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For years I’ve gone from pillar to post trying to improve myself. I was under construction so much, I needed a building permit.

I’m always in search of the next DVD, class, or book. By the way, have you ever noticed bookstores never have a self-improvement section for men? There’s no book called Men Who Love Too Much. Men tend to fix things, not people. They tinker with engines, not personalities.

But for me? I did everything. I envisioned prosperity. I got my colours done. I found out what colour my parachute was. I explored The Power of Now like there was no tomorrow. It wasn’t enough to improve just myself — I motivated everybody I met. I motivated my hairdresser so much he became my landscaper. Instead of trimming my bangs, now he trims my bonsai.

My kids didn’t escape my self-improvement frenzy either. I dragged them from harp and piano lessons to soccer practices and games. I was trying to improve their genetic lot in life, so I enrolled them in French Immersion. I can’t speak French. Some of my relatives don’t even speak English that well. But I wanted my kids to be bilingual. Now I can’t understand a word they’re saying. After all that sacrifice, they ran away from home without even saying good-bye. Or if they did, I didn’t understand them. They should come with subtitles.

I was left alone, all by myself, in the empty nest that I had to clean because I motivated the cleaning lady so much she was in med school.

I’m hoping she’ll support me in my dotage because the kids aren’t going to be able to. (What do you call a performing arts student with a Bachelor of Arts degree? Living with your Mom. The Sequel.)

Maybe I am getting older, or maybe all this self-help helped because now I am making friends with my vices. I accept my weaknesses more quickly. In fact, I do all things too quickly. My Tai Chi instructor says I move so fast it looks like I’m disco dancing. As a survivor of the Donna Summers era, I take that as a compliment.

At this age. I’ve decided that maybe my house is finally in order. I may need a coat of paint here and there but it’s too much effort to rewire myself. I don’t mean to be motivational about this, but if I can accept myself, so can you. Go into the bathroom right now, take off your clothes and look in the mirror and say, “Hey, I might as well love this body the way it is, because ten years from now this one’s going to look pretty darn good.” Do that a few times without puking, and then try it with the lights on.

After all, you are a diamond in the buff.

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