Grand illusions

Joey Garcia

I moved here to be near my grandkids, but my daughter and her husband have let me know that they don’t want my help. I have backed off, of course, but I don’t know anyone else here. I’m lonely. I want to be with my grandkids, and imagined that I could drive them to and from daycare and school or help with homework. I thought I could give my daughter and son-in-law a break. I admit that we have clashed a few times over the way they are raising my grandkids, but I apologized and thought we were on good terms. Should I wait and see if they change their minds? Or just move back to Connecticut?

Detach from the role of grandmother, and free yourself from pain. Anytime we confuse who we are with a role, we suffer. That’s because we inhabit the role, and in doing so, fail to be present with the people and situation we’re in. If you are being you, and not relating to your daughter and son-in-law as “parent” or to their children as “your grandkids,” you can relate to who they are. When you do, you might still have insights to offer about parenting, but you won’t believe you are “right” and your daughter is “wrong.” Yes, you can disagree with her choices, but as long as the grandkids are raised with love, wisdom and tenderness, you can relax. So don’t focus on external states. Concentrate on the state of your heart, mind and spirit.

Loneliness is being alone, and not wanting to be. Without resistance, loneliness is simply solitude. Are you willing to learn how to enjoy your own company? The next time you feel lonely, mentally remind yourself that you have chosen to spend the time alone. Then, ask yourself what would bring you joy. Read a book, see a movie at Tower Theatre, walk in your neighborhood, volunteer at Front Street Animal Shelter or join a meetup group. Schedule fun into every day. Expand your circle and move into another chapter of your life.

How do you approach a relationship when the guy wants to date casually, but the woman wants something more? I find myself in this situation a lot. I just want to date. Women are always surprised that the relationship isn’t headed somewhere they expected it to go. What should I say or do?

Begin the relationship by clearly stating your preference for dating without expectations. But don’t believe that saying it once is enough. Positive emotions are involved, and tend to inspire hope for a positive outcome. So you have a responsibility beyond saying, “Hey, hanging out with you was cool. We should do it again sometime.” If you and your date are compatible, she’s likely to think that you’ll eventually fall madly for her. She may believe that she just needs to be patient, and eventually, you’ll see how amazing she is and want to commit. Would those mental gymnastics be your issue? Or hers? Spiritually, you both have an obligation not to mislead each other, or yourselves. Remember, too, that casual dating doesn’t automatically include casual sex. If you believe it does, be clear and direct in stating that, to you, sex does not imply commitment. Ask your date if she agrees. If not, do not pass go.

Meditation of the week
“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money,” said Abigail Van Buren. What does wealth mean to you?

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