Christmas, a time of joy, laughter, good times, family and friends.

Or it it?

This time of year can also the catalyst for endings.

Many people spend this time reassessing their lives. Whether it be a job or career they are no longer finding satisfying,

the realisation that continuing to ignore their health and fitness is no longer an option,

being in debt, ending conflict with family and friends or living yet another year being unhappy or unfulfilled in a relationship.

For many people who spend time reassessing their relationships either consciously or sub-consciously, it can and does lead to many couples heading to the divorce courts in the New Year.

It’s not that someone suddenly wakes up one morning and says “OK, it’s all over, I want out of this relationship.”

For many there has been an emotional and physical disconnect for some time before the actual decision is made to call it quits and sometimes it can be just one more little thing that happens that proves to be the catalyst for this decision.

When I started to write this blog the words ‘Emotional Bank Account’ popped into my mind and as I usually take notice of these ‘little things that pop into my mind’ I went to my book shelf to find the book that this came from. It’s just a little ‘off topic’ but worth sharing.

If you haven’t read Stephen R Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ there are many, many takeaways from this book and I highly recommend, it is a great read.

Here are just a few of the profound words from Mr Covey on relationships.

An Emotional Bank Account is a metaphor that describes the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship.
If I make deposits into an Emotional Bank Account with you through courtesy, kindness, honesty and keeping my commitments to you I build up a reserve.

When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant and effective. If a large reserve of trust is not sustained by continuing deposits, a marriage will deteriorate.

Instead of rich, spontaneous understanding and communication, the situation becomes one of accommodation, where two people simply attempt to live independent life-styles in a fairly respectful and tolerant way and may further deteriorate to one of hostility and defensiveness.

For many women who have been through divorce this is yet another time of emotional turmoil as they struggle with memories of good times past. Happy family gatherings at Christmas and seeing children’s faces light up with delight on Christmas morning. For those women now on their own, particularly if they are newly separated, it is a time of sadness for the loss of those special family times. It may also be a time of financial stress as they simply do not have the resources to buy their kids the gifts they would like to, particularly if they see the father lavishing all sorts of presents on them. The facts are that there simply doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of joy in the world for them.

If you are reading this blog and this is how you are feeling about Christmas there are some things you can do to make this a more enjoyable time.
The very best way, as with most things, is to take the focus of ourselves and think about what we can do to make the day more fun and enjoyable for someone else.

Easier said than done, I know.

But the truth is that when we get out of our heads and turn our thinking around there are many ways we can really make a difference in the lives of someone else and the reward is that we get to “feel great” about ourselves and grateful for the people and things what we do have in our lives.

Here are just a few ideas.

  • Have an open house for your friends who might be spending the day on their own. Here in Australia we call it an ‘Orphan’s Christmas’.
  • Perhaps volunteering at a homeless people’s shelter or a women’s refuge.
  • Or visiting the local hospital or an aged care facility.

Begin by asking yourself this question.

“What could I do today to make someones day a little brighter?” Notice what ideas come to mind. Then go do that!

Your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions are important to me.

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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