Strip your life

Coney beach

I’ve been a fan of Carolyn Hax’s advice column since I was a nerdy kid thumbing through my parents’ Washington Post Magazine. Readers often ask her for relationship advice: Is it time to move in with my partner? Should we tell our pregnant daughter we hate the name she’s choosing? So when a recent column addressed “how to keep bouncing back when life keeps sending bad news your way,” I paid special attention. Here’s part of Carolyn’s reply:

I can’t say this enough: Strip your life of everything that either doesn’t matter or can wait for later. Spare from the ax one or two activities that have a renewing effect on you, and make them your refuge. Spend your remaining energy on giving and receiving love from those whose time is running out.

Also, take faultless care of yourself, based on the holistic trinity of sleep, exercise and healthy diet.

Thankfully I’m not living under a “crap tsunami” (as the poetic letter-writer, who is mourning one parent while caring for another, put it). Not even close. But if you are, or if you’re supporting a loved one through a hard time, this is worth the read.

Link: Carolyn Hax, Rebounding from Life’s Lemons, Feb. 15

Photo: “Keep the beach and boardwalk clean,” Coney Island, August 2010.

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