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The weirdest year of my life made me fall in love with alone time

2023-04-01 08:25:45

The weirdest year of my life made me fall in love with alone time

In Party for One, Mashable explores single life in 2020, from Carly Rae Jepsen’s iconic single anthems, to the beauty of alone time, and the fascinating history behind the single positivity movement.

The weirdest year of my life made me fall in love with alone time(图1)

The train pulled into the station in north eastern France and I hauled my rucksack and suitcase out of the carriage and into the night air. I was alone for the first time in a very long time and I couldn't wait for someone to put an end to my discomfort.

I was 21 years old. For my first two decades on earth, I'd been almost constantly surrounded by people. I'd grown up in a close-knit family and we relished each other's company. At university, I'd lived in a hectic halls followed by a big house with loads of friends. The summer before I left, I'd spent nearly every day with my boyfriend. Alone time was a foreign language I didn't speak.

Not long after my arrival at the station, I stood in the accommodation that I was going to be living in while I taught English at a French high school for my study abroad year of university. I won't lie — it was not a space that screamed Lovely Place To Be Alone. Inside a faded salmon pink building on the grounds of the suburban school was my new flat. Empty of any furniture except for one lone hospital bed that had been wheeled in from the nurse's office, the mood inside the flat can only really be described as nervously awaiting my demise in the horror movie that was now my life.

For my first few weeks, my nights were spent alone in my most-likely-haunted flat watching badly dubbed Friends episodes on French TV (in the absence of any IRL friends at that point). The entire time, I was constantly fighting off an intense malaise that wouldn't shift. I couldn't hack this whole being alone business so I became hellbent on spending as much time away from my Hill House-esque home as humanly possible. Mercifully, I made new friends and crashed on their sofas and floors after staying up late smoking and drinking cheap red wine. Deep down, though, I felt constantly overstimulated and running on empty, and it never occurred to me that my depleted energy levels had anything to do with the dearth of alone time in my schedule.

Me, pictured at the very start of my year in France back in 2009. Credit: rachel thompson

The life I'd left behind had been difficult for the past year. I'd had a few big friendship breakups and I wasn't ready to admit to myself that my shitty behaviour had been the common element in each fallout. I was on a hamster wheel of denial, running away from uncomfortable truths and self-awareness. It caught up with me in the end, though.

I felt better rested, less anxious, and more like the Rachel I used to know.

One day, I showed up at my friends' apartment after work. As we sat around the table chatting, one friend bobbed her head around the door and said "I just wanted to say hi to you before I head to my room because I need some alone time." Hearing a statement like that today wouldn't make me bat a single eyelid. But back then, hearing my older and very mature friend say this and sound so self-assured tugged a thread within me. Should I actually try this newfangled concept they call solitude, I thought to myself? All I can say now is: Bless my poor, inexperienced heart.

A few days later, I took a notebook to the café in the centre of town and ordered myself a coffee. I was trying on this whole aloneness thing like a new outfit. Pen in hand, I returned to this spot day in, day out and met with the thoughts I'd been running from for months on end. Writing it all down gave me an occupation that made me feel less awkward about sitting alone in a public place and a prop to avoid conversations with strangers. Of course, I did get the odd "are you writing me a love letter" comment from strange men. But I just kept going because I knew I was cleaning out the cobwebs from my mind. What I realised was this: I had behaved really badly over the past year and I wanted to be a better version of myself. New thoughts started to occur to me about my own self-worth. Like, I urgently needed to break up with my boyfriend who wasn't treating me nicely and, let's face it, hadn't done from day dot. One rather crucial realisation, too, was the fact that all this alone time was starting to make me feel better in many ways. I felt better rested, less anxious, and more like the Rachel I used to know.

