reverb10: the gift of time

December 30 – Gift Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? (Author: Holly Root)

I've received some fantastic gifts this year. I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be in my life. I consider that a gift from the universe. On a tangible level, I appreciate the thought and care that goes into choosing things like birthday and Christmas presents. This Christmas I received some useful gadgets I'd been wanting like a sound machine/alarm clock and a charging station for all our devices that help us keep in touch. Not to mention the awesome panini press from my brother and sister-in-law, which I've used constantly for about a week now.

Because this has been a year of moments and appreciation, what I'm most grateful for and the gift that is most memorable to me has been time. I think I've hinted at this in previous posts where I talk about friendship and being open to others. Brianne and Dustin drove to Champaign for many dinners and lunches just to spend time with us. This taught me a lot about putting in the work So many people in my life gave me their time, especially during our move this summer but also on a daily basis through phone calls and dinner conversations, dropping by my office or sending me a text and even people I don't know who stopped by the blog or replied to a post via twitter gave me their time and attention. It's a bit overwhelming to consider how much care is in those actions.

One of M's oldest and best friends, Kate, who I've become friends with over the years probably doesn't realize the impact of the various lunch dates and help and advice she offered. She got married this year and asked us to take the photos of her wedding, which meant we were involved in a particularly special way in her life. I know how much it means to M and to me to spend time with her and we both consider our time with her a gift.

M who is especially busy offered small ways to connect in quiet mornings and the conversations in the car as we traveled between her two jobs. She also gave me time to spend with my family this summer and during Thanksgiving.

I love presents. I love the thoughtful little "I saw this and it made me remember that time we..." gifts. But I love time with my family, with my friends, new and old and with my love so much more.

Update: On the first day of 2011 M and I got new phones. It's so awesome that I feel incredibly lucky and I know it will take mostly intangible gifts to even begin to measure up. It's that fantastic of a phone. :)