So here’s a question for you: what did you get for Christmas last year? Go on, think hard. And your birthday? Hmm, thought not. I can’t remember either. And that’s not to belittle my beloved and family, who obviously shopped mindfully and thoughtfully and bought me gifts they knew I’d love. I just honestly can’t remember.
Now I’ll ask you another question: where did you GO last year? What did you experience? What memory makes your heart soar? Yup, now I bet you can remember. Me? I stood on the observation deck of the world’s tallest building in Dubai. I had lunch with Jimmy Doherty, walked in the footsteps of the Mayans at Chichen Itza and shared amazing tapas and cocktails in a bar in London with some of my closest, dearest friends. Oh, and I stood on the bow of a beautiful cruise ship as it docked in the Bahamas, gasped as the Red Arrows whooshed over my head at Goodwood and got my apron on at Leith’s (among other things).
So, beginning to see my point? We (and I’m one of the biggest culprits here) are all about stuff: buying stuff to wear, buying stuff for our homes, a new handbag here, a new face cream there. I wonder how much money I spent on STUFF last year. Actually, it’s probably best that I don’t wonder. I’d be horrified.
What will my teenagers remember when they look back on their ever-decreasing childhood years? Will it be the HMV vouchers and the trainers? Maybe. But I’m also hoping it will be the amazing adventures that we’ve shared: watching pelicans fishing on the Riviera Maya, playing Xbox games with their creators in Cologne and whizzing about a skate park under the Westway flyover.
So this year (and this is my resolution, if I dare call it that) will be all about experiences. And not about stuff. I will step away from the Buy It Now button and stash my cash for that city break… that coveted wander around Borough Market… maybe even a holiday. All those memories, ready and waiting to be made. And cherished. Snapshots of a life lived well, ready to be brought out on a gloomy November day, and many November days to come, and replayed for my enjoyment.
So here’s wishing you a very happy New Year. May you create many new snapshots for your own collection x