For the past couple of years, I have had this funny reaction to my birthday. I feel kind of overwhelmed and frustrated when someone asks me what I want. I tend to think things like "I don't have time to want things for my birthday", which I realize is a ridiculous thought.
So yesterday as I was checking in books I thought about it and figured out a couple of things.
I don't want stuff, because I spend so much time dealing with stuff. If I get, for example, a new chair for my office, (which makes sense because it's not the best chair in the world and it's pretty uncomfortable for months 6-9 of pregnancy) I have to deal with the packaging from the new chair, moving the new chair, deciding what to do with the old chair, etc. That is a lot of work. I would rather just sit on a pillow or just not sit in my office for a couple of months than add more work to my life. Stuff = work. Even things that I do really want-either mean that I would have to find a place for it, or find time to use it, or do something with the old thing, and the thought of adding more work to my life feels like the opposite of a present.
What I do really want, really, is help. Just help with any of the things that I have to do, or especially help with the things that I want to do, but will never get to because of all of the work. This was a wonderful thing to figure out.
So I asked Dad to get me gardening supplies-the plants and the mulch, etc. and Susan and Steven to come out and help me and the kids dig up and plant the vegetable garden and get it all set up.
I asked Katrina to help me plant flowers on the porch. She'll bring me flowers and potting soil and help me and the kids plant together and it is perfect.
It's a much bigger gift though-because it costs both money AND time, and I realize I'm a hugely lucky girl to have these people in my life.
Anna is still not convinced-I remember my Mom telling me she wanted things like "for you all to be happy", "for you and your sisters to get along", "for you to remember to wipe off the counters after you do the dishes" and being so frustrated. But it's true. I want those things more than anything else (except maybe hard floors in the house. I do want that a whole lot).
What sorts of things do you want these days?