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by Abigail Van Buren

Worn Out Woman Needs To Take A Step Back

DEAR ABBY: I'm in my 70s, married for 50 years. I worked outside the home for many years and earned retirement benefits. There have been many ups and downs in my life, for me personally as well as for members of my family. Of course, there have been good times, too. I feel blessed.

All my life I have been the "go-to girl" for my family as a daughter, sister, wife, mother and aunt for help or advice. I love them, but I'm tired. How do I retire my "crown" -- which has been overwhelming at times -- without hurting or alienating anyone?

There seem to be so many problems and only one of me. Many times I have felt stretched too thin, but now my health and energy are no longer what they once were. I'm reasonably healthy, but I'm very tired.

I value my Judeo/Christian belief of "doing unto others." Am I being selfish? -- GO-TO GIRL IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR GO-TO GIRL: Your mind and body are trying to tell you something important. I hope you will pay attention before your health suffers because it could if you don't start drawing the line.

There is nothing selfish or wrong about saying: "I love you, but I can't help you. I can't because I'm at a point in my life where I can't handle stress like I used to." And if the person doesn't get it, you should repeat it.

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