My husband Daniel is a great guy. He’s my best friend and we are still connected and having fun after three kids and fifteen years of marriage.
But the man is seriously hard to shop for.
A few weeks back, we had a text conversation about his upcoming birthday.
“I have everything I need. I don’t want more stuff,” he said.
“What if money wasn’t an issue? What would you want then?”
“A suitcase full of cash.”
I contemplated getting a suitcase and filling it with singles when he added:
“Time. A weekend away, maybe.”
The wheels started turning.
Every month, we attend a local art event at a gorgeous warehouse that’s been restored to include artists’ studios and event space. I emailed a bunch of our friends and asked them to just show up at the gallery and ‘randomly’ bump into us. We live just over an hour outside of Chicago and I knew it would be a long shot asking people to make a long drive after a long work day. But several friends were free and we had a blast surprising Daniel one by one as we explored the artists’ studios at the gallery together. This is one birthday he will always remember.
Our surprise party!
At one point during the night, I mentioned that what Daniel really wanted for his birthday was time with people he cares about. A friend of ours nodded his head knowingly.
“I’m tired of shopping for stuff that just ends up sitting in a pile in a corner.” His wife added that she’d scored Soundgarden tickets for the following weekend for that very reason–time together.
An experience. A lifelong memory.
I’m not anti-materialism. I’m just selective about it: I love Mac products, good running shoes and outdoor/exercise/camera gear. But I own two pairs of jeans and maybe five pairs of shoes total. Daniel and I both value time together, with our kids and our friends, and creating careers and fun experiences that fulfill us more than grabbing more stuff to collect dust on an end table or worrying about what our vehicles say about our status compared to our neighbors.
How about you?
What experiences do you value most?
Are there any shifts you need to make in your life to open up to new experiences?
What could you give someone you love besides more stuff?
Name ONE way you can give yourself the gift of time this week.
Share your thoughts in the comments here, or you can always email me. Your responses may make it into a future Makearoo Dispatch.