#MentalHealth: Confrontations, coping with retired life, and more...

I am a 56-year-old retired school teacher. I worked all my life towards building characters and good human beings. I was so invested in my work and building life for my students that I didn't focus on my own children. Now that I am retired and spend more time at home, I have realised that both my kids have become distant from me. I am trying to bridge the gap, but they don’t reciprocate. How should I go about this?

Ans: A teacher’s job is a very crucial one as their involvement in the student’s life really makes a difference. You have not only worked towards building characters but also shape the future of so many. In bargain you must have sacrificed your time and resources, which now look more apparent as the role of a teacher has now taken a backseat. Communication is a useful element here for you and your children so that the gap is reduced. You can also rope in your spouse to help you in this so that you don’t feel alone. Patience that you used as a teacher is required here as well.

Last year I won a national level championship held for cooking enthusiasts. One of the criteria for the winner was to launch their own book within a year of winning or else the balance amount of the competition will be revoked. I am due to submit a rough draft by the end of this month. I am nowhere close to doing so and this is worrying me. I feel I will lose this easily and I know how much effort I have put in to win this. Please help. I don’t want to come out as a failure after winning the event.

Ans: First of all, congratulations on your win. It sounds like an amazing opportunity to come up with your own book. The pressure must be immense as the deadline is close. Thus, breaking this problem into manageable parts is necessary. Since you have to submit a rough draft, think more in terms of issuing that rather than looking at an entire book. This will help attain the immediate goal while you have time to work on the book later. Worrying will only result into delaying the entire project than helping you in anyway. You can also seek someone’s help who can motivate you to work well not necessarily with recipes. All the best.

I went through a rough patch few weeks ago with a close friend of mine. I realised that she was bad-mouthing about my catering service to people we know in common after I turned down her order for a wedding. I wanted to draw personal and professional boundaries which is why I declined the offer owing to a packed schedule. Knowing what she has been up to has broken my trust. I am having a tough time emotionally. What can I do here?

Ans: It would have been difficult to accept what has happened between you two. And it is only natural to feel low and emotional about this. Drawing personal and professional boundary is necessary as it reflects your self worth. People might feel offended at times as they might not be used to your behaviour. But to sugar-coat things for pleasing others is detrimental in the long run. You can also speak to your close friends in her presence where the confrontation could be the start point, but eventually results into a discussion. This will help clear the air with everyone involved.

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