Enjoying some time on a friend's terrace at the end of my year abroad. Credit: shannon kephart

Around about the same time, one of my friends told me our socialising was getting a bit much for her schedule. It stung, but I also knew how often we'd been hanging out — it was a lot. Now that I was a certified member of the Time Alone Club, I told myself I'd have a week of staying in. I sent my estranged boyfriend a message asking him if I could speak to him. He responded wanting to know the "overall theme of the conversation," "I think you know," I replied.

I was finding my way back to my old self, my real self.

"Can we make this quick, my battery is about to die and I'm on my way to the pub," he said briskly upon answering the phone. "Right ok," I said back, somewhat thrown at the request for haste. "This is hard but I think we need to break up. You haven't been very nice to me. In fact you've barely spoken to me since I got here." I kept talking for some time, breaking down as I uttered the words, but eventually the silence at the other end of the line told me the phone call had ended. His battery had died. He never called me back.

Once the deed was done, a sense of calm and stillness returned to me. Days and days went by and the solitude stopped feeling oppressive, and became a balm. I was finding my way back to my old self, my real self. While my apartment was still spooky as hell, I'd long feared the thoughts in my head more than anything in this mortal world. But I was no longer hiding under the covers of other people's company — I'd finally got out of bed and gone searching for the source of that bump in the night.

I grew more self-reliant that year and didn't just learn to tolerate alone time, but love it. It took me many more years to come to the realisation that I'm actually an introvert and that downtime is something I need in order to function as a human. But we live and learn! 11 years after that dramatic year, I live alone and love every blissful minute of it.

SEE ALSO: I haven't had a boyfriend for a decade. Here's what I've learned.

My year in France was the weirdest, most eventful, most beautiful year of my life. There were all night parties, kisses in the backseats of cars, short-lived trysts, trips to Paris, broken hearts, tears and tantrums, alone time in abundance, and quality time with people who became my best friends.

I sometimes look back on the pages of those notebooks that helped me figure out my shit that year. It's like flipping through the working out in a school kid's exercise book. That alone time helped me get to where I am now. I don't know what I'd have done without it.

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    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)

    10 female

    Even though there weren't any Gamoras in the top 1,000 names, Nebula is a pretty cool namesake. Sure, she dabbles with evil forces and has the most twisted relationship with her sister, but she can fight.


    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)

    6 male

    Six actual kids were named Hawkeye in 2017. Six. For the sake of these six children, we hope the archer/Avenger gets his own movie. Or Netflix series. Seriously, you can't let down these six kids!

    What Marvel-inspired names will 2018 bring? Black Panther names like T'Challa and Shuri will probably be popular, but if there are any baby Thanoses running around, good luck humanity!

    Want more clever culture writing beamed directly to your inbox? Sign up here for the twice-weekly Click Click Click newsletter. It's fun – we promise.

  • The vast morass of DietTok


    The vast morass of DietTok

    Late September last year I decided to take my diet a bit more seriously. I went to a couple weddings, and my suits were... let's say, a bit snug.

    I've always loved exercising, but I've also always loved eating. Last year, I trained for a grueling marathon, and after finishing it, one fell out of favor for the other. I'd clearly sailed past my era of eat anything you want so long as you go for a jog.

    Simply put: I wasn't taking care of myself, it showed, and I could feel it.

    So I vowed to put more thought into my eating habits. Immediately, the TikTok algorithm knew. Because your FYP seems to know what you're up to before you do. It was then I stumbled down the vast wormhole of what I'll call DietTok, a subset of TikTok dedicated to nutrition, eating habits, exercise, and weight loss. It's a mix of all the worst parts of diet culture in the U.S. — fad diets, body shaming — with an algorithm that feeds you that content repeatedly.

    By its programming, TikTok will always lead you toward content you find intriguing, good or bad. Back when I adopted a dog, I wrote about how my online life changed overnight — it was the same with committing to a healthier lifestyle, except much more pernicious. The world of crash diets and influencers peddling pseudoscientific shortcuts is dangerous. But over the past seven months or so I've also seen the helpful parts of DietTok, the people trying to give practical, realistic advice and encouragement.

