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Dear Carolyn: I am 36 and soon-to-be-single mom of two daughters. I am having a difficult time with friends and family telling me I should not and won't be able to start over. I think I am relatively good-looking, and look young for my age. I do, however, have a few extra pounds, and have lost sight of what guys look for. I don't want to end up alone. Please help a lonely woman start over. --Looking
"Out there" will be more of the same, if all you care about is not looking old or being alone. Please stop, breathe, think. You are mother of and primary influence on girls. Do you want them to tend their minds, character, interests, senses of self, and physical and emotional hygiene, and feel empowered to make good choices? If so:
Make choices that fill in this blank: "I will ____ because it is the best I can do for me and my kids." Throw away: "I will ____ because that's what guys look for and I don't want to end up alone."
Take comments not as orders to be followed or defied, but reflections of you worth considering carefully. Weigh against what you know and believe about yourself. Heed or ignore comments accordingly.
Forget "fair." Fairness
List priorities. Read when you're tempted to grab immediate gratification.
A suggested start: (1) Healthy home environment for kids--consistency, low drama, and high safety for them to be themselves. (2) Your health. (3) Economic stability. (4) Well-being of other loved ones. (5) Family mind-expansion (reading
With choices that reflect sound priorities, you have a baseline against which to measure the value of anything you add to or subtract from your life, and integrity.