I'm Just Say'n

Carolyn Magner is not a professional therapist, shrink or even a very nice person. Her advice is meant to entertain you, not solve your terrible, desperate problems. Email Carolyn at [email protected].

Bummed-out reader wants a change

Dear Carolyn,

I see other people around me who appear to be content and happy. I want to feel like that but all I ever feel is a sense of misery. When I’m not bummed out, I’m worried to death about the bills and the economy and finding the next load. It feels like my mind is never at rest.

I would like to change. Where should I start?


Dear Jim,

You have already started! Just by saying you want to feel better is a step in the right direction. 

Consider the dog. OK, I know I use that too much. So consider the cat or the hummingbird or the crow. They don’t think about happiness or misery. They don’t worry or fret or obsess. Obviously, humans have more going on, but if you can let go of your worries and try to replace all that space with something else, you can retrain your mind. It is your thoughts of anxiety and fear that bring your mood down. Turn the channel on those negative thoughts and sub in a good book or some happy music. Like anything else you do, with practice, you can achieve a greater sense of peace.

Stay calm, carry on.

I’m just say’n.

Turn the channel on those negative thoughts and sub in a good book or some happy music.

Sister violates wedding protocol

Dear Carolyn,

My sister is getting married next month, and I am in a bind. She hates my ex-husband, or so she says. He cheated on me, gambled away our savings and was horrible to my family. And yet, my sis invited him to the wedding. Her explanation is that he is the father of her niece, who is the flower girl. Um, what about me? The mother? Don’t my feelings count?

He will show up just to spite me. I don’t think I can handle this but my sister will be furious if I don’t come.


Dear Jasmine,

Sister got her bridezilla on. If you have already talked to her and she won’t budge, then pull up your big-girl panties and go to the wedding. Wear something fabulous, smile, have a good time, enjoy your little flower girl and don’t let the ex own your happiness.

I’m just say’n.

Beau can’t put down his iPhone

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Dear Carolyn,

My boyfriend prefers his iPhone to me. When we go out, he’s on the phone, checking Facebook, texting friends, laughing at emailed jokes. I’ve told him that I feel like he’s ignoring me and that I find his behavior rude. He says he doesn’t mean anything by it and keeps on clicking.

I’ve decided that I ought to just pull out my own phone and sit there like all the other couples sitting around us. What do you think?


Dear Sylvia,

I think you’ve lowered your expectations to the point where they’ve already been met. You told him his behavior bothers you. He continues the behavior. You want to know if you ought to just give up your preferences and join the online party?

I think you are missing the point. If you are OK with him not respecting your wishes, then certainly continue with the relationship. This is not about technology; this is about mutual understanding and respect.

I’m just say’n.

Lack of thought

Dear Carolyn,

Sometimes I think you really push the envelope with your advice. Don’t you worry about what people will think?


Dear Penelope,

I don’t worry too much about what people think since they don’t do it very often. 

I’m just say’n.