Even when we can’t remember our own birthday or the day our children were born, none of us ever forgets what February 14 is all about.
What does this Valentine’s Day look like for you?
A. You have a dinner reservation at your favorite restaurant (which means the man you love thought ahead…how sweet is that?).
B. You plan on going to bed before dark so you don’t have to eat by yourself in your apartment.
C. Your fingers, toes and legs are crossed, hoping the guy you have been dating will ask you out…and maybe bring you one of those “The Bachelor” roses.
D. You just got back from purchasing a dozen darts and plan to go to Safeway and pop every one of those friggin’ Valentine’s Day Mylar balloons!
If you answered A, I hope you feel the sheer joy and gratitude of being in a loving relationship with a very thoughtful man. My advice is to stop reading this blog right now and go pick out your Valentine’s Day outfit!
Any other answer…well, here is my best wisdom on this absolutely “abusive” holiday. Think Hallmark. They invented this day that has become the number one day for florists nationwide. And be grateful that you won’t be standing in line at a restaurant that has overbooked and overcharged. I know, you wouldn’t mind the wait, right?
Return to your sweet self. On this day you need more than anything to find ways to nurture and love yourself. Here are some things that have worked for me over the years…and believe me, I have spent many Valentine’s Days without a life partner:
1. Invite your girlfriends over who are also single and buy LOTS of chocolate. Give each of them a V Day gift that says, “Even if I had a lover, I would never desert you for him/her”.
2. Make a list of people you love and who love you. Children, friends, co-workers, your local grocer, the guy at the wine bar that serves you that fabulous Merlot, the local hangout where you go for pasta when you are exhausted, even ex-boyfriends who still love you.
3. List as many things as you can for which you are grateful.
4. Buy yourself flowers and a lovely candle and light it while you enjoy dinner and a good Netflix movie. Yes, you can select a Chick Flick and cry your eyes out. Feelings are encouraged.
There is no substitute for love, and some years it simply must come from ourselves. Have courage and faith that if you really want a wonderful life partner, you can have that. For this one day, remember that he/she is out there getting through yet another Valentine’s Day and keeping the fire lit that will help him/her find you.
It is crazy! Have you found yourself feeling all warm and fuzzy when that hunky Forrest Whitaker appears on TV telling you all about “accident forgiveness”? What??!! Over time, clever insurance company advertising has actually made us forget that the reason we pay those premiums every month our entire lives is BECAUSE we might HAVE an accident! And the premiums are for what?? And why are we on our knees thanking them for their forgiveness??
Well, my friends that is exactly happened to our holiday season. For many people it has become something to just “get through”. What happened to the joy of giving gifts to those we love? And, by the way if you are giving them to people you don’t love, as Bob Newhart would say, STOP IT!
What’s with our kids, wives or life partners making a list of “things I want” and handing it over? When did gift registries for every occasion appear? And who taught us to tell those who give us a gift right there on the spot that we hate it?? Is it any wonder we now dread holidays, buying presents and even opening them “knowing” we’ll probably be disappointed.
So, here is how you do it this year. Take some time to sit down with a glass of eggnog, bourbon, wine, mulled cider or a hot cup of tea. Let the image of someone you love guide you as you think of why you care about them. What do they love? Do they wistfully muse about a weekend away, the feel of soft fabric, talk about a hobby or activity that makes them happy? When do you look at them and know that they are at peace, full of joy, rockin’ and rollin’, in the moment? This is where the perfect gift emanates. Taking the time to remember what matters to you and to them. YOU are the gift giver and with that title comes total choice to give someone what YOU choose.
When someone gives you a gift that you didn’t expect or perhaps puzzles you, hold that gift and the giver in a state of grace. Assume that no matter how much it cost, how mysterious it appears to be, that someone who cares for you has given you something they want you to have. Smile, give them a hug and maybe they will tell you the story of that gift.
May we all remember during this holiday season the true meaning of giving and receiving. When we can do this, our bodies and souls will remember what and who really matters in our lives all year long.
At the risk of really irritating animal rights activists(and I am one), I can only say that when I woke up this morning, realized it was December, I felt like a frog in a blender!
We can’t blame it on the coffee. It is 5:30 am for God’s sake and we are sitting up in our bed, heart racing and feeling like a dump truck just left us covered with 5000 pounds of paper all saying “To Do”.
Why does that happen at this time of the year? Some would say the holidays are the culprit…shopping, mailing, family stress, toys that they just gotta get or the Department of Social Services will knock on your door December 26th. I don’t think it is that simple.
The end of the year is what December is about, and it seems that shame, guilt, remorse and regret, let’s call them the Four Feelings of the Apocalypse, roar into our lives and hearts with a vengeance.
Where did the year go? What the heck did I do? What didn’t I do (well enough)? Maybe I am just what they told me I was…unrealistic, a dreamer, so impractical. They were right. I don’t know how to manage my time, am too scattered and am going to end up on the streets if I don’t grow up.
OK. The first thing to do, get out of that bed now! This is not the time to lay there while the Four Horsemen stomp you to death. Out of that bed and head straight for the morning Joe or Jill that makes you happy to be awake and alive. Then, breathe and start another healthier conversation.
Overwhelm is just fear trying to take over the driver’s seat and you don’t have to slide into the passenger’s seat. I have said this before many times.You need to make friends with fear. This emotion kept you from burning yourself, both literally and figuratively throughout your life. That is all it is trying to do now. So, after you breathe a few times, thank your sweet fear for being there to keep you safe. Let it know that you are one smart, strong, capable person and that after that cuppa, you will know just what to do next. Then, tell it to go take a few days or hours off while you do your job.