Friday, December 4, 2009

Dreams and Gifts

I dreamed about Australia last night. are the dreams.

1. Tim, Jack, and I are at a university in New Jersey. But for some reason it has an Australian connection. Maybe it's an Australian University in New Jersey. I don't know.

Anyway, we're having fun. At one point, I watch TV in a den. I think at another point, we plan to go swimming. I know that some Australians who read my blog go to the university. I'm eager to see them and hang out. But I realize I never told them I was coming. I feel weird just popping up into their lives. And I think I'm too shy to even approach them. I start to wonder if I should write a blog post about it. "So, I'm in New Jersey right now, at the university. Hint Hint".

2. Tim, Jack, and I are back in Australia. My strong desire to move there comes rushing back. I start to think about how I feel more relaxed this time. I don't feel the need to stay constantly busy. I'm okay using days to relax and do nothing. But I start to think that probably won't last. Tim maybe mentions something about wanting to take a train trip. I think, though, that maybe he's going to be somewhere. Maybe we're there because he has business in Australia. There's a sense that he won't be with us on some days. I consider doing a short train trip with Jack. Then I decide to see if my friend Michelle wants to come with us. I'm wondering if she'd be willing to let her kids miss a day of school.

3. We're walking in Australia. 

 I'm not sure who the we is. It might be Tim and Jack. I sort of get the sense that my mom is there. It seems to be a holiday...not as in a trip/vacation; but like New Years or Christmas. I have a feeling we were in North Sydney near Luna Park. 

There's an elderly lady walking near us with a group of her people. We have trouble walking near her—like she's almost tripping over us or something. I think we ended up helping her somehow.

We later sit at a restaurant. Maybe the old lady and her family are with us. The restaurant is fairly dark. There's some kind of activity going on. Maybe singing? I start to realize I'm not satisfied. There was a time where I was infatuated with Australians. I would like people simply because they were Australian. (reverse bigotry, I suppose). I realize that I'm past this now. I really am not jumping with inner joy to be in a restaurant full of Australian people. I realize I now love only specific Australians—my friends. And I'm wishing some of them were with me. Then someone at our table hands me a baby that reminds me of my baby nephew. I'm very delighted to hold him.

Well, that is that.

In other news.....I used some birthday money to order some more Australian books, AND some Australian food. I'm excited to get those packages in the mail.

A family member and I had a discussion/debate about gifts yesterday. She and I differ on our opinions regarding this. She prefers getting surprises rather than something she asked for. I don't like surprises much. I'd much prefer people get me exactly what I asked for....or give me a gift certificate. OR make a donation to charity in honor of me. Any of those things.....

I suggested that in order to make everyone happy, we use the platinum rule instead of the golden rule. The golden rule says treat others the way you want them to treat you. The platinum rule says treat others the way THEY want to be treated.

My family member then said she likes surprises because she likes people to show they know/understand her by giving her a gift that reflects the correct size, her favorite color, the styles she likes, etc.

I realized I agree with this. If someone ended up giving me a gift that reflects what I love....I'd be very happy with that. At this point in my life, ANY gift related to Australia would be most happily received. I wouldn't care if I already had it or if it was junk. I LOVE anything Australia related, and I'd be delighted that someone was honoring my passion in that way.

There's a common saying about gifts. It's the thought that counts.

I think for most people that means we should be happy that someone thought about buying a gift and went ahead and did it. I think a lot of people love getting gifts. They don't care what the gift is. They just like getting something from someone. That in itself means a lot.

I'm not like that. I don't like getting stuff just to get stuff. I'm not big on getting gifts. For me, It's the thought that counts means that someone truly knows what I love. If they show this, I feel understood and valued. I think that's what's most important to me.

Still, though....I'm really not big on gifts. They don't rock my world as they do other people. If I had a choice between getting a meaningless gift (Why did they get me THAT?) and a nice email, I'd much rather have the latter.

I love getting emails. I love when my AOL triangle bounces up and down. That makes me more happy than the majority of gifts I've received.

I also love knowing that people read my blog. That is a HUGE blessing to me. I know there are people who read this blog frequently. I am so incredibly grateful about that. That means more to me than anything someone could stick in a gift bag or wrap with shiny paper.

So to any of you who read this blog on a regular basis..... THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Hey - I'm with you and I disagree on a piece.
    totally with you on I'd rather get what I want or gift certificate or have someone donate to charity, etc.
    Not sure about the platinum rule... but it's very cute of you to label it that way. =D
    The trouble with that is people aren't mind-readers (trust me on this).

    so what do you have left? you're back to "how would I like to be treated?" And usually that rule works (but occasionally it backfires).

    Now as far as the thought that counts - maybe you are referring to something different than what I'll refer to.
    A friend of mine brought me a pan of dessert one day, that I happened to not like. My kids ate some of it. I didn't. But I love that she cared enough to think to try to do something for me. We've been friends ever since.
    You're right, though - the gifts don't need to be junk - they can be letters, emails, phone calls, visiting. chocolates work, too.
    Even some of those, though, while in a sense they might be 'junk' (i.e. I don't keep very many letters I receive) the fact that someone cared enough to do something, write something, etc. means a lot (and does count).
    Intent makes the difference.

  2. I don't know if letters ever count as junk.

  3. HappyOrganist,

    I think the platinum rule would work only with people you know well...longtime friends and family. It wouldn't work well with a stranger or someone you just met. Unless you ARE a mind reader. Then there's really no excuse to buy the wrong gift ; )

    I didn't come up with the Platinum rule actually...neither did Tim. I wasn't sure if he had, or if he read it somewhere. So I googled yesterday. It's an established thing.

    As for the friend's dessert....Was it homemade? I think homemade stuff, in some ways, breaks the rules. I mean they actually took the time to work on making something. I think a dessert would only be offensive if this is someone who knows you fairly well, and you happen to be diabetic. Or I'd get offended if someone knew me fairly well, and they brought over a meat dish. OR...if they brought me wine. Although it wouldn't be so bad because I could just pass it on to Tim.

    I think I like food gifts because they don't add to clutter. They're going to get eaten eventually....if not by you, you can pass it on to someone in your family.

    Last year, someone sent me a package of all this Australian food. Of course, I was VERY touched because it was Australian. The only problem was I had decided to try going sugar-free. But there was no way they'd know that. So I was still VERY VERY grateful. I gave some of the food to Jack and Tim. Then later, I realized the sugarless diet was not helping my issues, so I ate some of the stuff anyway.

    I love letters and emails. I save most cards and letters...except the store brought ones in which people simply just signed their name. Those usually go in the trash. But I keep homemade ones, or store bought ones that contain a handwritten message.

    I like the intent idea. Once on Livejournal, this woman gave all her LJ friends these virtual gifts. All she did was write what she wished she could give us...kind of like fantasy gifts. I forgot exactly what she gave me, but it was incredibly meaningful. I think maybe it made me cry.

    I think instead of exchanging material gifts with friends and family, it would be so fun to just sit around and say what we'd give each other if we were magical....or had all the money in the world.