With my husband almost 4,400 miles away on a business trip on the eve of Valentine’s Day, my answer to the "What are your Valentine’s Day plans?"question has been, “Carpool, dinner and dishes. The usual." But I’ve certainly decked the house with pink and red expressions of love, bought my kids sweet goodies and even written them poems and made them (and hubby!) homemade cards. Our plans may not be romantic or festive this Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean my heart won’t be happy. This holiday always inspires me to express my love to those who I love. (Thank you, Hallmark, for the reminder, even though I prefer to make my cards and not spend $6 on glitter-laden, sappy sentiment.)
So I’ve been thinking about what this holiday really means to me. Sure, the answer to the question posed here is: He loves me! But I think what’s also important on this Valentine’s Day is to reflect on how I show and feel the love for hubby, family and friends – to find a pink, plush or chocolate-filled heart-full of gratitude for the ones I love and who love me.
My reflections on this Valentine’s Day are three wishes I have for me, my family and for you and yours:
Love what you’ve got. Single, dating/doting, married, once-married, soon-to-be married, living the life you dreamed with whomever you dreamed you’d share it with – it just doesn’t matter as long as you love what you’ve got. Sure, life in any of these states can be challenging whether you’re the happiest of happy or the saddest of sad, but finding the clarity to seek gratitude and love whatever it is you’ve got will make this Valentine’s Day and every day more comforting, satisfying and motivating. If we recognize what we’ve got, we appreciate it. And most likely we’ll become inspired to go after even more.
All you need is love. Love is all you need. The Beatles made us swoon when they sang it, but today it’s even more relevant as we’re living in a world with information overload and consumerism at the root of almost everything. No doubt we all love our stuff – our possessions remind us of experiences, different eras in our lives and they help us define who we are by showing ourselves to the world, whether it’s on-trend sneaks, a designer jacket or bag or the iPhone X. By no means am I going to stop consuming and showering my kiddos with stuff, but I wish for them and for me that at the center of our life tenets lies the message that love from each other and those around us is really all we need.
When you feel it, say it. We’re not a PDA kind of family, though we’re generous with our words with “I love yous” flying at every departure and on every call. While some people love a hug or a kiss – or even a warm, intentional smile – others just need to hear it. This goes for spouses, partners and kiddos, but I’m extending the reach here and talking about friends, co-workers, extended family. When you’re appreciative of someone, say it. When you’re proud, say it. When you feel you need something, say it. When you feel it, say it.
I’ve noticed lately that a new-found group of women around me are very good at this – we praise each other’s hard work, cheer each other on and build each other up. It’s love in a non-Valentines-y kind of way. I’ve also noticed lately that whether it’s a strategically placed kissy-face emoji or a “luv ya” in a text from a friend, those small moments of love and appreciation fill me up. Let’s spread that love, fill the proverbial buckets in our friends and families, and we’ll all have that Valentine’s Day spirit this Wednesday and throughout the year.
Happy Valentine’s Day 2018 – hope it’s heartfelt, loving and full of gratitude!
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