July 20, 2024
I'm afraid my desire for fun has gotten out of hand.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My friends and I have been partying hard all summer. The other night, I told myself we would stop early as it was Sunday, and I knew I had to get up and work in the morning. My “quitting time” came and went, and I was wrecked in the morning.

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I had to cancel a meeting because I just couldn’t be properly present.

I know I want to have fun, but I fear that this extreme, reckless behavior is going to do me in. How can I balance it all?

— Balance

DEAR BALANCE: When sober, take a look at your life and at the past few days and weeks. What do you like about your behavior? What doesn’t work for you? In this moment, you can make a choice for the future.

It is OK to have a good time, but not at the expense of your life, health or livelihood. With discipline, you can continue to hang out with friends, just not with abandon.

Decide in advance how many drinks you intend to consume, and cut yourself off when you reach your limit. Determine what time you need to go home and get in bed, and set an alarm. When you reach the time that will get you home on your personally created curfew, excuse yourself and go home.

Each week, look at your schedule and determine what days are more intense than others. Plan your fun around your serious time so that you never compromise your ability to get your work and responsibilities completed.

Practice conscious awareness of your life. This will help you to regulate your behavior and create peace for yourself. Pay attention to the people you include in your inner circle. Make sure they deserve to be there.

Even as an adult, you are vulnerable to others’ influence on you. Surround yourself with people who will uplift you. Watch your life blossom.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m having trouble with a musician friend of mine.

She came to me seeking advice about a few songs she’s been working on. I gave her my opinion, trying my best to be as tactful as possible. However, she took my feedback the wrong way and ended up getting quite upset with me.

She claimed that she valued my opinion, yet her reaction said otherwise.

I’m now wondering if it would be unfair for me to ask her to stop seeking my advice altogether.

— You Asked

DEAR YOU ASKED: Why not just pause altogether? You don’t need to address this situation right now.

You see the impact that your advice had on your friend, at least in the immediate aftermath. Perhaps she will consider your input after getting over her hurt feelings and take it into account. Perhaps not.

There’s a good chance she won’t ask you for advice anymore since she didn’t receive it well. If she does, that’s when you can decline, telling her that you do not feel comfortable sharing your honest opinion since you have experienced her taking your feedback very poorly.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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