DEAR HARRIETTE: I had a lot of ideas this year that I tried to execute, but here I am at the end of the year feeling like a failure. I did complete a couple of the things that I had mapped out, but nothing made me any money, and I feel like I wasted my time. My wife told me that I need to get my act together and stop with all these schemes. She says that my so-called “bright ideas” end up costing the family money. But my job only makes so much. I feel like I have to do something more in order to provide for them. How can I assure my wife that my efforts are for her and the family and not just me having unrealistic ideas? — Pie in the Sky
DEAR PIE IN THE SKY: Your intentions sound good, even though your outcomes have not measured up. That says that you have been looking in the wrong direction for ways to supplement your income. It is time to investigate what the needs are in your community that you are able to fulfill.
First, make a list of all of your skills. What can you do that could possibly benefit someone else? That can include technical skills, yardwork, people skills, etc. Check with your local chamber of commerce to see what opportunities exist. If you want to do something with flexible hours that allows you to keep your current job, search for that. Call centers often need support, for example. If you are gregarious and speak well, you may be able to make extra money by doing sales calls for local businesses. The point here it to figure out the need where you are, and offer to fill it.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have always had clear, young skin. I pride myself on it. I am already 60 years old, and you would never know it if you looked at me. The other day, though, I noticed that my skin is looking dry and I can see some lines forming on my forehead. I’m wondering if it’s time for me to start getting Botox or something. I am afraid that if I lose my looks, I will lose everything. I don’t have any money or things. What can I do? — Cracked Mirror
DEAR CRACKED MIRROR: Remember that we are literally entering a new season — winter. Weather conditions in most places become cold and dry, requiring more lubrication inside and out. As you get older, your skin becomes more sensitive to the cold. Start by moisturizing your skin better and drinking more water. Visit a dermatologist to evaluate the condition of your skin and discover new ways to protect it for this time in your life. Ask about Botox. But don’t rush to inject yourself with anything. See what you can do naturally to fortify your skin.
Also, realize that we all age, some more quickly than others. It is unrealistic to think that your face or body will remain the same forever. Rather than hinging your long-term success on how you look, pivot to embracing how you behave and treat others as symbols of your value. They will last. Your looks will not.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.