Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Woman wants happiness tips for tough times

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Glass Half Empty

Dear Half Empty: The path to complete happiness does not run through a real life, like yours (and mine), because in an ordinary life -- stuff happens. Boyfriends find yoga instructors; parents die.

I've experienced both of these scenarios -- many of us have. These experiences will eventually deepen your understanding of your role in the human comedy. But first, you have to survive.

Given the challenges in your life (your mother's alcoholism; your various losses), you might benefit from talking to a counselor. Also do some deep reading. Poetry by Mary Oliver and Maggie Smith will help. Joni Mitchell also has things to say to you.

The ticket is to be kind to yourself, to be a good guardian to your own health and to figure out how to put the music back into your life.

Like you, I also experienced the loss of music during a grief experience. For now, do not force yourself to write or make music. DO force yourself to listen to music, preferably live. Bring some tissues and a notebook, because some tears -- and ideas -- might flow. Take notes.

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Glass half full versus half empty is just a matter of perspective. As your music comes back and your creative juices start to flow again, your perspective should shift, too. Loss doesn't change your basic temperament, but tests it.

Dear Amy: I have been with my boyfriend for seven years. Last night my boyfriend's best friend messaged me.

He started off with a normal conversation, but then he compared me to a famous supermodel and told me I looked just like her.

I responded, "Wow. No. I actually don't think I look like her, but I appreciate the compliment."


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