Lauretta Hannon: Not your granny’s advice column
November 26, 2013 08:57 AM | 2844 views | 2 2 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: I am too close to this problem and am having trouble seeing it objectively. I am one of a small group of retired women who get together on a regular basis for lunch. Over the past few years we have exchanged birthday and Christmas gifts, making a big deal of each party, giving many gifts to the recipient on each occasion. For quite some time I have not enjoyed these birthday or Christmas parties and would like to know how to go about withdrawing from the parties altogether. It’s not a question of money; it’s just that the whole to-do has become tiresome. I don’t want to cause hurt feelings. How do you suggest I bow out gracefully and graciously? Any help is appreciated. 

 Let them know how you feel. I suspect you are not alone. Perhaps it is time to re-tool the gatherings. See if they are receptive to changing the format. If they are not, tell them that you will continue to treasure the lunches but prefer to bow out of the gift-giving orgies. True friends will understand. 

 I am nearly 40 and don’t have a clue as to what I should do with my life. I sense I have a purpose but don’t know where to even begin to find it. Your thoughts? 

 What should you do with your life? That’s easy: Be a conduit of love.

Your purpose? It is revealed as you identify your unique gifts, skills and talents and put them to use for the highest and greatest good.

How to begin? By being still and quiet enough to hear the answer. 

 Our family enjoys the inspirational quotes and general advice you dispense. Can you share some wisdom that anyone could use? 

 Of course! This is the “Founders’ Charge” that comes from the Atlanta Girls’ School. I’ve always been smitten with it and hope you enjoy it as well. The author is Emily Ellison.

All of life is school; therefore, be in attendance daily.

Choose wisdom, generosity, and kindness as your teachers.

Judge tenderly and be forgiving: everyone else is learning too.

During the leaden hours of loss or failure, ask others for help and help those whose suffering is greater.

During the bright moments of success or celebrity, say thank you and wield power with compassion and humility.

All of life is journey; therefore, pack lightly and travel broadly.

Choose courage, integrity, and wonder as your companions.

Along the way, unload yourselves of fears and hubris.

Find work that profits your souls and gives you purpose.

Leave each corner of the world better than the way you found it.

Keep your hearts soft and your minds open. Listen.

Ask questions. Be bold. And wed yourselves to joy. 

Send your questions to Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of The Cracker Queen — A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life and a keynote speaker. Southern Living has named her “the funniest woman in Georgia.” See more at

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Jamie Wyatt
November 26, 2013
Thanks to you, I am smitten, too!
Donna Smith
November 26, 2013
Although I am well over 40 the question of what my life will become is as if you are speaking to me. As you know my situation, I will be quiet and I will listen for the answer. Thank you for sharing this advice. It says so much for my life right now.
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