My birthday is coming up and I know it’s not long before a few folks start asking me what I want for my birthday.
Now I don’t want to sound ungrateful here. I am very grateful indeed. But it struck me this year how my wants have changed in the last 18 months.
Last year I didn’t want anything much but came up with a list of CD’s, DVD’s and books I would like.
This year … there’s nothing much I can be bought. I either want hugely expensive things (like an electric bike for better days so I can sycle with my husband again and I can get to the shops, post office etc) or they are ridiculously mundane.
Even my old faithfuls are on dodgey ground.
See, I don’t much listen to music – not off my own back. At first it was the effort of changing the CD and having to get up and go over to the stereo. Now I just really enjoy the peace and quiet. My house is in a pretty quiet spot and I love listening to the wind in the trees, the birds, the passing swoosh of cars.
I find it tricky to watch DVD’s. I just can’t summon the enthusiasm in the day time to be locked into a story for over an hour. In the evenings we sometimes watch films (tv can be so rubbish) but I’m wary of extending past a comfortable bed time, and of being over stimulated just before sleep. Films have always had a big impact on me and now it’s harder than ever to switch off afterwards.
Books … well I love books, always have. But I can’t seem to read anymore. Earlier this year I discovered the words started to swim on the page and my problems with cognitive function can make reading quite a chore. However, now I read on the computer screen quite a lot frequenting blogs and so forth, so reading books should be accessible to me. Yet somehow my interest isn’t there – whether it’s just the physical effort of holding the book and turning pages or whether I’m lacking a certain something to get hooked into reading I don’t know.
Even the book I bought recently on acrylic techniques has only had it’s pictures looked at. I cannot seem to focus my mind to read.
Even my beloved NDS and hubbie’s PS2 aren’t inspiration for gifts. I have a couple of games ready to be played that I really wanted – but I just can’t seem to muster the right mood for it.
My life is so simplified.
I don’t go anywhere and I don’t go out to shop. I can’t even ask for vouchers. My shopping is almost exclusively internet shopping now and anything else is happily provided by hubbie. I could ask for vouchers for online stores I use – but they’re mostly obscure and not frequented by those doing the asking.
I use just a few toiletries and have no need for perfumes, moisturisers or indulgent products. My ezcma flares now so I have to be so careful what I use and even my favourite perfumes are too overwhelming for me because of CFS/ME.
I have no hobbies to speak of. I draw and paint but I have found myslef using less and less tools so there’s little scope there.
One thing which has come of this taking stock is realising how I have achieved a great deal in reducing my consumerism this year! I have a way to go – I’m no saint. But it shows how material things are less important. I am more concerned about my vitamins and medications than any other purchase.
I’ve found a few things to ask for because there are those who just want to buy me a present. It’s things like socks, thermal tops, fleece blanket, thick altar candles (I love to watch the candle light on dull autumn/winter days).
In some ways it would be great to ask for a voucher for an action – take me for a haircut, take me for a wheelie walk somewhere quiet one day, sell my car for me, clean my kitchen floor, read me a story/magazine/newspaper/book, sort my junk out for me, flea treat the cat, motivate my landlord into replacing the rotten windows in our house so I don’t freeze this winter again, respite care for me for a day so hubbie can go play golf with friend and have time off, send me a card or a letter once a month to raise my spirits without expecting a reply. But those who want to give such things would do so anyway. It’s easier to buy a CD.
I remember my mom pleading with me one year before Mothers Day that she didn’t really want a gift, she just wanted help. She’d rather I hoovered the house than spent money on something she didn’t need.
I also remember every year for Christmas my Grandma J asking my mom for support tights for Christmas. It always seemed such a spoilt opportunity to me as a child and a teenager.
Now I am starting to fully understand.
PS: This is not an excuse to tell you it’s my birthday soon. See how I am not telling you when? I am quite happy to let this year pass by quietly as I’m too knackered, achey and ill to let me hair down (or even to wash it).