On the brink of a birthday

I have the good fortune to have some truly amazing people in my life, and with my upcoming annual celebration of life, folks are asking for things that I might like. This is hard, as there are many things that I like, but would not want to have (except a Pyrex jug, which apparently is not a suitable to gift to ask someone for). So I started to think about things that I have really appreciated that people have done for me on this remarkable day.

I was once made a birthday card by Kathryn and Tina. This gift felt incredible, as I could see the time, effort, and knowledge of me that had gone into it. And it was also both dark and incredibly funny, which is likely why I still remember it. I still have this somewhere.

On my 17th birthday, my mum invited some of my friends over to dinner as a surprise. I don’t thnk that I can remember feeling that genuinely shocked by something in all my adult life. It just felt so amazing and so utterly unexpected. I have had someone end an eighteen month relationship with me over the telephone, been told that I need surgery, and found out I was pregnant (okay, that one is a definite contender for top place) and lots of other things, but that is what stands out, my Mum organising something so incredibly kind.

But in thinking about actual stuff that requires direct purchase, my brother has given me some things that I have really liked over the years. They have mostly all been Zelda themed and this is good! He also gave me his orange woolly bobble hat that is likely the most awesome thing on the planet (If you have ever seen the TV series ‘Firefly’, the hat will make perfect sense).

I am at a place now though, where I don’t know what I want. I feel so utterly blessed with the life I now get to lead, that thinking bigger than the now, beyond my present, actually feels really hard. So maybe for my jubilant cycle of the sun, what I would really like is a new perspective.

Map Point. What would be the best gift someone could give me?



It’s your go

I am a gamer. This word carries a lot of connotations, and generally refers to video games. But I have a more equally opportunistic outlook. I love mostly all games. Strategy games played online, where the visuals mostly never move, big games that involve massive landscapes to be explored (much Minecraft happy!), board games of words and knowledge, and occasionally a game of crazy golf.

My first gaming love was Zelda on the NES, me and my brother would play for hours and hours, whilst listening to The Beach Boys on cassette tape. I remember, aged fifteen, being at work and receiving a phone call from my brother, telling me that he had reached the final boss on ‘The Legend of Zelda’ and me begging him to pause it for the four hours it would take me to finish work and get home. He did. Am impressed at the stability of the NES as a console. For anyone who remembers ‘Duck Hunt’, respect to you all!

My first board game loves (beyond the years of Ludo, Sorry! and Buckaroo) were Scrabble, Risk and Monopoly. My mum had something of an abhorrence for board games, not because of the games themselves, but because ‘people took too long’ having their go. My Uncle Dave was also a board game fiend, and we used to play almost every Sunday afternoon. Whenever we used to go and visit my mum’s brother, there would always be a massive game of Trivial Pursuit. This is something that me and my cousin re-enact whenever he comes down, although possibly with more alcohol. They were all such good times. Maybe it was never about the games themselves.

For me games are an important part of my life. I am sometimes competitive, sometimes not. It is the absolute joy of learning something new, honing my existing skills and sharing some time with good people. Until very recently, I wasn’t playing many games at all, despite my love for them. I played an occasional game with my daughter or very occasionally with friends. Now I am playing weekly and it feels good. So many things that I really enjoy seem to slip by, I haven’t prioritised the time. I guess that there are many things that I love to do. Trying to do everything all the time can be hard to achieve, but using my time well, that is what is important.

Map Point. How can I plan my tomorrow to be more fun?