DEAR ABBY: I am a 65-year-old active woman who still works. I know with certainty that I have many good things in my life. However, since my sister died last year, I have been having second thoughts about a lot of the decisions I have made over the years.
I'm feeling depressed and lonely, and it's hard to be positive. I feel like my world is shrinking, and I don't know how to get back on track and be a positive and happy person again. As it is, I'm faking it with my children, and my friends have no idea how I really feel. How do I improve my life at this late stage?
- Depressed in San Diego
DEAR DEPRESSED: One way would be to be more honest with your friends and fake it less. If they are good friends, they'll be willing to listen and give you an honest perspective or the benefit of their life experience.
You are lucky to be vital and active, because it means your world doesn't have to shrink any more than you want it to. Because you say you're lonely, perhaps it's time to consider enlarging your circle of acquaintances.
Please remember that regret is the cancer of life. You can't change the past, and you mustn't allow it to cloud your future. While you may be having second thoughts about choices you made when you were younger, the lessons you learned from them have made you the person you are today.
DEAR ABBY: In my university classroom, students place their feet on chairs, teachers lecture while sitting on their desks, and the dean of the school herself sits atop her desk and places her feet on a chair in front of her. Please tell me that this is NOT OK!
- Proper in Washington
DEAR PROPER: It appears you come from a generation or culture in which the atmosphere has always been quite formal. I can tell you that it's "not OK" if it will make you feel better, but if it's acceptable to the teacher, the dean and the school, then it's time for you to loosen up.