Living the Simple Life

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

One of my closest friends is worried about me. She’s not normally a
buttinski but has taken to constantly giving me advice about
everything from my finances to my social life. She’s trying to be subtle
but the onslaught of her constant advice is making me want to avoid
her company rather than seek it out or try her advice. We’ve been
friends for twenty years and she really does “get” me in a way not
many people do. But I am ten years older than she is and more
conservative about my money, not needing to date just to prove that I
can, and not particularly interested in spending my evenings taking
classes in things that don’t interest me. How can you convince
someone you are happy with a life that they would not be?

Living the Simple Life

Dear Living the Simple Life:

Everyone’s idea of happiness is different. Some people think a year
lived only on one continent is boring, Others like everything from
skydiving to gambling. And some think a weekend spent gardening
and napping in the chaise with a good book is the height of
contentment. But a good friend who really gets you is someone you
should listen to in spirit, if not in the letter of what she’s saying. Tell
her very simply: I can tell you’re worried about me. What are you
afraid is wrong in my life and why? Then listen very carefully to what
she says. While her perspective will undoubtedly be different from
yours, it might also illuminate aspects of your life that could use a
brighter light shined on them. It’s a conversation worth having
regularly, if only so you have to think about what each of you is

It might not hurt to consider a couple counseling sessions to try your
spiel on a third-party. It’s legit to want to be happy and contented. But
you don’t want to retire from the interactive world of humans too
early. You don’t mention any other friends. But it wouldn’t hurt to
diversity and expand your social time. That can be anything from the
occasional lunch or happy hour with work mates, to seeking out movie
buddies, to actually exploring some new clubs, classes, or hobbies.