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can’t get the future off my mind

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Q: I am 55 years old and have taught for 33 years. Over the past few years we have had to take more courses, especially in the field if technology. That is my weakness and I am constantly worried about not being able to get re certified and thus losinfg my job. This makes me feel badly and my self esteem is low as I see many other teachers seemingly having no problems with this. Subseqently I took your ADHD test and the results indicated a possibility that I may have it. iT is hard for me to start and stay on tasks–and in addition I always seem to worry about the future. I am happy on the outside and my fellow teachers think I am funny but my relationship with my wife has suffered because I keep all this to myself.Help

can’t get the future off my mind

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A.

With 33 years of teaching behind you, I would say that you’ve got a lot to be proud of. What some people call ADHD may be the creativity and multi-tasking that is necessary for working successfully in the classroom. I’d need to know more, of course, to offer any kind of diagnosis. But I at least want to hold out the possibility that you don’t have a mental health problem. 33 years of teaching is a long time. It wouldn’t be at all unusual for someone like yourself to be getting tired and maybe a bit burned out.

It’s generous of you to keep your worries from your wife but you may have gone too far. Intimacy requires a certain amount of sharing. If you want to do some sorting first, maybe it would be helpful for you to have a few sessions with a therapist, just to clear your own head so you can make decisions about what should and shouldn’t be shared. Many school systems have an Employee Assistance Program that provides a few sessions a year either free or at low cost. I suggest you look into it.

As for the technology: You’re certainly not alone in your struggles with it. Kids today are learning how to use computers and to cruise around the Internet from the time they are as little as 2 or 3. Us older folks are at a distinct disadvantage. (I’ll never forget my then 3rd grader making a fully animated Powerpoint presentation for a book report a number of years ago! Talk about feeling inadequate in comparison!)

You know from your own experience as a teacher that different people learn differently and have different talents. Technology is a challenge for you but you undoubtedly have other strengths. Stop comparing yourself and making yourself feel bad and get practical. Many communities have adult ed programs that teach the basics. Community colleges are also a place to get a class. If neither of those is available, consider advertising at the local high school for a “tutor.” You’re a smart guy. You have a degree. You can learn your way around the computer. You just need to take it at your own pace. Redirect the energy you are now putting into worrying into practicing. I’m reasonably certain you can master word processing and Internet skills. You might even eventually have some fun with it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

can’t get the future off my mind

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). can’t get the future off my mind. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/10/10/cant-get-the-future-off-my-mind/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.