Personal Tune-up

Getting yourself in shape doesn’t require major overhaul

Dear Carolyn,

Every year I write a long list of resolutions, and every year I fail to mark any of them off the list, something that only makes me feel even worse about my life. This year, it’s the same thing. I need to lose 50 pounds, get my blood pressure under control, exercise and make an appointment to get my sleep apnea checked out. I mean well. But I can’t seem to do what needs to be done. I own my own truck and run a decent business, so I’m not a dumb guy. I am scared, though. My doc said I’m going to flunk the next DOT physical if I don’t make some serious changes in my life.

Please help.


Dear George,

Take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. OK? Now, tear up your resolution list and let’s start over. You can make healthy changes without completely changing everything in your life. Think tune-up instead of overhaul. Start with small steps like calling your doctor and making an appointment for a complete check-up. Eliminate one thing from your diet, such as soda or sweets. Next, decide to take a walk around the truckstop. You don’t have to run or jog or even walk fast, just get out and move around a little bit. Go easy on yourself. Oh, and try not to let this advice go in one year and out the other.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

My youngest child just got married, and I’m having a hard time figuring out what to do with this next stage of life. My husband is a long-haul trucker, and his life didn’t really change when the last kid left. He’s still on the road like he’s always been. He thinks I should get a hobby or do the things I’ve complained I never had time to do when I was always doing for the kids. I know he’s right. I’ve even started a job at the local grocery store. But the nights are still lonesome, and I feel like I’ve lost my joy.

What do other people do?


Dear Jackie,

What you are experiencing gets better with time. For now, you just need to cut yourself a little slack. Stock up on some good movies and books, start some projects you’ve always meant to get to. Make phone dates to stay in touch with your hubby. Join a club or start a walking program. It’s hard to undo two decades of mom duties, but as you reclaim your life, you will also reclaim your joy.

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I’m just say’n..

Dear Carolyn,

I love my wife, but I am madly attracted to a woman I work with. I wake up thinking about her and go to bed thinking about her. It makes no sense. I have a great wife, adorable kids and am well respected at work. But this woman is not only beautiful, smart and single, she makes me feel special. She always gives me a compliment or asks my advice about a problem she’s having. I see the way she looks at me, and it’s clear that she’s into me. I’m dying to tell her how I feel about her, but I feel like that could be throwing a match on gasoline. I don’t know how to handle this. I’ve never been in this kind of situation before. She says that people regret the things they don’t do more than the things they do. I don’t know if that’s true or not. Please help before I do something I’ll regret.


Dear Chris,

Yes. You will regret it. I’ll be blunt: Stop. Stop flirting. Stop talking. Stop listening. Stop thinking. If it’s possible, stop working there and get a new job. You are dancing around the edge of a serious cliff and plenty of well-meaning, good guys have fallen into the abyss. I don’t know what her game is, but she’s got way less to lose than you do. You are entranced by how she makes you see yourself. That’s an illusion. Go home to your wife and kids and put this behind you. If you don’t, well, I’ll be hearing from you later.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

You always tell us what to do. What are YOU planning to do this year?


Dear Frank,

I’m going to take my own advice and try to do small things to improve my mental and physical health. I plan to look for the good instead of the bad, get the dog’s teeth cleaned, organize my junk drawer, run faster, eat out less, balance my checkbook and get the clothes out of the dryer before they wrinkle.

I’m just say’n.

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