All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hoopla of Valentine’s Day. For better or worse this day has the power to touch on our rawest emotions.
It’s not about the stress of finding the perfect gift or gatherings with difficult family members. Rather it’s the Hallmark moment thing that makes us smile, frown (or worse) when we see hearts everywhere.
Many celebrate to the fullest, others muddle through and the majority fall somewhere in-between. But this can be bigger than just you. Look at it as an opportunity to share love in any or all of its definitions. It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness and troublesome issues that we face every day, but give yourself permission to remember there is much more in this world to love and be thankful for.
This day probably ranks as one of the most stressful holidays ever created. I won’t bore you with details; Goggle it. The dark origins (and not of the chocolate variety) don’t bear any resemblance to the rosy (pun intended) day that assaults our senses, beginning as early as the beginning of the new year.
And speaking of the new year, we all made resolutions. Some are already broken, some are working and others are yet (and may never) to be implemented.
So I’m suggesting you start a new tradition, Valentine’s Day resolutions. Yes, there may be chocolate involved, which probably is contraindicative of one of those you made for the new year. But these are so much easier to keep. Celebrate love in a much broader, less traditional sense. Celebrate with hugs and kind words. Celebrate you, your friends, your family, your pets and everything else that is good and that you love in your world.
Make this day not just about romantic relationships but relationships you share with those in your immediate circle and beyond.
Just a few suggestions . . .
-Indulge yourself: with a manicure, that small bauble that caught your eye, or a decadent dollop of whipped cream on your frappuccino.
-Fall in love, all over again with an old hobby. Give yourself permission to find time to read, knit, scrapbook or binge-watch your favorite Netflix show.
-Focus on friends. Not with texts and emails but the old fashioned way. Make plans to celebrate the love and joy you have in your life and share with others.
-Get dressed up and enjoy the day with a movie and dinner. If you can’t face the roses and romantic dinners on the 14th, do it the day before or after. Or gather for a pot-luck, resplendent with all those comfort foods that will only temporarily break that previously mentioned New Year’s resolution. Not the Hallmark moment on the typical card, but nonetheless special moments.
On this day less fortunate persons need love too. It can be a dollar bill tossed into a bucket, a meal served at the shelter or treat bags delivered to the senior center. All will bring a smile to those who deserve a much needed dose of love.
As I’ve grown older, albeit maybe not so much wiser, I’ve found that the heart often forgives, and fortunately (or not) the mind forgets. I’ve tried hard to accept the past, focus on the moment and embrace all possibilities. If anyone is reading between the lines, let me say that yes, as that old song says, “All You Need is Love,” but in the very broadest sense. Make it your Valentine’s Day resolution to bumble your way through; find a way to celebrate this day, and every day, with the love that surrounds you in whatever way makes you smile.
Jeanne Marie recently relocated to Fearrington Village by way of Kentucky, Washington DC and many points in between. When she’s not unpacking and remodeling, she loves spending time with friends, cooking, reading and traveling, all fueled with great conversation, coffee and chocolate.