    It's seems like every other content creator on TikTok is on a weight loss journey or promoting how they got a six pack. Parsing your way through that morass is necessary for anyone interested in content that might actually be healthy.

    Navigating diet advice on TikTok

    Before we get too far into the murky depths of DietTok, it's important to understand how to get good nutrition advice. For that I called up Christy Harrison, registered dietician and author of the books The Wellness Trap(opens in a new tab) and Anti-Diet(opens in a new tab). Her first bit of advice? Maybe don't rely on social media for nutrition facts.

    Studies, and my own IRL experience, have shown that an innocuous search about health and wellness can lead to misleading information and even dangerous eating disorder content.

    "That is a risk and is a huge problem with these platforms," Harrison told Mashable. "[Think about] not putting yourself in the line of fire of that misinformation firehose when you're vulnerable. [Consider] letting yourself take time, step away from social media, seeing what you can dig up in other spaces. But also consider the fact that our desire to lose weight, or get healthier, or change our eating, or exercise is, itself, often driven by diet culture."

    There's good reason to be wary of social media and TikTok in particular when it comes to your health. A study released(opens in a new tab) last year showed that many popular nutrition TikToks push diet culture and weight loss. Just three percent of posts were weight-inclusive, the University of Vermont researchers found. Another study showed that teens(opens in a new tab) were shown content about disordered eating within 30 minutes of joining TikTok. Ozempic, the diabetes drug people are using for weight loss, even became a trend(opens in a new tab) on the platform.

    That's frightening, especially since young people practically use TikTok as their search engine. Searching TikTok now for terms like "weight loss journey" or "weight loss" pull up warnings from the platform. Shoddy or harmful weight-related content online is not new. Tumblr had serious issues(opens in a new tab) with pro-anorexia communities, and YouTube influencers have long made unrealistic "what I eat in a day" videos. But with TikTok, you can't always escape this kind of content because of its unique For You Page experience. Also, if people are using TikTok as a search engine, then they're using it for answers. Think of many hacks and tricks have you learned from TikTok — some helpful, some not — and now apply that to your body and health. That's quite the risky proposition.

    Credit: Screenshot: TikTok
    Credit: Screenshot: TikTok

    It's not like people are going to give up social media or TikTok completely. How do you identify bad info? Harrison recommend the SIFT method(opens in a new tab) from digital literacy expert Mike Caulfield that asks folks to stop, investigate sources, find better coverage, and trace claims back to their origin. Basically: Slow down. Taking a TikTok as truth is one thing if it's a harmless animal fact; it's another when it involves your body. And, Harrison pointed out, understand that the most outrageous people with the trendiest claims might rise to the top. Ignore them and find what works for you and not what claims to hack the system. And, if you have a doctor you trust, talk with them first.

    The "Weight Loss Journey"

    At first, I found being on DietTok a bit frightening. There are lots of people promoting bad things out there. I got sucked down a rabbit hole of a man who claimed he lost weight via severe fasting and believed that calories aren't real. (They are.) I didn't actually believe him, but his content was engaging. So guess who appeared in my feed? (Note: I will not link to people promoting unhealthy or untrue things. Just trust they exist.) I saw people claiming it is healthier to crash diet and lose a ton of weight very fast. I saw a kid basically copying Liver King(opens in a new tab). And I witnessed so many people replacing tasty foods with awful, unsustainable substitutes.

    Diet culture is so wildly entangled in American culture, so it tracks that it would have a large footprint on TikTok. We've been reinventing ways to starve our bodies or quickly lose weight for decades. What is Keto if not Atkins? And don't they both resemble the carnivore diet propped up(opens in a new tab) by "manly" rightwing dudes? We always find ways to repackage old diets, why should TikTok be any different? According to Harrison, a dude named William Banting(opens in a new tab) was pushing a low-carb, meat-heavy diet back in the 1800s. Diet culture never really goes away; it just morphs according to the platform and the times. For example: Harrison's latest book explores the culture around wellness, which (my words, not hers) can often mean diets but, you know, with green juice.

