Home Perspectives Advice Hindsight is 2020 – a perfect time for big changes

Hindsight is 2020 – a perfect time for big changes

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Dear Ella,
New Year’s Eve is a hard time for me. I begin my panic early in December. You see, this is the third New Year I will bring in without my spouse. We were married for 18 years and used to love to party and dance the night away on New Year’s Eve.

Elie left me for a trashy bimbo and now his life is one big party with all new younger friends, while I sit alone wallowing in self-pity. I declined an invitation to my friend’s house party, because I’m such bad company. I don’t know why I can’t seem to let go.

I’ll probably repeat what I did last year: polish off a few margaritas, watch a movie, cry and fall asleep before midnight. All while I obsess about what he’s doing and pray that he’s having a terrible time.

How do I get out of this rut?

Alone Again on New Years

Dear Alone Again on New Years,
The breakup of an 18-year marriage is a huge change in your life. Your spouse leaving you makes it that much worse.

You have allowed yourself the time to grieve your loss and that was exactly the right thing to do.

However, now that you’ve got three years of grieving under your belt, it’s time to make the choice that this will be the final New Year you’re going to spend consumed by your past. It’s time to move on and start a new life for yourself.

What better opportunity to make a resolution than the beginning of a new year? Are you ready and determined to take the necessary steps to move forward?

Use what you’ve learned from the past to create a better future. Start by cutting yourself a break so you can begin to heal. Learn to have self-compassion. Use therapy, exercise, mindfulness, splurge on a new look – adopt a healthy physical and mental lifestyle. Once you feel better about yourself, you’ll find it much easier to move forward in a positive way.

Get out there and make new memories. Find new fun and exciting activities to take the place of what you once had. If you love to dance, join a dance club. You’ll meet new people and partners to dance with. Maybe book a trip, either with a friend or on your own. Go with a group that has singles and couples.

A new beginning for you, at the start of a new decade, is a sign of hope. You know the old saying: living well is the best revenge. Make 2020 your best year yet.


Dear Ella,
I hate our family gift-giving. Maybe in other families, gift-giving is great fun, but for me, it’s horrible and should have been put to rest years ago when the little ones became young adults.

I have a drawer full of gift cards, a cupboard stuffed with scarves, mitts, useless clothing that doesn’t fit, an assortment of wrinkle and hand creams, vases, costume jewelry and, of course, endless kitchen gadgets. The waste of time, money and merchandise that goes into this is ridiculous. I refuse to do it again.

How do I put an end to this unnecessary ritual for next year? What a waste of resources.

Outgrown Gift Giving

Dear Outgrown Gift Giving,
Hindsight is 2020 – what a perfect year to rethink your family’s gift-giving tradition.
There are so many things you can do as a family that are more meaningful, fun and useful than spending days in a mall buying and picking gifts.

The only way to end it is to be honest and make the decision early. Let everyone know that you will not be buying or accepting gifts for the holidays next year.

Make suggestions, such as donating to a charity in lieu of gifts. Or everyone can buy a toy and take it to a shelter, fire station or a charitable toy drive like Chai Lifeline. Visit people who are lonely, possibly at a senior’s home. Bring them a small gift. This is an even better way to feel good about giving and have your money go towards making someone’s holiday just a little more special next year.

Here’s hoping that 2020 brings peace, love, good health and laughter to all.

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