I’m a great believer in experiences, not things. Go places. See things. Make memories. When I’m gift buying, I’m more inclined to buy a concert ticket or a meal out, than I am to buy a hand cream.
The gift is given. The glee is experienced. The countdown begins. The event nears closer. The details are planned. The trepidation is palpable. The excitement mounts. The event arrives. The fun begins. The memory is made and lasts a lifetime. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, way beyond its anticipated expiry date.
Unlike the hand cream which last around 3 months; maybe less during COVID. In saying that, if any of my friends who have gifted me a hand cream are reading this, please, please do not think I don’t like the hand cream. I promise I love the hand cream.
Anyway, this strategy has taken me locally. Internationally. To restaurants. Concerts. Festivals. Comedians. Even the Monaco Grand Prix made it on this particular gift list. I’ve danced to many bands. Cheered at numerous sporting events. Each and every one an absolute treat. I generally buy a ticket so I can accompany the gifted soul; everyone’s a winner. They get to see their favourite band or event and are blessed with my scintillating company. Not forgetting the silent added bonus, I benefit from the memory of attending the event and seeing my friend having the best fun. Does life get any better that that?
The last 18 months however, added to the list of benefits to my gifting strategy, there have been the disappointments. Events cancelled literally everywhere. No one has escaped it. I have one event which, due to COVID and some other reasons (bad hip apparently), will not take place for five years following the purchase of the ticket. Yes, you got that right, five years.
That’s just a little bit crazy.
Anyway I digress.
Another benefit of this gifting strategy is, frequently friends and family plan lovely things for me too. They don’t all buy me hand cream (jokes). Most recently I attended a concert to see a fabulous band, Erasure, whom I love. Absolutely. After being imprisoned for the last 18 months, it was nothing short of delightful to be able to sing and dance in a sea full of likeminded fanaticals with a modicum of reckless abandon. COVID. What COVID? We drank (alcohol free of course), laughed and chatted and just had the best time. It was brimming full of fun, silliness and relaxation and rolled itself wonderfully into one fabulous weekend (apart from a unpleasant junkie in the train, but that’s another story).
I hear all the time “life is about balance”. I could scream sometimes as it’s one of those overused phrases that’s seems to feature everywhere. But of course I get it. Professional. Romantic. Health. Fitness. Fun. I must attempt to reach a healthy equilibrium across them all. A double helping of safe with a sprinkling of reckless. A stressful morning with a pleasurable afternoon. An arduous cycle ride followed by a chocolate bar. A safety net of savings with a frivolous Amazon delivery. The list goes on.
So it’s ok to hang up my bike today. Lay aside my cycling shoes. Switch off the turbo trainer. Forget macros. Protein. Nutritional value. Stop. Relax. I may eat the chocolate. Book those tickets. Drop into that restaurant I’ve been interested in for a while. Visit friends. Maybe even gift them gifts that keep on giving.
Because we are worth it. Another very overused phrase. Sorry.