My Blog

My blog is meant to inform but its primary purpose is not to be informative. It is about the law but it is not solely about the law but also about those places the law does not go. The law is the platform from which I dive. My blog is about my opinions but is not primarily about my opinions since I often temper these to the subject matter on hand, not to mention the imagined audience. Quite often when I open a subject which is related to the law for discussion, I find myself in a place I never meant to be, or to go, as if the subject takes on a life of its own. I write articles based on what I do for a living, and I am a family lawyer, but of course that is not all I am. I find that when I engage with a subject, and use writing to express my thoughts, that quite often the journey is more interesting than the end and that what I thought I was writing about is not what I wrote about at all. This seems to me to be a metaphor for life. I write, therefore, to throw some light into the dark, to increase my understanding and by extension hopefully, other people’s understanding of what often seems incomprehensible, to enliven the dull so my spirit does not sag and to throw some humour at what is often deeply sad so that I can, or maybe, dare I say hopefully, “we”, can gain perspective. I doubt I succeed but the effort is honest.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Realities

I know that for many of you Christmas is a particularly poignant and unhappy reminder of Christmas Past as Charles Dickens might say.  There is no doubt that Christmas is a hard time for all non-conformists and not just separated families.
Christmas, as we now celebrate it, is a traditional Victorian style feast which naturally celebrates all things family with the emphasis on “nuclear” rather than any other type of family structure.  Victorian is also, of course, closely associated with conservative and therefore, it is unlikely to be inclusive of all types of family structures in the modern sense.  Accordingly, all of us who are single, separated, divorced, gay or alone and indeed, all of the above, will feel left out of the party.  We can no doubt remember from our childhood that being left out of the party is not a nice feeling. 
Sometimes we cope with unwelcome emotions and memories by drink, debauchery drugs and so forth.  None of the above, as we well know in our rational selves, will resolve those feelings.  All that is likely to happen, particularly at this time of the year, is that those who love us will just join us in our pain and anxiety.  If you love your friends and family you will not want them suffering pain and anxiety!

Photo by Anna Fox 
My advice to all of us non-traditional types is to stay busy and involved – get up off that couch, from the TV, bed or wherever you are slumped morosely and partake in the Christmas swim, visit friends (just don’t stay too long so visit a few different places) and engage.

Christmas is only one day.  I find that every year, my clients get deeply invested in dividing up Christmas Day between Mum and Dad where their children are concerned.  I know it is tempting to get locked into a “my rights” syndrome.  I also know how pain and frustration clouds our judgement.  Will your children really welcome leaving one nice warm home with all their things new and old to go and spend time in your house?  No matter how welcoming you make it their bits and bobs will not be there.  Use your head – it is a cliché in some respects but you can have Christmas any day you choose.

Happy Christmas :)