If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
DEAR HARRIETTE: Growing up, I was raised by my mother in a single-parent household after my father passed away when I was a baby. Now that I am older, I have a desire to find my father’s side of the family. I am concerned that this may cause some issues or bring up past hurt for my mother. My mother never spoke much about my father’s side of the family, which always left a void in my heart. I think it is important to tell my mom what I am doing, but I don’t want this to cause any problems between us. Can you please help me with this situation? — Finding Myself
DEAR FINDING MYSELF: You have every right to learn about your father’s family. Your mother may be uncomfortable about the idea at first, but it is OK to let her know your intentions. Thank your mother for all that she has done to care for you for your whole life. Point out how hard it may have been at times, especially since your father passed away so early in your life. Tell her that you are curious about him and his family, and you want her help in learning about them and finding them. Listen to her thoughts on the subject. Find out if she knows how to reach any of his people. Probe to learn their names and any other clues about them. Do your research to put the pieces together. Also, ask her why she didn’t maintain a relationship with them. There may be good reasons why she has kept her distance. Learn what you can, and proceed with caution.
DEAR HARRIETTE: As a perfectionist, I have always striven to do my best in school and in life. Now that I have entered the workforce, I am starting to realize that my perfectionist tendencies are causing undue stress at work. Despite this, it is difficult for me to let go of the need to be perfect, as it has been a part of my identity for so long. I am wondering how I can learn to be OK with not being perfect and still feel satisfied with the work I do at the end of each day. — Perfectly Imperfect
DEAR PERFECTLY IMPERFECT: Your perfectionist tendencies have some merit in that they can help to push you to do your best and excel. What you must learn is when to shut down and rejuvenate. Consider making a daily to-do list that includes categories based on your responsibilities.
Include a tab for personal needs. Write down specific things you can do to care for yourself that you can check off each day: drink water, take a walk, meditate, exercise, eat, see friends. Whatever is important to you, add those things to the list, and agree to be perfect at self-care along with everything else. Use your perfectionist tendencies to support you. It’s almost like tricking your mind into doing the right thing for you.
As far as work duties go, give yourself a deadline after which you will stop working on a project. You can go all out for a specific period of time, but then it must end.