Every year the Humanist Society of NSW has an End of Year Party in December instead of a Xmas party because we are not religious and as secular Humanists we do celebrate the season without the religious tones.
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Â 2012 was held at 2pm 2nd Saturday in December 9 and our entertainer George Eynon a New Zealand ex-patriot who can croon the most romantic tunes of Sinatra Elvis and Bee Gees to Country and Western and jive (also transform as he sings the most amazing Maori songs) kept us entertained. We had a great time and enjoyed each others company over food and drinks.
2011 and 2010 the wonderful Rubella caused full house at Humanist House with his Latin American diva act which he performed on cruise ships.
So up until 2009 our parties were Mad Hatters or such which were fun nevertheless poorly attended by a handful of people
Mind you some of us have family who celebrate Xmas and we respect their needs.For example on Xmas eve I have my family over and we have Xmas Eve with the carols the Xmas tree and as in Europe (as we are originally Greeks from Romania)Â open our presents. In that way I don’t compete with my offspring’s family personal time and the time they spend with their father and in-laws.
In March 11 2006 I wrote about avoiding the 13th Step which means “screwing someone crazier than you” – a term clarified by Dr. Stephen Jurd (a leading addiction psychiatrist). There have been more comments on this post than any other post I have written. The more recent comment on 12/10/07 by the author of Damn That Ojeda! website is worth mentioning here because of the enthusiasm with which the message is being relayed, and in order to correct the interpretation of my qualifications. The author refers to Coulter, ‘a right winged journalist’, intending to promote her book whilst appearing on a Carlson program which should discourage similar types from being edified because they are described as having…
spewed out such horrendous slanderous nonsense for no other reason than to let them promote more of their hate [which] will be diagnosed by me as having Dr. Affie Adagio Syndrome.
Allow me to explain.
Dr. Adagio herself does not have this condition. She’s a physician consulting chemically addicted clients and helping them go through the 12 steps of recovery. A noble and worthwhile cause indeed.
But in her treatments and counseling, she’s added one more step:
The 13th Step: Don’t Screw Anyone Crazier Than You
This, I would argue, is the problem with Carlson, et al. They allow themselves to electronically bed with Crazy Coulter for no justifiable reason. If she’s such a callous moron with nothing noteworthy to say before she goes on your show, why would you think your own program will be any different?
As the good doctor explains:
“It is not helpful to enter into an intimate relationship with someone who needs our assistance to recover from any illness or needs to improve their skills.”
Affie’s response: The author of Damn That Ojeda! has, indeed, the correct interpretation of the use of the term 13th Step which I also intended for people outside the 12 Step recovery program. This is because I believe it is a symbolic term of that extra step in any program which trains professionals to provide a service to others and therefore be responsible for not abusing the privilege.
One important correction that needs to be highlighted is that I am a qualified Family Therapist/Life Coach specialising in compulsion and recovery (addictions), a Doctor of Philosophy not a Medical Doctor or Physician. My PhD research was in Compulsion and Recovery and as a result I believe in a diversity of approaches – a synthesis or a balanced approach to recovery.
Couple kissing, photo by Margarit Ralev http://ralev.com/
When I write about relationships it is important to understand that the same applies to same sex relationships except for marriage, which is not legally permitted in this country, yet. A gay couple who wishes to make a relationship commitment can do this in a ceremony which is similar to a marriage. Any civil celebrant can perform such a celebration and I have not come across one who would not be happy to do so. One day in this country, we will progress to the point when we can have legal marriages between same sex couples, and I as a celebrant look forward to that day.
They came to me to be married and
I explained that in this country
same sex marriages were not permitted
I felt so sorry that I was the messenger of
such an antiquated way of thinking
nevertheless, we planned a beautiful ceremony
which involved everything that a
heterosexual couple would experience
the only difference was that there were
no State documents signed
yet the moment was captured in
a sentimental ceremony which will
provide an exceptional memory
to all those who were at the ceremony
Ballroom, photo by Lioness65, Frankfurt, Germany, gay couples
To have fulfilling relationships with anyone else we need to first develop a loving relationship with self. It’s the foundation for any type of love we have with others. Without the ability to love ourselves we feel emptiness or self hate which leads to needing feelgoods such as food, alcohol and other drugs or addictive processes like work, gambling, love and sex. To develop healthy self love we list our strengths and weaknesses, because that raises our self awareness – education is 50% of achieving the outcome we want. Then we list what we want out of life and what we definitely don’t want. Try it and see.