    That's not to say there isn't actual helpful content out there. I found Adam Sullivan, an Australian trainer who affectionately refers to his audience as the c-word (again, Australian) while doling out factually sound advice. Shocking, wild things, like no one food is bad(opens in a new tab) and calories are real (but not to be feared) — and that you cannot lose or gain(opens in a new tab) a ton of fat in a short amount of time. It was a breath of fresh air and, frankly, a reminder to myself that I was trying to improve my lifestyle, not hack my way to a body society deems acceptable. (Also, I could listen to an Australian person read the phone book because the accent rules, so that helped.)

    With time — eight months now — I was able to settle into a healthier routine that fits me. It's something akin to intuitive eating. Just look at the meals I've been making to celebrate Succession's final season. They are anything but diet food, and yet I've lost weight.

    How much weight have I lost? That's none of your goddamn business. Because I know putting an exact number out there, on a public platform for the world to see, might not be a healthy idea.

    If talking with Harrison and being on TikTok during a *~weight loss journey~* has taught me anything, it's that a weight loss journey is a fool's errand. I feel like it's something people post about on TikTok for clout and, often, to sell you on the idea that they have the solutions. The reality is that there's no universal truth to weight loss. It's going to be different for everyone.

    I've had yo-yoing weight since high school, the scale fluctuating as I aged, and it took me being a grown adult to realize that there was no secret to losing weight. A journey implies that there's an end point, a future destination, a number to fixate on. But being more aware of what you put into your body allows you to enjoy the present.

    My FYP is largely back to normal — cooking tutorials, dog videos, and niche comedy. Maybe I'm getting less diet content because I never went on a diet.

  • Google Lens will attempt to identify your pets breed


    Google Lens will attempt to identify your pets breed

    Snapping someone's pooch on the sly? Instead of asking a human being, learn what breed their pet is later with Google's new Lens.

    If you're using Google Photos across across Android and iOS, you can use Lens to identify animal breeds from your snaps and get more information. Only a preview was made available before now, but on Wednesday, it officially rolled out.

    SEE ALSO: Google's 'dog view' lets you explore a city with local fluffy doggos

    Hitting the Lens on photos of cats and dogs in your gallery will immediately bring up what Google thinks the breed is. You can now also search through your photos by breed, species, or emoji.

    Take my family dog Scout here. She is indeed a Pomeranian.

    Credit: shannon connellan/mashable

    It's not perfect, but sometimes it gets things more right than you know. Scout is indeed also people.

    Credit: shannon connellan/mashable

    Dogs that are a mix of breeds are trickier. My dog, Padfoot, is a blend of Irish wolfhound and Australian cattle dog and is better than your dog. Google's results were a little off, or perhaps we need to put Padfoot through an episode of What's Your Mutt?(opens in a new tab).

    Credit: shannon connellan/mashable

    In some countries, you can label your pet in Google Photos too, so you can easily find them in your files. You can also find photos of them in certain situations, for example, "Padfoot park."

    Credit: google

    You can also create a movie of your pet, in the Assistant tab. There are two new options available, "Meow Movie" and "Doggie Movie," which will allow you to select a pet, then Google will compile a set of your photos into a movie with super cheesy "pet-themed" music — honestly, it's preeeetty bad.

  • #DearProfessorFord: Actresses support Brett Kavanaughs accuser ahead of hearings


    #DearProfessorFord: Actresses support Brett Kavanaughs accuser ahead of hearings

    Hollywood actresses and women from around the U.S., some being key members of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, have shown their support for Christine Blasey Ford.

    Blasey, a professor at California's Palo Alto University, who recently accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, has seen significant public support after she made the difficult decision to publicly share her story(opens in a new tab).

