Text and images by Sarita Rajiv
I turned a year older (and hopefully wiser) this week. While wishing me happy birthday, a friend asked me how I felt about getting older. This is what came out in response, naturally, without a thought.
True as it is, my (almost) zen-like reaction to getting older is mainly due the fact that it’s no longer just a number game for me. I’ve begun to equate getting older with getting better. There’s no way one can get depressed about that right? Birthdays and new years have become a time to ponder in my home thanks to my partner in crime’s increasing penchant for reflection. And I’m beginning to appreciate that focusing on the year gone by in terms of happy moments, the new things I tried, the experiences I had and the goals I achieved (and how the ones that, contrary to my belief, did not turn my world upside down just because I did not achieve them) makes a world of difference to how I view getting older.
Now to get back to the other good thing about birthdays…the gifts!
This year, I received two gifts that are polar opposites of each other and yet have hit the right cords in my heart. I don’ think I could have dreamed up a birthday where I got a tree planted in my name and an iPad Air2. Woohoo to both!
The first one is a gift from friends, who through a group called Greenvein, got a tree planted in my name in India. A Golden Shower Tree's been planted in a small village in Kerala, in South India. The flowers from this tree are beautiful and an integral part of all new year celebrations in this state. Greenvein’s taken on an ambitious initiative to plant one billion trees, per year, in India as part of their Billion Trees project. A gift that keeps on giving; this is the kind of green gift I can get behind.
The second is a gift from the above mentioned, prone to reflection guy, my husband. A few days before my birthday, my husband asked me what I wanted to my birthday and I said, “Books. Lots of them.” He didn’t trust himself to get me the kind of books I wanted to read, so he decided to make it fabulously easy for me to get them myself. The sweet guy that he is, he went about looking for the best Kindle he could get me (if you’re wondering why I never just got one myself, it’s because I’m still quite the traditionalist. I still love the feel of a physical book way too much to abandon it voluntarily). And while he was researching the Kindle, he remembered that I’ve always pined for an Apple computer and my increasing frustration while using our current tablet. So he decided to get the latest iPad there is, all that had to be added was the Kindle app.
What I love about this gift is not that it’s the iPad Air 2 (gorgeous as it is) but that he took two of my wishes and turned them into one amazing gift. He went above and beyond what I’d wished for. That’s what the best gifts are about, aren’t they. The thought that’s gone in them, the sentiment they carry. Here’s to lovely, meaningful gifts and getting better with each passing year.
How do you feel about birthdays and getting older? Have you got any special gifts you’d like to share in our Present Perfect series? Write to me. Meanwhile, here’s a post from the series that features a fig tree gift: Wedding anniversaries and gifts that grow.
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