I've been a stay-at-home mom for almost three years. I have just finished taking an online course and have been offered a job out of town. My husband -- a wonderful man who works full-time -- thinks that he should be supporting us. I have tried to tell him that I need a life too and that the change would be good for us. He could get a transfer, so it's not like he wouldn't have a job. Should I force the issue and maybe risk him being unhappy, or do I let this job go and risk being unhappy myself? RESTLESS
DEAR RESTLESS: Hard call. One of my favourite sayings is "Change, in order to be effective, must be radical," and I think for the most part it's true. That said, you and your husband are a team. You have to work as a team, always. I'd suggest you make a list of pros and cons for both of you if you decide you move or if you decide to stay. I think looking at the facts in black and white will solve a lot of your problems. The kids need to be considered as well. It's hard moving to a new school and having to make new friends. Ask them what they think. You'd be surprised at how insightful they can be. Money isn't everything.
DEAR JANN: I am a size 18 to 20 and constantly feel judged, even by family and friends. I take good care of myself and try to look good, but I am not (nor probably ever will be) thin! I am frustrated because I have talents in music that are not being used because I am made to feel like I don't fit the mould of the industry. You seem so comfortable in your own skin. What gave you the courage to share your talents so well and so freely in an appearance-crazed industry? BIG GAL
DEAR BIG GAL: It's not just the music industry that judges people because of their weight and how they look, but the entire population of North America. I have never felt like I was being judged, to tell you the truth. I just ignored everybody and went ahead with my own agenda. You have to laugh -- that has been my shield, my weapon, my armour. I am what I am, as weird as that sounds. I don't care what anybody thinks of me, nor should you. When you're really good at something, it doesn't matter what you look like, it's what you feel like. Talent is never bigger than persistence.
Page 1 of 2DEAR JANN:
Three months ago, I started dating my ex. (We broke up several years ago.) Now we both want to try again. I know that I have changed, but I'm not sure if he has. I still have issues with his spending habits and his resistance to spending time with his kids. Should I give our relationship one more chance, or is that being foolish? ROMANTIC FOOL
DEAR ROMANTIC FOOL: Oh my God, do you really think so little of yourself that you keep going back in time? My rule is to never look back -- there is nothing there. Life is short and so is your memory. What are you doing? All the issues you have with him are very serious. Get out of your rut. Move on, get going. Be your own person. You think you can't do better; that's why you're with this guy. Well you can do better; you're just too scared to try. You know what you need to do.
DEAR JANN: I've been singing all my life, mostly in church as a soloist and in the choir. My problem is that I'm no longer young, and my voice is not as good as it used to be. Can you offer me any advice on how to keep my voice sounding vibrant and young? Singing means the world to me, even if I don't do it for a living. It would be nice to know my audience can still enjoy it as well. CHOIRGIRL
DEAR CHOIRGIRL: As long as you don't have to refund tickets that people bought to come and hear you sing, you'll be fine. (Trust me, it gets pretty expensive when you can't come through!) I have no quick fixes to offer other than just do what you like to do. Sing just because it makes you feel good; sing like you don't need the money. (That's what my mom always tells me.)
Please send your questions to:
Ask Jann, ELLE,
25 Sheppard Ave. W., Suite 100, Toronto, Ont., M2N 6S7
Photo courtesy of Ivan Engler
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