What’s On Your Wish List?

What’s On Your Wish List?

Many people stop making wish lists as they grow up because they think it’s inappropriate. The sentiment evolves to: If I want something, I can buy it. But do we, especially when other needs arise? As parents, there’s always another need. Can we? Those with limited funds often have moms settling to make ends meet. If we purchase the item, is it the one we want, or did we opt for the one on sale? 

Over the years, I’ve received generic gifts from well-meaning family, friends, and colleagues, and it was really more the thought that counted. After all, doesn’t everyone want a coffee shop gift card? Not if you aren’t a coffee drinker. While they sell other items, if I splurge on a treat, it will likely be a Salted Caramel Brownie Sundae from my favorite Lakeview ice cream shop. 

Because my m.o. is to take my friends with me on my journey, once I created a wish list, I asked everyone I knew if they had one and suggested they all do the same. Of course, when I wrote my first book, creating a list was included. It’s been years, and I’ve written several blogs that stressed the importance of creating a wish list annually. Imagine my surprise when, over the past month, I had multiple similar experiences with friends. 

A friend recently celebrated a birthday, and I asked her, “What’s on your wish list?” 

I asked a mom of many whom I wanted to treat, “What’s on your wish list?”

I asked a relative going through a rocky patch, “What’s on your wish list?”

All three women, mothers of different ages, stages of motherhood, and ethnicities, shared the same response: “I don’t know.” One mom took it a step further; she said, “Why would I need one? Who is going to buy me something?” She’s not the first woman I’ve heard express that sentiment.

Everyone should have a wish list. Creating it before you need it prevents stress and reduces adding impulse items. Because we don’t know when we’ll have a medical emergency, natural disaster, or unexpected disruption, being armed with a list is a gift to yourself and those who love you.

Creating a list can be challenging if you are so hyper-focused on your other roles that you lose sight of yourself. For moms who struggle with the concept, consider spending a few minutes reflecting on the following prompts. Consider your past, present, and future self. 

Who were you?

Before children, maybe before marriage, what did you do? How did you spend your free time? What goals, dreams, or hopes did you have? As a child, I wanted a convertible, a baby grand piano, and to visit Australia.  I loved baking and being an entrepreneur. As a teen and young adult, I loved reading, learning, giving myself manicures and pedicures, listening to music, going to movies, and spending time with friends.

Who are you? 

I’m an audiobook consumer who still loves movies, connecting with friends and family, volunteering, and baking. I enjoy traveling and learning new things, and I am still an entrepreneur.

Who do you want to be?

I want to be more active outdoors, biking, hiking, horseback riding, and traveling. I want to spend time with the people who mean the most to me and less time on unnecessary things. 

Now that you’ve gotten that far consider what you need to accomplish those goals. Do you need a travel bag, audiobook subscription, baking supplies, hiking boots, movie gift cards, business supplies, music subscriptions, help around the house, or a new bike? I would appreciate these gifts, which would help me become a better version of myself.

I created this template to offer a few ideas based on roles. 

Investing a few minutes in creating a list could elevate gift-giving this year. There is often a debate about whether we should focus on gifts or experiences. Your preference is just that—your preference. Your list can consist solely of experiences if that makes you happy. However, if there are items that will bring you joy, make your life easier, or that you just want—that’s okay, too. I don’t drink, but it doesn’t prevent me from giving a bottle of wine to a friend who does. Likewise, our minimalist friends shouldn’t give us a vase with a comment about how many vases we have. Gifts should be guilt-free. Here’s to giving and receiving more personal gifts to help you on this journey. 

Tip: Invite your friends for your beverage of choice, print out a few copies, and complete the list together. An item from your list may spark an idea for someone else. Share this concept with friends, family, teachers, coworkers, and neighbors for more fulfilling experiences.


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