonderful man. When I found him, I was a mess and needed to work on myself, which I did, wholeheartedly. (Antidepressants, therapy, and reading). He stuck by me, the whole time, offering support. I gained a lot of strength and confidence. He’s inspired me in lots of ways to be the best version of myself. We both have children from previous relationships. His children lead a different life then mine do. I won’t get into specifics, but basically, his children need his attention constantly in ways mine don’t need me. I think his commitment to his family is wonderful, and part of the reason I respect and admire him so much. But because he is so focused on them, he has little time for me. (At this time, the idea of blending our families has not come up in conversation). I’m at a point in my life where I don’t “need” anyone. But I do want him very much. I want him to be my life partner. He’s focused on other things though. How can I show him my love and support without sacrificing myself here? He was able to show me love and patience and kindness… I want to do the same….but I also don’t want to pine away for him while he tends to his family. Continue reading

Getting Back With an Ex

Dear Liz,

I dated a boy in high school for 3 years, he studied abroad in Italy for 4 months, and we broke up while he was there. Our relationship wasn’t the best, but we were in love, and we both knew that for sure. It was a controlling relationship, on both ends. This past summer I began to date a new boy, it was very different -less controlling-but I still thought about my ex ALL THE TIME and because of this, I broke up with the new guy.  Why am I still thinking about my ex all the time? Does this mean I should try and pursue him again? I’ve always heard “if you can’t go a day without thinking about the person, it’s worth it”…. HELP!!!!!!   Continue reading

Coping With an Uncertain Future after College

Dear Liz,

I am really concerned with where I am going from here.  While I have a year left of undergrad, I don’t know what I want to do. I have thought about joining AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps, but there’s something that tells me that no matter where I go, I will not be doing the right thing, which makes me feel so incredibly lost and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what path to pursue and I don’t know where to go.  Continue reading