Dear Nicole: Should I scale back?

Dear Nicole,

How old is too old to have a mid-life crisis? I’m sick of being surrounded by junk and being a slave to my stuff. Either I have to scale back or make a lot more money so I can pay people to take care of everything. The Shaker approach (except for the separate quarters for men and women thing) is beginning to look better and better. Can I downsize and shed material possessions or should I just go with the flow and buy a Harley Davidson?

Wants to shake things up in Northeast Harbor

There is a reason that Marie Kondo has had a best selling book this past year. You are part of a trend, “Shaking Things Up.” Many of us feel suffocated by our stuff.

Much like that quiet person at the last party you were at seemed more intriguing than anyone there, having less stuff out for people to see will leave to people wondering, in a good way. You’re in Northeast Harbor, you know the oldest money isn’t particularly show-y.

Get on Ebay, Craigslist, etc. Consign your clothing that’s in good shape. Give things away to worthy causes. If you are looking for a process, Kondo’s book, she says it is important to empty out an area and touch each object asking yourself if it brings you joy. Kind of a nice idea. “Organizing From The Inside Out” is also a great book for this kind of project.

Whatever cash you make on the stuff you can keep for the future; buy something you know you’ll love; or write a nice big fat check to your favorite charity. I bet shedding your ‘junk’ will inspire others around you to do the same.



Dear Nicole,

My husband and I have been married for 12 years and other than the typical stresses of children, bills and life in general, get along really well. I love him very much and he says the same about me.

Now, here is my problem. Due to complications from certain medical issues, my husband is not often able to “do the deed” with me. I completely understand that most of the issues are out of his control, and that he is doing what he can to work on those that aren’t. However, I feel like I’m going crazy! I’m horny all the time, and I feel like our marriage is suffering from this lack of intimacy. I’ve explained to my husband that there are ways to satisfy me, but he seldom does these things. He says, if he’s not getting anything out of it, what’s the point.

I don’t know what to do. I think a lot about trying to get my needs satisfied outside of the marriage, but could not live with myself if I cheated. Plus, living in a small town, I’m afraid he would find out somehow. And I don’t feel like I can ask my husband for permission to be with someone else, because he has always looked upon open marriages with great scorn and said he would never live like that.

Any advise for how I can keep sane and stay married?

Too many cold showers in Ellsworth.

Forget the cold showers. It sounds like you may need to, shall we say, take matters in hand. Head on over to your favorite retailer of adult products (online or offline) and get yourself a little something. Many women can’t, um, get there without a little help so this will allow you to help yourself. Also use this opportunity to explore other areas of erotica that don’t necessarily need to involve your husband: movies, literature, etc. You don’t need to cheat to feel the heat, just open your mind to what is out there. If your husband walks in on you, I bet he’ll feel pretty inspired and may join in!

I will also say I feel like your husband is shutting you down as you try to communicate with him. This is not good. Some sessions with a therapist may get to the bottom of this but in the meantime, we know you’ve taken out some of the ‘frustration’ out of this relationship. But I will say I bet your problems expand beyond the bedroom if this is how your husband is treating a legitimate concern.

Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]
Nicole Ouellette

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