    SEE ALSO: GoFundMe to support Kavanaugh's accuser surpasses goal in several hours and is still going strong

    Now, the likes of Julianne Moore, America Ferrera, Gabrielle Union, Amber Tamblyn, Eva Longoria, Jamia Wilson, and Marisa Tomei, along with many other women from different situations, all read the same supportive letter to Ford, in a video posted to Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday with the hashtag #DearProfessorFord.

    It's signed collectively from "your sisters."

    "We applaud your courage in coming forward for the public good, and we will be with you as you face the inevitable backlash," the letter reads.

    "You are strong. And you are not alone. You are a survivor. Millions of us have your back. You and your testimony are credible."

    It finishes with three little words many of the women in this video would have craved to hear when some of them, like Union, bravely came forward with their own stories of sexual abuse.

    "We believe you."

    Three little words. Credit: mashable screenshot

    Here's the full letter, which is best read by the women themselves in the video. It ends with a call to action, for people to call their senators to demand a "full, fair, and trauma-informed investigation."

    Dear Professor Ford.

    We know how difficult it is to stand up to powerful people. We want to thank you for publicly sharing your story of sexual violence. As members of the Senate determine whether Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should serve as a Supreme Court Justice, this context is critical.

    The behavior you described was wrong, and runs directly counter to upholding the law and promoting justice. He should not be confirmed.

    We can also imagine how shocking and overwhelming it must have been to have your truths shared on a national stage without your permission. You should be the only decision maker about how your story is shared, if ever."

    We applaud your courage in coming forward for the public good, and we will be with you as you face the inevitable backlash.

    You are strong. And you are not alone. You are a survivor. Millions of us have your back. You and your testimony are credible.

    We believe you.


    Your sisters.

    Though a new Senate hearing on the accusation was scheduled for Monday, Blasey has requested(opens in a new tab) an FBI investigation be done before she testifies, but left open the possibility that she might appear before the committee.

    Additional reporting by Nicole Gallucci.

  • China has blocked all language versions of Wikipedia

    China has blocked all language versions of Wikipedia


    Wikipedia is now completely inaccessible in China.

    The Chinese version of the online encyclopedia has been blocked in the country since 2015, but the BBC reported(Opens in a new tab) (and the Wikimedia Foundation confirmed) that all language versions of Wikipedia are now blocked in mainland China.

    SEE ALSO: There may be a copy of Wikipedia somewhere on the moon. Here's how to help find it.

    "In late April, the Wikimedia Foundation determined that Wikipedia was no longer accessible in China. After closely analysing our internal traffic reports, we can confirm that Wikipedia is currently blocked across all language versions," Wikimedia said in a statement.


    The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) has gathered data(Opens in a new tab) on China's Wikipedia block, concluding that "multiple language editions of Wikipedia have been blocked in China as of April 2019."

    China has been actively blocking certain internet sites, including Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, for years, but -- somewhat surprisingly -- all but the Chinese versions of Wikipedia were available. Wikimedia says it hadn't receive any notice of China's move.

    Wikipedia has been blocked in Turkey since 2017, and has intermittently been blocked in several other countries(Opens in a new tab), including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

  • This is the best way to give cash as a gift without being totally boring

    This is the best way to give cash as a gift without being totally boring

    Giving cash as a gift? Boring. Impersonal. And let's be honest, it's kind of a copout for when you don't know what to get somebody.


    But if you're going to give cash, do it right. Twitter user @TwoClawsMedia(Opens in a new tab) is showing us how.

    He explained on Twitter that the kids in his family wanted cash for Christmas. "Understandable, but cash as a gift, while practical, always feels impersonal, so I made special packaging."

    SEE ALSO: The Queen refers to 2019 as a 'bumpy' year in Christmas speech

    It's still cash, but in extremely cool self-made packaging resembling brands from Funko to Star Wars. It's all the excitement of getting to open a present combined with the practicality of cash. The impeccable designs were created in Photoshop and printed on cardstock, according to the user.

