Right now there are people doing their grocery shopping either avoiding the card aisles, walking through them longingly, or wishing they didn’t have to bother with them. Leave it to the greeting card industry to create a holiday that we either loathe or love. I remember as a child, the carefully decorated lunch bags hanging from the chalkboard tray with each child’s name placed strategically on the front. Teachers sent home lists of names to ensure that each child would receive a valentine. How excited we were to reach into the bag and see who had chosen us to be their valentine. Yes, the heartbreaks started early.
I remember having to rush to the store, my daughter in a panic, when she discovered we had the count wrong. As adults it only gets worse for some of us. We threaten our significant others with all manner of consequences if they forget. Some of rush at the last minute to grab anything lest our love interest think we don’t care. Many of us plan elaborate treats and a special rendezvous. Unfortunately, this is the holiday that reminds many that something is lacking in our lives.
I don’t like Valentine’s Day…it lets too many lightweights off the hook. It is as if they can buy a “get out of jail free card” to hold over your head for the rest of the year. I don’t want that kind of lover in my life. I like being treated as if I am special every day. You got that right…I expect it. But there is more to the formula than that. I give it back. My husband and I don’t do much for Valentine’s Day because we do a lot for each other during the other 364 days of the year. I don’t mean flowers and candy kinds of things…I mean things that are more subtle and satisfying. Isn’t it more exciting to plan a special dinner on a day that is unique from everyone else’s? How about remembering that your spouse mentioned something they were out of and by the next day it was magically sitting on the counter waiting for them? Being aware enough and listening to one another to pick up on cues is an indication that you matter to one another. Noticing things that need to be done and just doing it…not fighting each other to see who carries the biggest load is a sign of devotion. Working as a team. Now THAT is the kind of love letter I like getting.
If this holiday creates an emotional rash for you…there are ways to start planning ahead. Think of ways to make it special for someone else. There are lots of older people who are alone and could use a hand, a thoughtful gesture, or would appreciate a plant or a card. Who of your own circle of friends and relatives are alone? Maybe you could invite them to have dinner, order or pizza or share a bottle of wine in honor of love…if only for ourselves. How many teachers are there that try to make every day special for your child? What could you do to make them feel special? Get creative and look for ways to surprise others.
If we are alone and overwhelmed with the fact, imagine what being romanced would look like for you. Then do it for yourself. If you think having someone cook you a lovely dinner and buy you flowers would feel nice…then do it for yourself! There is something amazing about taking the time to do things thoughtfully to pamper ourselves. Buy something soft and comfy that speaks to you and pay attention to how it feels on your skin. Splurge on some new music or a special tea. Plan something special and put it on your calendar…now! Keeping the focus on what treats you are going to allow yourself on that day will be much more rewarding than wasting the coming weeks on feeling sorry for yourself.
Love is not something we earn, it is something we can give ourselves every day. When we learn how to do that for ourselves, we will easily recognize and trust it when it DOES come from someone else. Whatever you decide to do, be grateful that you are able to do it and celebrate the fact that each day has within it the possibility for new and wondrous things.
Just remember it is just one of 365 days you can love yourself and others.
So lover, what is YOUR plan?
Every blog I share comes from the heart and has a challenge or a question within it to help others explore new ways of thinking. I hope that as you read the blogs you would consider starting conversation by commenting. We can learn so much together!