Oh Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day to those of you who celebrate it.

If you’ve read my other holiday posts, it won’t surprise you to know that I don’t celebrate today either. As always, I have my reason and way to supplement what I could potentially be missing out on.

The last time I remember giving a gift on Valentine’s Day was in high school when my hormones were flaring and I was boy-crazy. I don’t remember what I gifted or who I gave it to, but I know for sure that whatever it was, it was handmade. I’ve always enjoyed hand-making cards that took me hours to make. Seriously, some of them took me long enough to question why I was spending so much time on them. Then, in seeing the smiles they’d bring to their recipients’ faces, I’d remember why. There’s nothing sweeter to me than to know that someone put in time—whether five minutes, two hours, or more—to make something for me because they were thinking of me, but I’m just going off on a tangent here.

What’s my reason for not celebrating Valentine’s Day? I’ll answer this question with a question. Why celebrate loving people only one day out of the year? I get it, one day is better than none, but how about doing it more often ourselves? I don’t need a Hallmark holiday—even though its origins aren’t very Hallmarkish*—to tell or show someone that I love them. I’m slowly realizing that holidays make me want to go against the current and make them my own, especially because of how they’re commercialized.

I am making “Valentine’s Day” my own, however, it’ll be a yearlong celebration. I have been trying for years, but I don’t follow through with it. Now that I have a preschooler who’s more conscious of the world around him, I’ve decided to get better at following through. I am using today as a reminder to continue practicing my actions of love, or more like allowing it to be a fire under my butt to turn my words into actions. I intend on modeling loving family and friends, specifically to my Nuggets, by reaching out whenever I think of them. The best part is, showing love doesn’t have to be something elaborate or costly. I invite you to leave your money in your pocket and try one of these three simple ways yourself, not only today but tomorrow and the next day and the next.

1. Write a note. When I think about someone, I’m making the effort of writing them a note. If it’s someone I see often, I’ll hand it to them myself. If it’s someone a distance away, I’ll put it in the mail. (I know, I know, who has the time to go to the post office? But that’s it, it’s the labor of love. It’s taking the time to let someone know that they’re special to you.)

2. Make a phone call. If you really don’t have the time to look for an envelope, lick a stamp, and send the note off, consider making a call and personally letting that loved one know you are thinking of them. It doesn’t have to be a long call—I have to remind myself about this too. It’s the thought action that counts, right?

3. Send a text. If I’m really lacking time, which I know most of us are, I’ll send a text. Although I’ve listed this option last, I know it’s the one I’ll be using the most. Realistically, I can cover more people through text—I often have a lot of people in mind—than through delivering notes or making phone calls, but I also have to keep in mind that there are 365 days a year. If I reach out to one person a day, that’s a lot of love I’m sending out, and it doesn’t have to be concentrated all in one day.

What other simple ways would you add to this list? I’d love to incorporate more ways into my practice.

Cheers to loving all year long!

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*If you’re interested in knowing the history Valentine’s Day and enjoy today, look it up tomorrow. Trust me. It’s a bit of a mood-killer.

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