The scene : me visiting my parents.
Saturday night.

My mum: You're depressed.
Me: (feeling annoyed) No, I'm not!
My mum: Yes, you are. You're always complaining. You should leave the city and do something else. With your Dad, we thought about something... (my dad is nodding).
Me: (inside) (oh no!!)
My mum: You should become director of a retirement home.
Me: (irritated) What? Where did you get this idea? Do you really think this is a cool and funny profession?
My mum: Of course. The only thing you'll have to do is to fill out paperwork. You won't even have to be involved with the residents.
Me: This is the craziest idea I've ever heard.
My mum: (upset) You never like our ideas

My mum worked when she was young. For 4 years. She never worked again since then. But she knows better than me the world of work and everything else: which boyfriend I should pick, what clothes I should wear, where I should live...
When she's acting like that, I just want to yell and run away.
But I learned, as time went by, how to control my thoughts and feelings.
I learned to see her in a more compassionate way.
Not always easy.

My new tool: pretending that I am in a movie theater.
My mum is Bridget Jones's mum or Harriet Oleson.
I become the watcher. It puts some distance between me and the drama being played out.
The situation becomes suddenly funnier and I feel calmer.
Then I can remind myself that the ideal life she's expecting for me is not my business. It's her business.
Ok, mum, I'll let you play with your fantasies. Remember: NOT my business!

Me: Hey mum, next time, can we invite Mark Darcy and his parents for tea?