Again, it took some thinking before I could answer this one.
I don't get a lot of gifts, so the ones I do receive for Mother's Day, birthday and Christmas are always much appreciated.
However, on reflection, the most memorable gift this year came completely out of the blue and was so wonderful that I almost didn't think of it in this context.
In October, as I do every year, I coordinated the ABA stand at the Melbourne Pregnancy, Babies and Children's Expo. This has drifted over into my paid office role in recent years, however I also make a commitment to participate over the three days as a volunteer. I figure it is my major contribution for the year, I enjoy doing it and my family life makes it possible to do so.
All good to go - after I set up on the Thursday afternoon
On a personal level, though, it is a huge thing. The Expo is held in the city, a good hour's drive from home. Each of the three days I need to be there before 9am and stay til about 5pm. Generally I arrive home about 12 hours after I left and only have time/energy to eat and crawl into bed before repeating. With my health challenges, this is of course, pure madness!
So as I struggled to get going on Day Two, getting an email from one of our volunteers, also a Facebook friend, asking if I could use a hotel room in the city for that night was like a gift from the goddess! There wasn't enough time for her to make and confirm arrangements before I left, so i hastily threw my *toiletry bag into my nearby yoga bag, added clothes for the following day and drove off, awaiting further instructions!
By the time I arrived, it was all set - a hotel in walking distance of the Expo venue would await me at the end of the day. Instead of doing my twelve-hour turnaround that night, I was able to relax, eat dinner at a restaurant on the river, relax in a hot bath and sleep blissfully alone (no snoring husband, dog and cat sharing my bed!)
Next morning I had a wonderful hotel buffet breakfast (one of my favourite treats!) before a quick drive back to the venue to start the final day fresh and restored.
So my most wonderful gift of the year, from the lovely Emmaly, was the gift of time and energy and relaxation.
Thank yo doesn't seem enough.
* A task I set myself this year was to set up a bag of essential toiletries and medications, separate from those I use daily, for just such an occasion! I actually thought of it in case of unexpected hospital admission, but unexpected hotel stay was just as good! And my yoga bag has extra bits and pieces like spare undies, scarves etc in it, so that worked well too! Might set up an overnight bag though and keep it in the car!