Rather than buying me gifts this year my daughter has decided to start giving me “experiences”. My translation of that is that she has figured out how much more I enjoy her company than any purchase she could make for me. My Christmas gift was an evening at a pottery painting shop and dinner at a local restaurant. We laughed and shared stories and I heard all about her recent activities. She is old enough now to share a drink with me and we still share a meal since we are both small eaters, so it felt like she was still the little girl with whom I used to share milk shakes and French fries.
For Mother’s Day she offered to take me out to brunch and do anything I wanted to do. So off we went to Old Navy, then the Super H Mart for sushi, and then Big Lots and Costco. Not the most glamorous outing, but it was the perfect Sunday with lots of smiles and anecdotes and absolutely perfect weather. I wish all mothers such a wonderful day with their children.
So why do we race around shopping for “the perfect gift” when we end up purchasing something which is never perfect? Time spent together; that is what is perfect.
I remember visiting my father in his assisted living facility and how he lit up just to see me. No gifts, no prizes, just my company. We often sat in the garden while I wrote and he listened to the Big Band music I had loaded onto an IPod for him. Time stood still while we savored the experience of just being together.
If we were asked what we really wanted for a gift I believe most of us would just like one another’s company. Turn off the television, go for a walk, and get off the grid. Pay attention to the person right next to you, pay real attention, not just cursory attention now and then.
Although I am not a medical provider here is my analysis and prescription for you:
Good health is often a condition of happiness and happiness is often the result of time spent with loved ones doing things we particularly enjoy. Consider the time you spend together an investment into your good health and theirs. Laughter has always been considered good medicine so add in as much of that as you can. There is no cost for the positive health results you will experience so stock up on the joy of the experience this weekend. It’s free!!!