She’s fac­ing midlife blues

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - Send ques­tions to Amy Dickinson by email to askamy@tri­bune.com.

Dear Amy: I am a 42-yearold wife and mother who is in­cred­i­bly grate­ful for won­der­ful and healthy chil­dren, an in­cred­i­ble hus­band, good girl­friends and a solid ca­reer. My par­ents are still healthy enough to travel and en­joy life.

My prob­lems are rest­less­ness and bore­dom. I have tried to ramp up other ac­tiv­i­ties in my life — join­ing a dance class and a writ­ers cir­cle — but the kids’ ac­tiv­i­ties, my hus­band’s job and mine have in­ter­fered.

I have been in the same ca­reer for 17 years, and it is fine, but it has run its course. I have sought to change it with­out ex­tra school­ing but have had no luck. I hate to em­bark on a higher-level de­gree when I couldn’t even make it to dance class. Be­sides, my job is solid.

Am I just experiencing midlife is­sues? Am I just whin­ing for noth­ing? I feel so stalled and stuck. I don’t think it’s af­fect­ing my fam­ily right now, but work and my health seem to be suf­fer­ing (I am feel­ing burnout and have been sick all win­ter).

Won­der­ing

Dear Won­der­ing: You are def­i­nitely experiencing midlife is­sues, but you are not whin­ing for noth­ing. This feel­ing of midlife en­nui is why some peo­ple at your stage in life buy sports cars and/or have af­fairs. I’m as­sum­ing that your won­der­ful hus­band would be hap­pi­est if you were at your hap­pi­est.

The most ob­vi­ous an­swer would be to make time to pick up the slack of the rest of your life. Some gen­er­ous com­pa­nies make ad­just­ments or grant a leave of ab­sence so em­ploy­ees can pur­sue higher ed­u­ca­tion or re­ward­ing vol­un­teer work.

Read Po Bron­son’s valu­able book, “What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of Peo­ple Who An­swered the Ul­ti­mate Ques­tion” (2005, Bal­lan­tine Books).

Dear Amy: I value your opin­ion about my be­hav­ior.

I’m a 42-year-old het­ero­sex­ual man who wears women’s un­der­wear.

I wear it daily and no­body but my fi­ancee and I are aware of this. I be­lieve my two sis­ters might know, although they have never said any­thing to me.

This started when I was 9 or 10. Hav­ing two older sis­ters, I found my­self try­ing on their un­der­wear. This kept up through my teenage years un­til I was con­fi­dent enough to pur­chase my own.

I had a great fam­ily life, with two par­ents and no abuse. Is this be­hav­ior wrong?

It’s not the norm, but is it so bad for a man to wear women’s un­der­wear? I’ve been in a re­la­tion­ship with the same woman for the last 14 years. We have two sons and have been en­gaged for the last few years. She is well aware of the sit­u­a­tion. Although she does not en­cour­age it, she still loves me.

I agree she has le­git­i­mate con­cerns about fam­ily or friends find­ing out, but I am dis­creet and have no in­ten­tions of telling any­one.

Panties in Cal­i­for­nia

Dear Panties: This is only “wrong” if you are ob­sess­ing about this be­hav­ior and it is in­ter­fer­ing with your re­la­tion­ship with your part­ner. She has cho­sen to have two chil­dren with you. She tol­er­ates your choice, but it might be good if you asked her to de­scribe how she feels about it and if you an­swered ques­tions she might have about your habit.

What you are do­ing might not be the “norm,” but it is prob­a­bly much more com­mon than you re­al­ize.

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