Just how wound up is your nervous system right about now, and what is overwhelming you? Do you have any clue what to do when everyone around you says those notorious two words: “Calm down”? Financial stress, kids, gained that weight back again – and if that ain’t enough, there’s the coronavirus update every hour on the hour. Good grief. Where’s the pacifier?

When was the last time your friends or loved ones actually acknowledged the things you do for them? You cleaned the whole house, worked late so you can afford that vacation, or spent hours on that home-cooked meal, and not even a “thank you”? Ouch. Oh, and I know: Both of you can’t look good at the same time. It’s either you or the house. Speaking of which…Time to clean out your car again, just in case anyone needs 27 half-empty bottles of water. Heh. But seriously, there are those people we care about who make little or no effort to truly involve us in their lives. It’s hard not to end up feeling unappreciated for who you are or even worse: taken for granted.

How much do you value yourself, your life, and all your accomplishments? Believe me: In this day and age it is easy to feel demoralized, discouraged, and disheartened. There is unending hoopla about the importance of self-esteem. But is it always healthy or even good to feel “good” about yourself? Ask any narcissist. They feel great about themselves – even if they are deflating or debilitating everyone around them. Being close to a narcissist is like getting arrested. Everything you say or do can be used against you. So how many narcissists does it take to change a light bulb? None – they all use gas-lighting.

All right. Which friend, relative, neighbor, or even business colleague have you tried to impress lately? Checking your “friends” WhatsApp status today? Did you try to flaunt your career standing, fashion sense, parenting skills, or level of education perhaps? Speaking of which, as a parent of a five-year-old, you know all the names of all of the dinosaurs but none of your co-workers? Lol. What’s that? You say you are impervious and immune to trying to dazzle, charm, or captivate others? Hmmmm. So you never once presented a slightly false impression or created an image you wanted someone to believe about you?

What’s that? You don’t just have “issues” – you have a subscription? You don’t want to bring up all those small things in your relationship because you don’t want to “fight”? Trust me on this one: Small stuff becomes big stuff if you stuff it and refuse to share. Speaking of stuffed crust…Did you hear about the guy who took a second job as a pizza chef? He kneaded the dough. Lol. But seriously, expressing feelings eases tension and anxiety. Not only is it good for you emotionally, it is healthier physically, as well.

Oh, grow up.” When was the last time someone said that to you, when you were doing something they apparently thought was childish? Speaking of which, do you remember the time we couldn’t wait to grow up? What were we thinking?