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  • Life’s little ups and downs
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Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow

I'm a poz guy, just starting my tenth year living with HIV. I've been blogging here at since March 20th, 2011. I volunteer at two AIDS Service Organizations in my area, ACG (AIDS Committee of Guelph/Wellington) and ACCKWA (AIDS Committee of Cambridge Kitchener Waterloo and Area). I've also been blogging for ACG since November 2010. I am a self-taught social media junkie doing facebook and twitter. I'm a great retweeter. I was recently hired by the OHTN (Ontario HIV Treatment Network) as a Peer Research Assistant. In my spare time I am a hobby photographer; some of my photos show up in my blog. 

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Christmas stuff

Monday, 05 January 2015 Written by // Wayne Bristow - Positive Life Categories // Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow reflects on Christmas gift giving, receiving and just accumulating stuff.

Christmas stuff

“I think as you grow older your Christmas list gets shorter, because the things you want can’t be bought.”

I came across this quote several times on social media during the last few weeks leading up to Christmas. I was not alone in my thinking; it seemed to me someone was on the same wavelength as I was. I look around me and I see so many things I have acquired over the years and I think "one day I may not wake up and someone is going to have to dispose of it all". Sure, someone may want to keep a trinket or two but for the most part, no one is going to want this stuff.

Like many people, I have had ‘collections’. Some people collect ornaments of cows or pigs, elephants or cats. For a while my sons and I collected sportscards, I have boxes of them still. For those who have actually met me, they have witnessed me showing up with a new hat from time to time, it’s my newest collection/addiction.

As Christmas arrived, I was asked “so, what do you need for Christmas?” My response: “I don’t know of anything” and I told them that maybe a gift card would be best if they had to buy me something. I just like to shop for myself.

Over the years people have bought me a sweater or an article of clothing they thought I would like, but I usually don’t and wouldn’t want to be found dead in it. I’m sorry if any of you are reading this, I might putter around the house wearing them but that’s as far as I go. I do appreciate you asking now and giving the gift card.

Now when I do my own Christmas shopping, I try to avoid buying from “big business”. They really don’t need my money. I make my own Christmas cards from my own photography. They say to give gifts you’ve created yourself, like crafts or baking, but my sister is into knitting, I really hope she doesn’t see this.

I look at the practice of gift giving as, I’m just going to give someone the same ‘stuff’ I’m saying I don’t need, and I think, if they don’t wake up tomorrow, I might be asked to pack up the stuff and chuck it, I don’t want it back. We live in a throw-away world where things are new and improved before you unwrap the last gift you received.

This Christmas actually worked out great for me. I didn’t get more stuff that would accumulate in my space. I think people finally understand me. Each gift I received fed one of my temptations, like my love of chocolate, I like to have a social drink so there was a gift card for beer, thanks mom. I also received a bottle of Crown Royal whiskey, my favourite. Then out of the blue came a total surprise - a box that contained $23.00 worth of “BACON” as my secret Santa gift. My life in BitStrips on Facebook is becoming legendary for loving bacon.

So what will I do with all my stuff? I have a plan to get rid of most of it – honestle! Like the pile of pants with the 32 inch waist, oh, and the ones that are 34 inches can go as well, the size medium shirts -  some of the large still fit so I’ll hang onto them. I know I have enough clothes, I could go weeks without having to do laundry and wear something different every day. Next would be the record albums, the cassettes and CD’s I haven’t listened to in several years and the stereo I played them on. I’ve moved it several times over the past five or six years but never use it, not even the radio.

Maybe one day when I stop buying all this stuff for myself, things I don’t really need, I might be able to do something I’ve never done, like take a trip somewhere and fly for the first time. That’s right, I’m 60 years old and have never flown anywhere.

One thing I won’t have to worry about if they find me dead some day, I didn’t have any sex toys hidden away.

Hopefully I’ll get my memories down to a box of old photos, of me with my family and friends - time well spent and they don’t cost you a dime to remember.