This week my family is going to celebrate Christmas in July (in June).  It’s an end of financial year Christmas in July extravaganza.

We do it for the fun, the decorations, the bad jumpers, the scrumptious food and the opportunity to get the family together.

It’s become a ritual.  An important event in our family diary.  It’s got bigger and better every year.

Ritual and celebration are so important. They provide an opportunity to build relationships, to acknowledge the value of those relationships, to enjoy each other’s company, to just have fun.

What are your rituals? How do you enjoy each other’s company? How do you create opportunities for fun?

All work and no play makes Jack/Jill a dull person.  You don’t want that.

 

As I have previously admitted – I have to admit that I have been very rude to people who knock on my door trying to sell me energy, food or their brand of religion.

This is particularly so when they knock on the door during a week day.

I do a lot of my work from home. I am often on the phone to clients who are distressed or who are telling me their life story. They need my full attention and I need a quiet environment.

I also have two dogs, Doug and Margaret. They are small dogs (don’t judge).  They get very excited if someone comes to the front door. (Please no emails telling me to train my dogs better – I know, I know).

So from time to time, someone knocks on the door. There is a whirlwind of activity and noise; my phone call and my concentration is disrupted. And I arrive at the front door with a bad attitude and things go downhill from there.

And I am completely to blame for this situation.

One – I have two dogs that get over-excited and I haven’t trained them to not react.

Two – I choose to work from home so I should expect that people are going to knock on the door; and

Three – I have done nothing to stop people knocking on my door.

Once upon a time I did create a sign that said “I am working. Please do not knock on the door unless you are bringing me a delivery of something I ordered online” or words to that effect. I never put that sign up.

But I should put up a sign; I should create that boundary. I should give anybody coming to the house during the day the heads up that I don’t want to be disturbed and that I am not interested in anything you have to sell me. Then I don’t have to be disturbed and they don’t have to waste their time knocking on my door just to be told “no thank you”. 

I cannot complain about people knocking on my door if I am not prepared to do something about it.

Today is Georgie’s birthday. Georgie is my daughter. She is a wonderful young adult in the prime of her life.

Georgie has taught me more about love than anyone else in my life.

Georgie has, over the years, pushed my buttons in ways that no-one else ever has.

I have spent an extraordinary amount of time worrying about her; being frustrated with her and also for her.

We have fought a lot. There have been so many tears. We’ve had to apologize to each other a lot.

We’ve gone in to bat for each other. Celebrated each other’s successes.

We’ve gone on long long walks and barely spoken.

We’ve holidayed together overseas and not seen the same things.

We’ve been disappointed in each other. Not understood each other.

We have joyously climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge together.

We’ve spent hours in doctor’s surgeries and hospital together.

We have sold her art together.

We have lived and loved and cried and experienced a lot of life together.

But what has made it special and sometimes so incredibly challenging is that Georgie has Aspergers (and epilepsy).

She doesn’t see or experience the world the way I do.

She challenges the way I think and experience life all the time. It is such a wonderful gift and I am so grateful to her for helping me and our entire family be so more tolerant of difference.

Thank you George. I love you.