    Gone are the days of cracking open a Christmas card and watching $10 sink to the floor. This creative way of gifting cash adds fun and personality to an otherwise boring gift exchange, and it really fits the bill.

  • How to make your beach trip not suck


    How to make your beach trip not suck

    There are two types of people in this world: beach lovers and beach haters. And while these two categories are mostly inflexible, it is technically possible to make a hater come around.

    How do I know this? Friends, I used to be a beach hater. I hated the sand, the perpetually drippy sunscreen, the seagulls stealing my Doritos. I was practically a walking Anakin Skywalker clip(opens in a new tab).

    But now I know the key to a good beach trip: planning. You don't need to plan a lot, either -- avoiding a beach disaster requires just a little bit of foresight.

    SEE ALSO: If you want to stay cool this summer, don't be afraid to look corny

    You'll be basking in the sun and taking convincing plandids in no time.

    Leave for the beach very early.

    If you begin your journey early enough, you're likely to be one of the first people on the shore. Plus, if you're taking public transit or are not the one driving to the beach, you can doze off, stay drowsy, or enjoy a cup of (iced) coffee en route.

    Walk a little further and find the good part of the beach.

    One of the worst things about the beach? The other people at the beach. Luckily, they can often be avoided.

    If you begin your journey early enough, you're likely to be one of the first people on the shore.

    "In my experience, a long, very hot, very sandy, lightly exhausting walk to a more remote beach is worth it purely for the bliss of setting up camp in an area that will always, always, ALWAYS be less populated than the more accessible option your fellow beach-goers will flock to," my wise colleague Laura Vitto says. She's right: a slightly annoying walk early on is worth a full day of peace.

    Don't rely on the snack bar.

    Beachside snack bars are universally overpriced and almost universally bad. Instead, bring your own snacks. Here is a nice selection of ideas(opens in a new tab) courtesy of Martha Stewart, whom I trust with my life. Also, bring canned wine! That way, no one has to be responsible for those wine bottles.

    Bring a water bottle.

    Everyone and their self-care bot are always talking about hydration, and for good reason. Fill up a reusable water bottle before you leave, then refill it at every possible opportunity. Carrying a heavy bottle is annoying, sure, but you know what's more annoying? Passing out in the sand.

    Pack two towels.

    One towel for lounging and one towel for drying off. You need two! (One can be a beach blanket, of course; I am just advocating for the basic double-towel concept.)

    Accept that you will get sand in your body crevices.

    This cannot be avoided. Do not try to stave it off. You will rinse it off later in the shower and it will all be OK.

    Invite a friend who owns a Bluetooth speaker.

    Beach tunes are a must, and to have beach tunes, you must have a speaker. Just make sure your friend with the speaker is a friend you would invite even if they did not have the speaker. Beach season is no time for dishonesty.

    Alternatively, you could buy a Bluetooth speaker.

    Make sure your beach playlist is good.

    Here! I made you one.

    Do not screw around with your phone.

    If you leave your phone out while you're at the beach, it will get wet. Or it will get stolen. Or it will get sand in the crevice between the case and the phone, which is nearly impossible to remove. The solution is to take your phone out one time during your beach trip -- to capture the one beach Instagram you will post when you get home. Choose carefully!

    Beware the accidental beach nap.

    The ABN might seem like an innocent practice (what could be wrong with an impromptu snooze?) but it has the potential to absolutely ruin your already risky outing. Why? If you fall asleep for too long, you could end up with a highly painful, uneven sunburn.

    Wear your damn SPF.

    There is nothing more important than sunscreen. To convince you, a cautionary tale: Several years ago, I went to the beach with some friends, one of whom did not apply sunscreen to his back because he was "too proud to ask for help." He later fell prey to an ABN, got sun poisoning, and did not speak for the rest of the day. RIP, man. (Just kidding; he is now fine. Still wear sunscreen, though.)

    Have fun!

