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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It’s that time of year again

It seems like the older I get the more stress I feel. It was only just yesterday that life was simple. Easy. I remember when the hardest thing I had to do was remember to get out of the house early enough to catch the school bus. And even if I missed it I had the chance to flag it down as it went past the house again.

But as life gets more complicated up goes the stress. You get a job, you learn what real deadlines are, not those wish-washy school things you fretted so much about. You get paid for what you’ve done. Not always what you deserve, but you’re prepared to give it a go and put the effort with the hope that you can get ahead.

Then we might take the crazy step of getting married. Married life is a constant juggle. We girls have moods, but from what I’ve noticed, so do men. We each have our own goals that we want to reach, and it’s so important to talk about what they are rather than just assume our partner knows. Men can’t read minds – or multitask – or accept that a full plate of protein is not a healthy meal. But my dh likes to insist he knows better than me on that score. I used to grind my teeth, and slip the extra BBQ chop to the dog. I miss that dog.

To get a better job I took on further study. I remember feeling distinctly isolated when I went back to further my education as I had no Mr. Ward or Mrs. Evans telling me I wasn’t putting in enough of an effort. My first semester back at learning was a very large nightmare. There could have been a reason for those first failures. I studied on the commute, and I was exhausted all the time. But I reenrolled for the course again and passed. And kept on passing until I had my degree.

Having kids is a huge stress too. The first one had a rough time, we didn’t do that mother/son bonding thing until very late, but the second child was a piece of cake. I have two amazing boys, both different, and a joy to talk to. They have different strengths, weakness but both have a killer sense of humor. But sometimes it’s hard to reach them when they stick to their guns.

But there is one stress in my life that ranks so much higher than everything else. It’s my mother’s birthday today. Enough said?

She has everything. She wants nothing. I’ve been trying to think of a gift for the last few weeks and I still haven’t come up with anything good. So aside from my humble company, I have no idea what I’m going to do.

So what do you give the woman with a technology phobia, a sweet tooth you CANNOT feed because of Diabetes, and who has more stuff crammed into her house than anybody needs to know? I know it’s too late for her birthday, she’ll have to put up with just me, but any suggestions would be a great help since Christmas, and the inevitable stress of chosing (or not) a gift for her, is just around the corner.


  1. Maid service? A massage? I honestly don't know. My mother is easy to buy for. She spends most of her spare time reading, so I just send her all the wonderful books my friends have written, and she's happy. Although I have wanted to buy her a kindle, I wonder about the whole technophobe thing.

  2. I would suggest some kind of event or outing where the two of you can enjoy something together. As everyone gets older, we typically get what we want for ourselves without waiting for a present -- LOL -- but I always enjoy going somewhere or trying something new.

  3. I like both suggestions so far, I'm in the same boat Heather. My mother has everything and I simply do not know what to get her at times. But I've since learned that the loves scents and so I go to Bath and Body works all the time to grab up several different soaps and lotions. of course now that she's developed a rash to most scents this year that will be out of the quetion for me lol. She loves to shop so I take her out shopping a lot despite the fact that I hate shopping and I hate talking on the phone. My mother complains that I am not her child LOL. But there you go two suggestions for you

  4. Spa services are always nice! We give my mom a gift card for a facial every Christmas. What about baking her some sugar-free sweets? BabyCakes is a famous cupcakery in NYC and LA and they have a cookbook of their gluten-free, sugar-free treats.

  5. If she already has everything, then I'd say give her an experience, not an item. A spa visit or a massage is a good option. But in my opinion, the better option is an experience she can share with you. Go to a concert or a play, experience the opera, take her to a museum that she's never been to before. Or, if you decide on the spa, do it together.

  6. I like the maid service suggestion and the spa suggestion. If someone gave me maid service I would kiss their feet!

  7. Morning everyone - its shaping up to be a beaufiful day on the other side of the world. Thanks for dropping by.

    I think I did good this birthday - spent time with her in the garden, took birthday cake, she declined the singing (probably a good idea really), and chatted for a few hours.

    But those are all great ideas for Christmas. Making notes - Thank you!

  8. I have the same problem with my mother, Heather. What do you give someone who has more than she knows what to do with? But I'd definitely look at a facial or luxury beauty treatment for Christmas. They're just so indulgent!

    Otherwise you could look at tickets to a show. A night out at one of the big musicals might be fun.

  9. My Mum comes to stay with us over Christmas. I get her books and she reads them then leaves them behind for me. Next Christmas, they're in her room, making it more convincingly "hers."

  10. This year I sent my mom flowers on her birthday. I know it's rather cliche, but she isn't going to send flowers to herself. She came out of retirement earlier this year, so I made sure they were delivered at work. That way everyone knew it was her special day and could fuss over her a bit.

    In the past, I've subscribed to a magazine she likes, sent gift cards to her favorite stores, given jewelry or a pretty scarf (my mom likes clothes as much as I do) and made her a calendar with all of her grandkids' pictures.

    If she lived close, I'd probably plan a girls' day out - lunch and shopping - or maybe we'd catch a movie. Even doing simple things would be a treat since we only get to see each other a couple times a year.

  11. Also, I don't know how old your mum is, but I once had an older patient tell me she wished her family would buy her underware. LOL. And I've had more than one elder tell me they don't like gift certificates because some of them have stopped driving and it's too much work to go shopping.

    The thing that makes most of my patients really happy is when their kids either take them out to dinner or bring dinner over and visit with them.