Yvonne was a pleasant person who
made friends easily but she was
extremely overweight from using
food to medicate her resentments
at times she appeared “sickly sweet”
and so apologetic that it seemed
she was even apologising for breathing
that is codependent behaviour and
can only lead to unhappiness
as she got into recovery from codependency
she developed her relationship with herself
in listing her strengths and weaknesses
as well as her wants and needs in life
her self esteem was strengthened and
in time her relationships with others
became more fulfilling
eventually she lost a lot of weight because
she didn’t need to self medicate with food
elisa_hiding_pose, photo by Elisabeth Fuchs, Vienna Austria
All over the world in different cultures, a natural phenomenon is the healing power of support groups. These groups can be hobby groups, work groups, recovery groups, church groups, and so on. When people get together they share their experiences and how they have solved their problems, which inspires the whole group to do what others have done to resolve their traumas or to share their stories about how they lead fulfilling lives.
we travelled aboard a ship for a holiday
taking 30 days to visit many ports
each day there were activities on the cruise
both on board and on land where we made
new friends and joined in whatever was on
we noticed in different countries how
people had their own support groups which
made their lives worthwhile and although
they were different cultures the
process was the same – beneficial
Figures groups, photo by Sanja Gjenero, supportive friends
Nowadays people have happy relationships without getting married. However, quite often such happy people make a decision to get married because they feel it would enhance their relationship. This can be a smooth uncomplicated process to organise if they work together and if they have similar tastes. The bride usually knows what sort of rings will please her, after all she will be wearing that jewellery every day of her life. So it is wise to have her be a part of the shopping exercise for both her engagement and wedding rings.
they came to me so I would conduct their wedding
my role was fairly simple once we completed the
legal Notice of Intended Marriage form
they needed help with organising the ceremony
as celebrants are not permitted to be wedding planners
the best I could do was give them examples of weddings
which I had experienced previously and this meant
that they had many choices to make from other
peoples ideas and experiences
Pure Gold, photo by Sanja Gjenero, Zagreb, Croatia, getting married
When lovers begin their lives together as a married couple they go through a sentimental process. They plan their wedding vows, the location of the event, outfits, food, choosing who will be their celebrant, and more. Another aspect of this union is the honeymoon, and this is an important memory for the couple. Whether it’s an expensive honeymoon or not, the couple would do well to ensure that this takes place. Everything that happens to celebrate your wedding creates the memories you will keep all your life. People who place little importance on the honeymoon have lived to regret not going even to somewhere simple. This means whenever they remember their wedding they are perpetually explaining why they didn’t go on a honeymoon. This can be somewhat boring after a while and can also leave an unacceptable memory about the event.
he felt that the wedding was expensive enough
and he couldn’t take enough time off from work
so they weren’t having a honeymoon until next year
I noticed the look on her face as he said this
and I suggested that it wouldn’t be a good idea
to completely do without a honeymoon now
they at least could make it a long weekend
somewhere nearby and not expensive
where they could treasure this moment
and remember it for the rest of their lives?
they visited me after their honeymoon
to say that it was the best thing they had done
as they relaxed and enjoyed their time together
giving them great memories and photos
As we wish everyone Happy New Year and fill our hearts with love many of us have made New Year resolutions for 2007. Some are realistic and some are just wishful thinking. Nevertheless, both types are useful for our personal and professional development because the process makes us visualise our dreams. Visualisation is an effective tool for achieving our goals because it means we prime ourselves for taking up opportunities as they arise, otherwise we miss them. They say ‘when Opportunity knocks, open the door first and ask questions later”. When New Year resolutions crumble then find another way of achieving them. Don’t quit searching for a way to succeed.
the year before last, feeling guilty for her behaviour
she made her New Year resolutions
and then felt hopeful but that didn’t last long
because she knew how hard it was to
stay away from the trigger foods that
were the cause of most of her ill health
she was overweight, had diabetes and
what’s more she spent her money easily
which always left her broke
then she remembered to try something new
for her carbohydrate addiction
success followed and her health improved
this year’s resolutions were more joyful to list
because she had achieved some of last year’s ones
Bill Kolios, Ioannina, Greece, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/678548
Christmas time can be exciting or upsetting or both. When there is enough money to pay the bills and to spend on presents and holiday activities most people find it exciting. On the other hand, a shortage of money to do those things can be somewhat depressing. Yet, regardless of their circumstances, people generally have managed to enjoy themselves at this time of the year. A deciding factor is also how a person experienced Christmas in their childhood. Some families with limited finances had a wonderful time at Christmas and learnt to laugh and enjoy the festivities which created happy memories for them. Others who were fortunate enough to have the money to shop and to perhaps go on holidays too, also have good memories. Then again those people who were unhappy as children remember the pain at Christmas, so for them it is an unhappy time which hopefully they try to grow out of in time. It’s heartening though to remember that there are many people who work together to make life better at Christmas for those who are not as fortunate as others and who need all the loving and caring they can get – financially and emotionally.
she remembered how sad her childhood was
as her family was so poor that they ate
bread and dripping as a treat but
at Christmas time it was a happy time
no matter how little money they had
although her father gambled his pension away
there was always some sort of presents
for her and her brother and sister
as she got older she realised that
her mother created that miracle
it was so important to them having
something to look forward to every year
they even got to go on holidays to the
town her father came from where they visited
their grandparents who gave them more presents
no wonder it is so important to her
that her children enjoy Christmas time