Dear Barb:

Dear Barb:

I am a forty year old mother of three and lately I have been losing my zest for life. I have gained a few pounds that I can’t seem to lose, my hair is going grey, my eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be, and I know I’m going to have to wear glasses soon. I just feel like I’m falling apart physically and emotionally. My friends can’t understand why I feel the way I do. I have a great husband, my kids are all healthy, I have a job that I love, but I still feel that I’m missing something in life. My husband attends church regularly and I used to go with him, but I just don’t feel like going anymore. Nothing seems to make me happy. Not sure what I can do to get out of this slump.

Feeling sad, Dina

Hi Dina:

My first reaction is to ask if you have discussed this with your family doctor. You need to make sure there is nothing physically wrong with you. Many physical conditions can cause depression and feeling low. For example, a condition called hypothyroidism can really mess with your metabolism and cause low energy, weight gain, and just an all around sluggish feeling. Also, at forty years of age you may be in perimenopause and that could cause many of the feelings you are describing. Both of these conditions can be treated with medication. So begin with your family doctor. Once physical causes are ruled out you may want to speak to a counselor or life coach. Many women reach your age and start to burn out from spreading themselves too thin with taking care of children, career, and household responsibilities. Perhaps you need to find your passion to help bring back your zest for life. This could be anything, from learning to play a musical instrument, writing a memoir, horseback riding lessons, the possibilities are endless. Remember, it’s important to take care of Dina as well.

Dear Barb:

This might be a dumb question, but my 18 year old cat needs to be put down but I can’t seem to bring myself to do it. My veterinarian has advised me it is time, and I know my cat is struggling but I just keep hoping she will pass in her sleep. How can I get in the right frame of mind to do this?
Thanks, Ashok.

Hello Ashok:

Your question is not dumb! Your cat has been a part of your life for 18 years, and that’s a long time. I think we all hope our pets will naturally pass away in their sleep, leaving us off the hook for having to make that final decision. Since your vet has advised you to put your cat down, he/she must feel strongly that it’s time. Veterinarians do not advise to put a pet down unless they are convinced it’s the right thing to do. Most likely your cat is not eating or drinking very much and may be in a lot of pain. You have to focus on your cat and his/her quality of life. Your feelings have to become secondary. Believe me, you will get over this and know you made the right decision.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.