Dear Annie: I am 65 years old. I am divorced, and my children are out on their own. I made sure they had a decent life. I have an associate degree and am lacking four classes to finish out my bachelor’s degree.
I have found myself at a crossroads. I would like to work for a few more years. I am taking a coding class, but I don’t think that is what I want to do. I used to enter a lot of information for a large insurance company years ago.
What are some of your suggestions on what would be best for me at this point in my life? — Starting a New Chapter
Dear Starting: They say when you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. Consider some of your hobbies. Finding a job in an area you enjoy and already have familiarity with will surely help in your transition back into the workforce.
For information on companies that are looking to employ seniors specifically, try visiting AARP.org.
If you’re not sure coding is the right fit and no other interests stand out, perhaps you can start with a career aptitude test. It’s never too late to find your calling.
Dear Annie: My wife and I have two boys, 10 and 12. For years, my wife has been either brushing their teeth herself — long past when it was appropriate — or hovering over them nightly to ensure they are doing it the “right” way.
Every night she asks them, “Did you do all the things? Pre-rinse? Brush? Floss? Use fluoride?” The kids HATE it. Whether she is doing the brushing or the hovering, it always leads to yelling and screaming, largely in defiance.
In her defense, the hygienist did say that sometimes it’s OK for parents to step in like this since kids don’t have the ability to get those hard-to-reach places, but the hygienist is not in our home to witness the anxiety and frustration this causes everyone.
I have tried for years to reason with her that this sort of helicoptering has run its course and is now doing more harm than good, even if that means they get a cavity here or there, or need braces (both of which I argue will likely happen regardless!). I think it boils down to the old “no one can get the teeth as clean as me” approach.
I love my wife, but this has become a major bone of contention. Help! — Gritting My Teeth
Dear Gritting: At ages 10 and 12, excessive vigilance is not necessary, and it certainly is not worth having nightly fights over. Your boys will be aware of their smiles, especially around girls, in the next few years. If there is any complaining at that time, don’t be surprised if they ask you why you didn’t allow Mom to brush their teeth more.
It sounds like you have a close family, and this situation requires compromise. Ask your wife to back off some, so that you can both grit your teeth — you, because she will still be reading off her checklist, and she, because you will openly side with the boys in not taking each dental hygiene step so seriously.
Of course, no matter what, they should keep brushing their teeth.