DEAR ABBY: I'm a 47-year-old man. I live alone in a small city in New York. I have a good job. I have been with the company for years, and my bosses take good care of me. However, I want to live a semi-homesteading-type life on my own property, providing myself with my basic needs. I cannot do this in the area where I live because of strict zoning.
I'm torn between leaving my job to move and live the life I dream of, or staying where I am and trying to get as close as I can to that lifestyle. Can you help me?
- Torn in New York
DEAR TORN: The questions you need to answer are can you afford to live your dream right now and, if not, how long will you have to wait until you can achieve it? Your next move should be to talk to your CPA or to a certified financial planner and see what it will take to make your dream a reality. Unless you are sure about that, you should stay where you are until you have enough money for a comfortable retirement off the grid.
Why check a calendar when he's got a wife?
DEAR ABBY: I am a working mother of two, married for 20 years. I go to great lengths to keep a Google calendar updated, which my husband has access to any time he wishes to see it. The problem is, he rarely looks at it. Instead, he asks me daily, "What have we got going on today?" or, "What time is [blank]?" or, "Do we have anything happening the weekend of [blank]?" Sometimes, he texts me while I'm working to ask what time one of our children needs to be picked up.
Abby, it drives me crazy. At any hour of any day, he is one click away from all this information. It makes me feel like I'm his secretary. I have told him numerous times how it makes me feel, to no avail. How can I get him to use the calendar and stop treating me like his personal secretary?
- Fed Up in the South
DEAR FED UP: Here's how: Do not react in anger. When he asks these questions, your response should be: "I don't know, honey. I'm sure it's on the calendar. Why don't you look it up?"
Too little, too late
for good-grooming tips
DEAR ABBY: My son is 29. He has no vanity at all and does not care how he dresses or looks. He has always been this way. He just got married, and his wife is a darling girl. How can I make him understand how important this is, not only to him, but also to his wife?
- Concerned Mom
DEAR CONCERNED MOM: It's my observation that people who make the effort to "put themselves together" usually feel better for having done so. However, if your son is doing well at his job, happy in his relationships and in his marriage, then perhaps you shouldn't second-guess him. The time to have impressed the importance of good grooming on your son was while he was still a minor and living with you. Now that he's 29, face it, that horse left the barn years ago.