Dear Diane — December 18, 2010

Dear Diane,

I hate the holidays. Every year I go crazy doing things for other people, but I seldom see them doing things for me. Sometimes I feel so lonely, like not a single person cares. Then I feel selfish for thinking that way, and get mad at myself. I know that Christmas is about God, so why do I feel so let down? I wish it was over.



Dear D.L.,

I understand your pain, and I hear about holiday loneliness from so many people of every faith. Holidays are at their heart about reverence, yet for most of us they are tied to memories of family and friends. It’s hard to let go of the rituals we remember when family and friends have all scattered. Please know that you are not alone, as hundreds of people are also without friends and family during this time.
Think about the other “orphan” people you know. Perhaps you could invite them over to toast the day with you, or you could visit others who are alone. I once spent a Christmas day volunteering, and never once did I feel lonely. Giving of yourself will help you to remember how loved and valued you are. There is “family” out there, if you know where to reach. Visiting a nursing home and passing out smiles is another way of keeping the spirit.

Now, how about some new Christmas rituals to make the day special? Being alone means personal experiences, such as prayers, phoning friends, and relaxing. You might decide on a special meal or look forward to a treat.

Remember, whether you are alone or with family, the holidays are hard on most everyone. Make a point of remembering others, but show special kindness to yourself.

For everyone who is alone this season, my wish for you is that you find one another. I care very much.




Dear Diane,

I have a dream of starting a charity to help animals, and I’ve wanted to do it as long as I can remember. Every year or two I think about how to get started, then I get sidetracked. Do you see me ever doing it? Will it be a success? I was born 5-7-1952.




Dear Janine,

I am so happy to hear that you want to help animals. I see that you are full of great ideas, but you prefer to work alone and be in charge. You are a born leader, but you will need to stay focused on your task long enough to start delegating detail jobs to others.
If you have a strong vision of the way this charity would operate, start out by writing a mission statement outlining and prioritizing your goals. If your first step is simply to achieve non-profit status, look for a volunteer to help put the paperwork together. You may know someone else who could start working on fundraising ideas. Every project needs an architect, as well as builders.
I pick up a fear that others will take your ideas and change them. Try to focus instead on utilizing your enthusiasm to inspire others to work with you. Being a good leader requires flexibility and listening skills, as well as the ability to say “no” when needed.
It’s exciting to imagine all the good your project could do. Start small and enlist volunteers, and I see the dream becoming a happy reality. Good luck!




Dear Diane,

I’m very confused about how to guide my daughter. She is finishing her first year in college, yet she does not have a major. She says that she just wants to figure things out as she goes. I’m very concerned, and I want her to finish school. What do you see in her future?


Dear Worried,

Your daughter is going to be writing in the future, but she may leave school for a short time to find some direction. I see her traveling to another country, and I sense humanitarian work of some sort.
She is a bit shy, but her heart will guide her to the right partner in life. She’s going to be fantastic, so not to worry!


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