The best Christmas

This year our Christmas was the best Christmas yet in spite of all of us being poorly. Each of us was sick in different ways. Now you could have looked at it and said this was the worst Christmas ever because we were all ill. But actually it was the opposite.

I was chatting with Kevin and trying to work out in my mind WHY this wasn’t a terrible day. To all outside observers, being woken by a poorly child partway through the night was not the ideal by any stretch of the imagination.

Now I can look back in my life and see times where I was poorly at Christmas time and it was not a pleasant experience. So what made this one different? Well, first of all and most of all I think, I am in a family where we all actually DO love each other and don’t say that we do but act the opposite.

The film My One Christmas Wish was on Christmas 24 and was one of the many I watched and really enjoyed. Again, this was something you could have looked at and said there was no way the woman could have found a family and lots of other people a family either. But she did. She posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a family and got so many responses she threw a party for them all and they ended up meeting and getting another person or family to share Christmas with.

You might wonder why I mention that story. Well, firstly it is a great story in and of itself, and secondly, it celebrated the love we can find within a family at Christmas time. I’m not saying we definitely will – that would be giving you false hope. But what I am saying is that not only is it possible, but the love you share with others at Christmas time can have a ripple effect – like the dropping of a stone in water.

Now I know we are a small family of 3 that celebrate Christmas together, but it is still wonderful that we can. We all love each other and it is love that makes the difference between having a good time or getting hurt and upset. If you all care for and love each other, there will be a dramatic transformation in your life.

So I guess the question now is – what are you going to do to make it happen, not just at Christmas time but life in general? It doesn’t have to just be for Christmas and possibly the new year and then you stop, it can be for always if you decide to do it.

Differences that make us special

When I moved from the south of England to live near Glasgow in Scotland, I found the way of life and living such a contrast because it was so different. Two things I observed were no manic lifestyle and when people mentioned traffic jams on the M8, it was actually what would have been considered a good day on the M25!

It wasn’t just the contrast of lifestyles but the slower pace of life suited my personality much better. I don’t enjoy being pressurised AT ALL and initially there were none. Or I should say it felt like none because nobody expected me to live or behave a certain way. Some people love constant hustle and bustle, but I don’t.

Have you ever known that every snowflake that falls to the ground is different? In all of the world, there is nobody exactly like you. They may look like you but do not have your character and personality. In fact, how they express themselves will be unique as well.

What makes life so special is the differences. You have been gifted with talents that are not like mine. If you enjoy crafts – like I do, there will still be contrasts between the two of us. I will never be able to make or create something exactly like you because I am not you and never will be.

But you know what? That’s ok. The fact that each person on this planet is unique and there has never been nor ever will be someone like you is amazing, precious and wonderful. You need to find your purpose and passion in life. It is not for anybody to tell you what it is. You are blessed with a mind, body and soul of your own to be used for a particular purpose.

For many years I wondered not only what I was passionate about but how I would fulfil the purpose of my life as well. Now I am beginning to discover the talents and gifts I have been given in ways I never expected. I know the point I am moving towards and am beginning to take the steps to be able to get there.

You can do this, too. Your journey through life will be unique because you are. As we continue in our path, we encounter others that we may or may not become close to. Some are meant to be in our lives for only a short time while others are a more permanent feature.

Have you found your passion yet? Do you know why you are here on this earth right now? I wonder who it is your life is meant to touch. What are your gifts and talents you are blessed with and how are you going to improve them? I would love to hear from you.

Thoughts on attitude and impressions

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I went on a training course at the weekend and was pleasantly surprised by the experience. Sometimes when you are at courses, it is just boring information thrown at you. Other times it is extremely enjoyable, even if you know a lot of what they are going to say.

When something like this occurs, it can make you think. My thoughts were wondering what on earth made the difference. I mean, I knew in general what they were going to say, but enjoying it? Why? What was it that made the difference? I spent some time thinking about and pondering this situation.

Then as I was talking to someone on facebook about this at the weekend, I was trying to pin down exactly what made the difference in the situation. What was it? I had heard or read most of the information before, and some of this should have been dry or boring, but wasn’t.

So often I find myself judged before people get to know me because they see the wheelchair rather than the person. Just because people are in a wheelchair doesn’t mean they are completely incapable both mentally and physically. If one of my carers are with me, I have many times discovered I am completely ignored.

Admittedly, Kevin and I are comparatively young to be in wheelchairs. That doesn’t mean we should be ignored if another person is with us. If Johnathan accompanies us, generally we get smiles and greetings.

During the weekend’s training course, the impact on me was phenomenal. The women in the group didn’t see the chair, but ME as a person with a valid background and reason to be there. And they welcomed my contribution. I felt validated, valued and exhilarated.

In contrast to this, I saw someone who looked specifically at my chair and made an instant judgement about me. Immediately, I felt ill at ease, unsettled and unimportant. There were bags hanging off the chair with things I might have needed. I must have looked like a bag lady, but that didn’t mean I was incapable of knowing what was going on or making a decision.

At the end of the day, in spite of how some people instantly see you, that doesn’t make their snap decision or judgement right. On the other hand, you can make snap decisions or judgements about others, too. Maybe it is about withholding judgement until you start getting to know others.

Of course, if there are some people you know instantly in your gut something is wrong, then you need to follow that guidance. We have these instincts for a reason. If we don’t follow them, we can end up in situations that are excessively uncomfortable.

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