Ask Coco

Dealing with bad neighbors has never been more of a headache.

No one has it all figured out. No matter our station in life, when faced with problems, big or small, it can sometimes be hard to figure out what to do. I turn to trusted friends, family members, mentors and experts for advice on big and small things regularly. 

For example, just last week I was in a rut when it came to meal planning, and I put out the call on a group text and was quickly directed to half a dozen delicious, tried and true recipes from my circle of mom friends. 

Sometimes, though, the problem is bigger. For example, last month I was struggling to sleep through the night for weeks, even after eliminating caffeine, sugar and alcohol. I shared what was going on with a friend who advised me that my psyche might be bringing something to my attention that required some emotional processing in the absence of my vices. He turned out to be completely right and that advice quickly led to both a helpful breakthrough and better sleep that followed soon after.

As much as we’d like to, we can’t figure it all out on our own. Having a new perspective, an objective point of view from a third party can breathe fresh life into our sticky messes, big or small. 

Perspective can come in many forms, of course. When I’m looking for advice on something minor that can quickly be resolved, I often turn to Google or Facebook as a quick resource to help guide me to a solution. The problem there, though, is that in most cases the internet responds with “yes, no and maybe” to my qualm. It’s on me to figure out the best path from the aggregated opinions.

For serious things, I seek help from a professional. For health crises, major financial problems or serious relational challenges, we should all turn to the professionals in the field who are trained to help. 

For everything in between, though, we’re starting something new as a part of Thrive - an advice column called Ask Coco. Advice columns have been published for centuries as a means to bring solutions to burning problems to the masses. Whatever you’re dealing with, though your particular challenge is uniquely yours, it probably isn’t unique. If you allow me the opportunity to share some advice with our Thrive readers, it might just serve to help a lot of people.

How do I ask a question?

We’re glad you asked! You can submit a question by clicking here or scrolling to the bottom of this article.

Why should I “Ask Coco”

Because it might help you, and it might help someone else! 

What sorts of things should I Ask Coco?

Questions and problems about relationships, work, parenting, event planning, organization,  cooking and lifestyle are perfect for this outlet… but ask whatever is on your mind!

Will the questions be anonymous?

Of course! Your identity will be a secret. We’ll use an alias that you can submit or we can create when your question is published.

Will every question be answered?

No, but we’ll do our best to answer as many as we can. 

Is Coco (aka, Colleen Cook) even qualified to give advice?

On things that require a certified professional, no… but should the need arise, we’ll pull one in. “Coco” is a pseudonym for Thrive Correspondent Colleen Cook, a full-time working mom and wife in her mid-30s who has career experience as a marketer, business leader in both the for profit and non-profit sectors, as well as teaching experience, so she’ll be particularly helpful with questions that relate to that experience. Think of her like the big sister you can lean on for your medium-sized problems.

How will I know if my question is answered?

We’ll ask for your email (which we’ll keep confidential) when you submit your question, and we’ll send you an email notification if your question is published.


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Colleen Cook works full-time as the Director of Operations at Vinyl Marketing in Ashland, where she resides with her husband Mike and three young daughters. She's an insatiable extrovert who enjoys finding reasons to gather people.