Personal Examples of a Wish List for Self Gifting
Do you ever feel sad because you're having a bad day?
Do you sometimes feel in a rut because things just aren't going right?
Sometimes you just need to be kind to yourself. Give yourself a gift!
I don't usually have mood swings, but there were a few times when I was just feeling sad for one reason or another. I remember back in the '70s when something was making me feel melancholy. I decided to be extra good to myself. I'll share with you my thought process.
I thought of myself as my own best friend. I wanted to reward myself for getting through a tough time, so I decided to make a wish-list of things I always wanted, and give myself a really nice gift—something that would put me in a happy place.
Getting Into a Happy Place
My First Unhappy Time
Oh the seventies! What memories! It was the time when video cassette recorders (VCR's) were just coming out.
One day in May of 1975 I was feeling down about something, so I bought myself a Sony Betamax. It was big, it was heavy, and cost over $1000 at that time.
That first model only recorded for 30 minutes, and it didn’t even have a built-in timer to schedule recordings. Later on, longer Beta tape cartridges allowed increased recording time. Later models eventually included a timer to set for recording programs while away.
Who knew what advancements would be coming next? I was in a rush to get a gift for myself. And the Betamax was the only video recorder at that time.
I did spend more money again later on, buying another more modern video recorder. Recorders with the VHS format were released just a year later, in October 1976, by JVC.
The VHS units had many more useful features than Sony had put in the first Betamax. VHS VCR's had tape cartridges that recorded up to six hours, and they were much less expensive.
Sure, the Beta Technology was the better of the two, but VHS took over the market. You might recall that cassette tapes won over eight-track tapes in the same way. Remember those?
Anyway, that’s all beside the point. My Betamax did put me in my Happy Place.
Cuckoo for Cuckoo Clocks
A Second Experience Feeling Gloomy
Another time in my life when I was again having those feelings of sadness, I remembered having a little cuckoo clock on the wall in my bedroom when I was a child growing up. I don’t know what happened to that clock, but I had lingering fond memories of watching the cuckoo pop out on the hour.
Now, as an adult, and another time when I felt down, I decided to get a real big cuckoo clock as a way of being good to myself. I wanted to give myself a really nice gift, a real functioning, really eloquent, fun to watch, cuckoo clock.
I knew I needed to find one with more than just a little bird. I wanted one that ran a whole week on the pull of real weights and had other animated stuff going on.
Having done my research I discovered that the real cuckoo clocks are made in the Black Forest of Germany. Craftsmen make them by hand. I found a company that actually built them to specs.
I ordered direct from one of the clock builders overseas. It cost me over $600, but I was able to specify that I wanted animals carved into the wood frame; I wanted real wooden clock hands instead of plastic; I wanted little people dancing when the cuckoo cuckooed; and I had a choice of those people being made of plastic or hand carved and painted wood. I went for it all. After all, it’s a one-time investment in my happiness. Right?
It was marvelous. It put me in my happy place. The weights only had to be pulled up once a week. Every hour, on the hour, the cuckoo would poke his head out and cuckoo. Then little figurines of dancers would dance around for a few seconds while music played. Oh yes, I was able to select the music when I placed the custom order. It has a music box built in!
It got me out of my depression. And it continues to give me pleasure every hour of every day.
I later discovered that one could find pre-built versions of just like mine. I even found this one that’s very similar to mine. really great cuckoo clocks on Amazon
It was even cheaper than the one I ordered direct from the Black Forest.
Feeling of Time Running Out
My Third Melancholy Occurrence
When I turned 65 recently I found myself having those pangs of gloom for the third time in my life. I know it’s only temporary. I know it’s just a turning point in my life. The changes taking place, planning to retire, and learning about Medicare, intensifies the realization that I’m getting older.
So, once again, I decided to reward myself for getting through it. What to do? What should I give myself this time? Maybe something related to time itself. After all, time is running out as we age.
You might be thinking right now, why in the world would I want a gift related to time running out. Sure. I agree. However, looking at it from another angle (I tend to think outside the box), I’d like to think of a way to give myself time.
One day I stumbled upon a repeat of the original Wizard of Oz on one of the movie channels. I loved that movie when I was young.
Do you remember the scene where the Wicked Witch of the West used her hourglass to give Dorothy an hour to give her the ruby slippers?
It suddenly dawned on me! That’s it! I wanted a really big, really real, really fancy hourglass. One that really had sand that ran for a full hour. Yes! That would put me in my happy place!
I started off doing some research. Google is great for finding things. I remember those days when I used to go to the library and read through dozens of microfiche. Things are so different in today’s world with the Internet.
Just imagine how the world will be 100 years from now when everyone is connected to each other via implanted microchips. That’s not so far-fetched, our cars will be functioning that way in our lifetime.
Anyway, I digress. Getting back to the hourglass, I ordered direct from a craftsman who hand carves the frame that holds the glass bulbs where the sand runs through. He builds each one on demand. Cool. I even was able to select the wood and the color of sand.
He tells me that psychotherapists usually order one with 50 minutes of sand since they use it to show their patients when the session is over. Their hour session with a therapist is really only 50 minutes. Am I digressing again?
I was looking forward to getting my hourglass, but after a couple of weeks I called to check on the status or the order. He told me he had trouble getting more bulbs, so I canceled the order and got my money back.
Back to square one, I turned to Amazon and found a huge choice of options. No need to buy a custom-made hourglass. Amazon has all kinds, and I saved a lot.
I can't imagine that I was willing to pay $300 for a custom handcrafted hourglass. How silly of me. I found this one on amazon for under $50. and it's precise to within 5 seconds per 60 minutes. I timed it. It’s a 7½ inch tall hourglass
I found so many fun uses for it. I time my exercise workout session. I use it to check how long it takes to clean my house—getting it done in under an hour. I even limit my long-winded phone conversations by keeping an eye on the level of sand remaining. When I get focused, I lose all sense of time.
I didn't order the hourglass that the Wicked Witch used, with flying monkeys carved into the wood, although I found that online too. I didn’t feel it was appropriate since I’m a good witch who’s in my happy place once again.
© 2015 Glenn Stok