  • Anthony Bourdains first time at Waffle House is a spiritual, unpretentious must-watch


    Anthony Bourdains first time at Waffle House is a spiritual, unpretentious must-watch

    In 2015, Anthony Bourdain went to Waffle House for the first time.

    Like many people who go to Waffle House, he and chef Sean Brock paid a late-night visit, slipping under the yellow awning into a world Bourdain aptly described as "marvelous -- an irony-free zone where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts."

    SEE ALSO: President Obama joins other big names in posting touching tributes to Anthony Bourdain

    In the Parts Unknown clip, which people shared fondly on Twitter Friday in the wake of Bourdain's death, the two watch the southern chain's classics being cooked -- fried eggs, waffles, hash browns held together with gleaming cheese and studded with chunks of ham. (You might recognize the music from Chef's Table.)

    As a kid, Brock explained, this was the only restaurant he'd ever visited where he could actually watch his food being made.

    Then, at Brock's recommendation, Bourdain eats pecan waffles slathered with all the butter in the packet, with every bit of crisped batter obscured by syrup. "You don't come here expecting the French Laundry," Brock says. "You come here expecting something amazing."

    "This is better than the French Laundry," Bourdain replies.

    And his unpretentious reverence, his willingness to have a spiritual experience at a Waffle House, is what many people loved and will continue to love about Bourdain.

    For me, watching the Waffle House clip is a spiritual experience in and of itself. I feel, palpably, my own potential to connect -- to listen, learn, and be nourished by food, by people, and (most importantly) by the godly combination of the two.

    If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line(opens in a new tab) at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline(opens in a new tab) at 1-800-273-8255. Here is a list(opens in a new tab) of international resources.

  • The best weed gifts for a very special Mothers Day


    The best weed gifts for a very special Mothers Day

    Mother's Day is just around the corner and let's face it -- the typical gift of flowers is just boring. Your mom deserves a better flower.

    Given the recent leaps in cannabis legalization, there's a good possibility your mom enjoys toking up, or at the very least, is open to the possibility. So, this Mother's Day, consider giving your mom the gift of weed.

    SEE ALSO: From smart bongs to home growing kits, the best marijuana tech gadgets

    Whether it's a lotion to ease some aches and pains or a nice vape to help bring your mom's toking into this century, check out the list below for some gift inspiration this Mother's Day.

    Lord Jones CBD Gumdrops(opens in a new tab)


    Lord Jones CBD edibles for some relaxation without the high. Credit: lord jones

    CDB-only edibles are the perfect way to introduce anyone who may be apprehensive trying cannabis.

    These gummdrops from Lord Jones lack THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that so many associate with the plant. However, each candy contains 20mg of cannabidiol, better known as CBD. Like THC, CBD is an extract that's found in cannabis, and many claim it carries some of the same benefits(opens in a new tab) as its fun cousin, but without the high.

    Given the fact that it won't get you stoned, this is the perfect gift for someone that's just entering into the wonderful world of cannabis. Also, who doesn't like candy?

    Awaken Bath Bomb(opens in a new tab)


    Marijuana CBD bath bombs perfect for unwinding after a long day. Credit: kush queen

    For a more relaxing vibe, consider gifting mom a nice bath bomb, with weed, of course.

    In states where weed is legal, you can pick up a bath bomb that contains both CBD and THC. But, if you live in a location that's not so pot-friendly, you can pick up one of these CBD-only bath bombs to help mom relax after a long day of dealing with your petty crap.

    According to Kush Queen, the bombs are designed to "rejuvenate both mind and body," and who doesn't need that?

    Papa & Barkley Tincture(opens in a new tab)

    $75 - $99

    Papa & Barkley THC and CBD tinctures. Credit: papa & Barkley

    If mom is ready to make her foray into some more psychedelic pot products, tinctures are a great place to start. Remind her, though, that any time you're ingesting THC you need to take it slow and keep the dosage low. Edibles can take hours to kick in, and the peak can take another few hours. Here's a handy guide to edibles if you or mom are diving in for the first time.

