DEAR HARRIETTE: My godmother sent me a note recently saying that she is proud of me for the woman I have become, but she is sad because we hardly speak to each other anymore. I read the note and had so many emotions come up. It is true that, when I was a little girl, we used to spend a lot of time together. She was the main baby sitter when my parents went out at night. She would come to my concerts at school and stuff like that. I went away to college, and we didn’t see each other much, but we did often see each other when I came home for holidays.
Now, I am in the early stages of my career. I don’t even talk to my mother that much these days. I work 10- to 12-hour days, and I don’t have much free time. I love my godmother and don’t want her to think that I am neglecting her, but I also don’t want her to guilt me into feeling bad for building my life. What can I do? -- Bad Goddaughter, Brooklyn, New York
DEAR BAD GODDAUGHTER: Rather than feel guilty, make a few amendments to your schedule. Add in a phone call once a month or so with your godmother. Start, though, by writing a note to her saying how much you love and appreciate her. Don’t apologize for being busy. Affirm the positive. Build in time to talk to your mother and your godmother. In the end, you will be happy that you made time for them.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Etiquette & Ethics | Family & Parenting