I never thought the day would come that I would actually be dedicating an entire post to my brother. On the weekend my brother turned 21. I actually couldn’t believe it; I honestly feel like my 21st was not that long ago.
Luke has done an excellent job at challenging my patience over the years. Whether it’s watching TV with the volume on full blast all day; leaving one savoy in the box (and then putting it back in the cupboard); taking too long with his hair in the bathroom; being incapable of stacking the dishwasher; or not being able to sense the mood of the room before cracking a joke, he definitely knows how to get to me. I feel like he has cracked the code of ‘how to annoy Gel’ but I am yet to find a single thing that annoys him just as much. Luke is not really easily bothered by things. He is able to just deal with things the way they are in the present moment and get over it (definitely something I could learn from).
He is honestly one of the most care free people I have ever met. Always calm and very rarely stressing out in a public setting (unless of course it is about FIFA or his hair). I have always admired his ability to just, “see what happens.” One area we particularly differ is the amount of care we put into our studies. He puts in very little and I probably put in too much. I’ll never forget the morning last year when I came downstairs and saw Luke at the kitchen table scribbling down notes on a piece of paper. I asked him what he was doing and he replied, “I am doing my cheat sheet for my exam this morning…probably should have done this last night.” To this day I cannot remember how I ended up sitting in the chair with pen in hand writing his cheat sheet for him.
The phrase “everyone comes into your life for a reason” is one that is thrown around often. For a long time growing up I could not think of one good reason that Luke and I came together. Our house was a war zone if we were both home. Not a day would go past when we weren’t bickering about something. I would look at Luke and my younger sister getting along and question why Luke and I didn’t share that bond.
Looking back now, with the benefit of hindsight, he was only annoying me because I wouldn’t give him any real attention. You see Luke is a talker. He can talk about absolutely nothing for a very long period of time. I never gave much attention to what he would be saying. Now listening to him I realise just how much he has actually taught me both directly and indirectly.
I always knew that having a brother was something special. He drives my sister and I nuts but I can’t imagine what our lives would be like if he never walked into in. I have thought of five things I have learnt from having Luke as my brother:
Luke’s Life Lessons
1. I have learnt how to manage frustration
There are definitely days when Luke really tests my patience. Over the years I have definitely learnt how to fight back or just let it go. I don’t think there is a person on the planet now that I could not deal with because there really is no match to Luke.
2. I have learnt how to share the blame
My brother, sister and I have definitely learnt this lesson together. There have been times when things in the house have gone missing or have been damaged beyond repair that we have had to share the blame for. Even if we were only partly responsible for the damaged caused, most times we would just swallow our pride and take the wrap together.
3. I have learnt the importance of compromise
When you are one of three you definitely need to learn the art of compromise. This was a theme that came up particularly around deciding what we would watch on TV. My sister and I were so lucky that Luke enjoyed, or at the very least tolerated, watching chick flicks. Although there were many hours watching ‘The Simpsons’ and the footy, it did not come anywhere near to the hours spent watching Hi-5 and High School Musical (which he actually loves). The same can’t be said of who gets the TV as much today (Luke dominates that field) but at least now we have our laptops to watch Netflix.
4. I have learnt the art of teamwork
Anyone who grew up with siblings would know that sometimes you have to be a little bit sneaky. When we were young it was a team operation to have the house clean in 10 minutes (even though we had been given two hours) to ensure it was in pristine condition when mum and dad got home from work. As we have grown up the team operations have definitely been cranked up a notch. Last year I got home from work to find that the front window of our house smashed. I immediately thought the worst and was convinced someone had broken in. Luke then came to greet me and assure me not to worry because he did it and the window repair man was on his way. My sister and I weren’t all that surprised and did not say a word about it. On the weekend Luke’s girlfriend shared the story with my parents in her speech and they had no idea about it.
5. I have learnt how to get a free coffee and bonus life chat
My brother doesn’t have his driver’s licence. I am forever being sweet talked to drive him to footy training in exchange for free coffee. I actually don’t mind driving him around most times because he is actually a great person to chat to. He has an incredibly deep way of thinking about things and sees the world from such a unique perspective. Our life chats on the way to training actually make my day. Luke refuses to drink coffee at our house these days and always needs to have it barista made so Lil and I will often walk with him to the local coffee place to get one and he always will pay for us.
The truth is as much as it sucks sometimes sharing the house with your brother and sister going into your mid-twenties, it really is such a blessing. There is never a dull moment at home. As much as I appreciate the privilege it is to have the whole house to myself, I actually do get lonely when no one is home. Luke is always in the kitchen and up for a chat about something (unless of course he is playing FIFA or Fortnight in which case I dare not speak). Luke is always up for a random trip to the supermarket. Luke will make you smile; and best of all Luke will always love you and care for you. He knows just what to say and how to say it. I feel so blessed to have him as part of our family and for the light and humour he brings to it. Keep doing what you’re doing Luke, we all love you just the way you are.
Plotting our plan to embarrass him during speeches...