    Papa & Barkley's relief tinctures are perfect for taking the edge off without taking a journey, as they contain just 1mg of THC at a ratio of 1:30 against CBD. With a dosage this low, mom may feel a little something, but won't be begging you to turn on "Stairway to Heaven." (Obviously, everyone reacts differently to cannabis, and some moms really like Led Zeppelin.)

    Papa & Barkley also offers a 3:1 ratio, for someone looking for a little more of a kick.

    Sadly, it appears this product is only available in California(opens in a new tab), but there are plenty of CBD-only tinctures out there for people who live in lame states.

    PAX Era(opens in a new tab)


    The PAX Era vaporizer is used to vape concentrated cannabis. Credit: pax vapor

    Simply put, the best part about the PAX Era is that it's so easy to use, you can't mess it up.

    While the PAX 3 remains one of the best vaporizers in the world of cannabis, its younger brother, the PAX Era, deserves an honorable mention, and would make a perfect no-hassle gift for mom.

    The wide world of vaporizing various forms of cannabis can be a bit overwhelming, so if you're looking for something without a ton of frills, buttons, and options, the Era is a perfect gift. Simply pop on a cartridge pre-loaded with your favorite cannabis oil, and you're good to go.

    Obviously, this gift is only available where recreational cannabis sales are legal.

    Apothecanna Relieving Body Cream(opens in a new tab)


    Extra Strength Relieving Body Cream from Apothecanna is perfect for easing those small aches and pains. Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm/apothecanna

    Everyone's got their own aches and pains, and what better way to help ease the discomfort than getting your joints a little high?

    Apothecanna's Extra Strength Relieving Body Cream is said to "relieve stubborn aches and stiff joints" with its mix of arnica, peppermint, juniper, and of course, cannabis.

    While the $60 price tag is a little steep, the lotion landed itself on High Times' 10 Best Topicals of 2017(opens in a new tab) for its ease of use on deep muscle and tissue pain.

    Joint roller(opens in a new tab)


    Joint rollers are a simple and easy way to roll the perfect joint. Credit: amazon

    Chances are, mom's first introduction to weed was through a joint, and there's nothing wrong with the classics.

    Rolling a joint, however, takes a bit of skill. Sure, you can buy your mom a preloaded cone, but if she's a regular smoker that can get pretty expensive. Thankfully, these handy joint rollers are incredibly cheap to buy, and produce a solid Seth Rogen-approved cigarette nearly every single time.

    Rolling papers(opens in a new tab)


    Raw joint papers are a timeless classic for smoking marijuana Credit: amazon

    While you're at it, you may as well pick up some rolling papers (and a fat sack) for mom.

    There are endless options out there when it comes to rolling papers, but you really can't go wrong with the classic Raw or Zig-Zags.

    Golden Bell Herb Grinder


    Herb grinders will help you grind your weed while keeping your hands clean. Credit: amazon

    While you may like the smell of cannabis, nobody wants the sticky icky all over their fingertips, and we're guessing your mom probably feels the same.

    So, if you are going down the joint route, it's a good idea to pickup a herb grinder as well. It saves time, it saves weed, and it's much easier on the hands. This model is available for $7.99 on Amazon, but if you're willing to spend $11.99 you can get a variety of different colors, including rose gold(opens in a new tab).

    Firefly 2 Vaporizer(opens in a new tab)


    The Firefly 2 is a great vaporizer for both marijuana flower and concentrates. Credit: The Firefly

    If mom prefers flower over concentrates, but prefers vaping over smoking, a flower vape such as the Firefly 2 is the perfect solution to her very specific cannabis needs.

    The Firefly 2 is extremely easy to use, it's completely portable for those on the go, and comes in a variety of different colors. It just makes sense, which is exactly what you want in a handheld vape, especially with that price tag.

    The Firefly 2 can also works with concentrates, just in case mom ever wants to venture into some harder stuff.