DEAR ABBY: My husband has been working out of the country for almost a year. Since he's been gone, I have turned into a housekeeping slob. I have a demanding job where I pick up the slack for missing personnel. I am one of a few musicians at church on Sundays. In addition, I'm struggling with a chronic back problem. I'm overwhelmed.
Cleaning the house has taken a back seat to all the other things I do, and now it is full of clutter. It's out of control.
Most of the time I feel like I don't care. How can I get out of this slump? I feel guilty when I watch my neighbors taking care of their homes. Please help me get going. -- NOT MOTIVATED IN ORANGE, CALIF.
DEAR NOT: Has it occurred to you that you might be depressed by your husband's long absence? The first thing to do is schedule an appointment with your physician for a complete check-up and a frank talk. Once that's done, ask a friend or two if they'll help you with the house over a weekend. Treat them to dinner and a movie afterward. Of course, for the same amount of money, you could probably hire someone to help you, but enlisting the help of friends would be more fun. And from my perspective, contact with friends is what you need right now. Good luck.