Dear Carolyn • I’m in my mid-40s and I guess finally having my midlife crisis. After watching my friend’s husband die of brain cancer at 52, I’m acutely aware that life can change in an instant. I am happily married and have a young daughter, but seem to be wondering, "Is this all there is?" I really want a change, to make the most of the time I have left with my family. How do I get rid of this feeling that my time is running out?
Dear 45 • Interesting timing. I received this question the day after a friend’s funeral — 47, brain cancer, awful — and one of the most powerful observations at the service was that she responded to her diagnosis by not making dramatic changes to her life. She surveyed "all there is," felt fortunate to have it, and just wanted to live it. Imagine this bucket list: family, friends, career, hobbies. It’s possible her "I have it all" and your "Is this all there is?" are essentially the same. Since perspective is so powerful, maybe merely appreciating the mundane is "making the most of it."
Dear Carolyn • When my boyfriend and I got together, it was a breath of fresh air. I’ve never been one to hang out with groups of girls because they don’t understand my sense of humor. I like to tease people and mess around with them, and get teased back. My boyfriend’s entire family has this kind of relationship with each other, just like mine. But now I’m finding myself tired of it. Nothing about his behavior has changed, but I want to hear nicer things. Have I changed? Or is this the result of falling deeper in love? I don’t want to lose him, but this is wearing me down to the point of questioning a relationship that is exactly what I asked for.
Dear Too Much • Maybe you’ve just grown up a bit. Please recast what you said here into a warm truth you tell your boyfriend. Either he’ll grow with you and toggle comfortably between playful jabs and sincere affection, or he won’t, and you can decide your future based on that — including your own allegiance to snark.
Carolyn Hax’s column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
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