Last week was quite the rollercoaster around here, with a few very excessive ups and downs. The downs are personal so I’m not going to get into details, but they had me sad and anxious and stressed for a lot of the week. The ups were 100% due to the awesomeness of my friends in ways I cannot completely explain on this humble blog.
I had a long discussion with my spouse at one point during the week about giving and accepting gifts. We have so many cultural hang ups about accepting gifts in part because there are so many situations where “gifts” come with an expectation of some sort of reciprocity. It can be disarming to receive a gift, freely given just to make you happy or to help out when you needed it. This weekend I was getting carried a bit in D3, and I can sort of justify accepting that help because I know that once I get my character built up I’ll turn around and carry other friends later on. But in the middle of the silliness of being dragged through TX rifts I got a whisper from another friend inviting me to a WoW friendship moose run. In that case there’s no way I could repay that kindness. I’ve stopped raiding in WoW, all my characters are barely in Tanaan gear. I actually had to spend a WoW token to join the moose party because I had been distracted enough that my subscription had lapsed. I took my completely undergeared kitty druid into that raid and I ate the floor like a champion and walked away with a moose and it was amazing. There’s no way for me to repay the folks that made that possible other than to thank them profusely, and maybe try to pay it forward in some way when I am able.
Here’s the thing: happiness isn’t a zero sum game. Gifts don’t have to be transactional. Doing silly things for your friends can feel pretty great, so being on the receiving end of help shouldn’t feel weird. Life can be pretty crappy sometimes, so embrace happiness when it is offered and do your best to spread it around when you can. And to all the friends who made my week better last week, thank you.