Gifts are one of my favourites, but it’s not always simple to accept a gift and even harder to express what is needed/what I wish for.

Last saturday however as I was visiting my brother, K, and his wife, D, along with my daughter and her boyfriend, D gave me a cushion to have on my thighs while surfing the internet with my laptop. We were talking about computers and computer”gear” and I told that such a cushion was the only thing I really needed right away.

w00t – the cushion has been in my lap for 6-8 hours each and every day since saturday (saturday night included). How odd that such a relatively small thing can mean a lot – be worth a lot! It’s truly not the price on an item that tell how much it’s worth. It has a nice frame-like top with a photo of a painting where the laptop is placed. Then if I have company I can just put my laptop out of the way and put the cushion up towards the wall and it just looks like a painting! I can’t really imagine why someone at one point thought that it should be important to camouflage a “lap-cushion” for the laptop! (Weird). The cushion is from Canada!

In my attic there’s a chair from another friend. Once I’ve redecorated/reorganized my daughters room, she needs a chair. This one is with leather – black and very comfortable. My friends were going to get rid of it and I thought it was too good to be thrown out, so they came and placed it in the attic to be ready for when it would fit into the room! Another priceless gesture and a great idea to accept!

So what’s so hard about accepting gifts?

It depends on upbringing, culture and sense of entitlement! And I’m mostly very concerned whether I’m entitled. Culture has it’s finger in there also. The way I’m seeing my own culture is that we all walk around with a little notebook (well not literally) noting every time we give or receive and keeping track on the balance between the two! I receive flowers as the hostess and I give flowers to the host/hostess – or another little item symbolic of the flowers.

That balance – between what I give and what I receive – cannot come in balance, because I don’t have neither money nor energy/ability to give as I receive! So it’s at task for me to learn to express very clearly that I’m not able to give back at least measured monetarily! Not that I’m poor in the “real” sense – if compared to people not having a roof over their heads and/or food enough to eat, but compared to other people in my own country, I’m certainly only one step over the poorest (still compared to people in my country mind you)!!! My mother-in-law and I have made this nice arrangement that coffee or some other food are nice items to have instead of flowers, but once in a while she still insists to bring flowers and I do enjoy them a lot like some luxury to make it ok to own vases!

Now I have to remember that I’m not at all really poor!!! And I’m grateful each and every day for my lovely home and that I can eat every day! Both is actually something I’ve tried to be without! The foodthing were the hardest to endure especially as it was not otherwise seen in our society. It was about resources being prioritized in an alternative way – to put it nicely. So as an adult who since I was 18 went out to live on my own haven’t been without a place to live and/or food to eat, but I have struggled since with hold back from cleaning the plates and trying to clear the bowls with food at each and every meal.

Not being able to give as I receive is not easy to learn, but I AM learning and I learning to be specific about what I need, what I wish for and what I just dream about! Dreams are not the same as wants. And gratitude is all I can give back in most cases. Also I’m frequently remembering the old saying:

“Watch out what you wish for, you might get it!”