Advice from Amy: ‘I’m jealous of my retired friends!’

By Amy Dickinson | February 1st, 2022

Can you flip the script on their fabulous lives?


woman with a snow shovel Photo by Tatianatatiana Dreamstime. For article, A reader admits to advice columnist Amy Dickinson, “I’m jealous of my retired friends!” See what Amy has to say. Image

A reader admits to advice columnist Amy Dickinson, “I’m jealous of my retired friends!” See what Amy has to say.


Dear Amy:

Most of my friends have retired very comfortably. I, unfortunately, am not able to retire.

These retired friends have now started traveling a lot and will either group text, post on Facebook, or email pictures of their beautiful vacations, the restaurants they’re eating at, the lovely hotels they’re staying at, and the plays and concerts they’re attending.

I feel sad that I cannot enjoy the lifestyles they lead.

I really don’t want to see their gorgeous vacations and fabulous lives.

I don’t want to hear that it’s 80 degrees where they are, while I’m shoveling snow.

How do I ask them not to share all the pictures they’re sending, without sounding jealous or upset?

– Actually Jealous

Dear Jealous:

Even though your question is a current one, it seems that many of your friends are living in an alternate universe – one not disrupted by a global pandemic, financial insecurity, and … overall instability.

Now I’M jealous.

I’m suggesting a two-pronged approach.

First: Quietly decrease your exposure to these triggers by exiting from the text stream, muting the posts on social media, and creating a “rule” for your email, where emails from certain people automatically land in a folder, to be opened only when you have the strength.

Second: Use humor to wink at your own situation and “flip the script.”

Here’s your narrative: “It’s a sweltering 4 degrees today in downtown Fargo, and I’m currently enjoying some precious time in the sun, while also getting in my morning workout of shoveling out my car!” (Post a photo.)

“Enjoying some fine dining!” (Post a photo of you standing at the sink, eating from a can of pork and beans.)

“Here I am, waiting in line for this afternoon’s matinee.” (Post a photo of you waiting in line for your weekly COVID test.)

Your use of humor should never demean your friends’ good fortune but is a way for you to demonstrate that you might be down for now, but you’re not out.

As long as you can find a way to laugh … you’re not out.


Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!


In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from a reader who is jealous of retired friends to DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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