DEAR CHARLOTTE: I’m a cute, funny, single thirty-something woman, living in a fun neighborhood. I have a fulfilling job, really great friends, and hobbies that keep me occupied and challenged. I also see the glass half-full, yield to pedestrians, and ooh and aah at baby animals. People thank me and tell me I do a great job…
But despite all these positive things, I’ve been feeling disconnected and uninspired. Is it me? Or is the world in general a bit sucky? How can I get myself excited again about life, and not feel overwhelmed or burdened? — SHE-BEAST OF BURDEN
DEAR SHE-BEAST: Welcome to modern life… And unless you’re living in downtown Amish country, you won’t be able to avoid it… Statistics show that twice as many women develop signs of depression than men do, and by the year 2020, depression will be the second most common health problem in the world. Feel any better?
I had lunch today with a very good friend of mine, and re-discovered some well-known cures to modern life:
1. Seek spirituality. While it’ll be a different path for each person, it is important to let yourself be open to a higher consciousness, and seek peace in the world you live in, including accepting others. It is easy, and often self-gratifying, to mock others and laugh at their triviality. But all too often, we discover that we were the shmuck in the end… When we are kind to others, we can remind ourselves that we are all one people, with good and bad. So don’t hate; pray or meditate.
2. Find (good) friends. We all (hopefully) have friends in this world. But, in order to fill that void you feel, you’ll want to seek out good friends – friends that tell you when you’re doing great… and not so great. And who look out for your wellbeing; not some personal gain on their part. They’ll listen to you, without judgment or pretense. They’ll support and encourage you, and help as they can. They’ll share your fries AND dipping sauce. In other words, fill your entourage with solid bros (or hos) who’ll have your back, like boris the cat.
3. Volunteer. It’s a fact of life for most people that there are folks doing much better than you, and there are folks doing much more poorly. When you take the time and effort to step out of your immediate world, you begin to see, or realize from all along, that there are others who need your help and they need it desperately. Never just walk away from a mysterious green duck asking for money to help the tsunami victims in Japan – that’s cold, dog. Time. Money. Just do it – you’re going to love the way you feel.
4. Participate in retail therapy. If steps 1 through 3 above end up doing nothing for you, there’s always retail therapy. Endorphins will kick in when you buy those sought-after earrings, or spur-of-the-moment earrings, rings, necklace, and bracelet.
So do it up homie (or SHE-BEAST)… And less whining.
Dear Charlotte is written by Tasteslikeonion, also known as Woman. Write Dear Charlotte at firstname.lastname@example.org.