Monday, February 10, 2014

Makeover Your Valentine's Day

We've all been inundated with hearts, pink lace and imagery focused on Valentine's Day since the dawn of this new year.  It can be easy to get swept up in the hype or cocoon away until it's all over. As we barrel down on Valentine's Day 2014, may I give a few suggestions on how to celebrate this commemoration of love.

Call someone you love that you don't talk to often

Send someone a handwritten note - get it in mail today

Do something you've wanted to do for yourself  - this week

Buy a set of kid's valentines and hand them out on Friday wherever you go

Hand make valentines for those closest to you instead of buying them this year

Make a list of all the things you love about your life and nurture them

Start a new tradition for Valentine's Day - solo or with others

Did you notice anything about the above list?

Love, in my opinion is active and all my suggestions encourage you to act out your love. It is very easy to say we love someone but showing it can be the tricky part. And this is especially true for expressing our love for ourselves. In order to give any love, to anyone, we must be adept at demonstrating our love for ourselves. The people around us take cues on how to love us by the way we love ourselves. Depending on your relationship with love, Valentine's Day can be a complicated or downright painful experience. We think if you take intentional steps to change the way you view and celebrate this day, you can make it enjoyable regardless your relationship status.

In our house, we celebrate our love for one another every February with a special Valentine's dinner and cap the evening with our own hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries - we started this tradition when my oldest child was 3 years old and have kept it going strong for the last 9 years. Even if we have to celebrate it on a different day due to travel or move the celebration to a restaurant. Some years we exchange gifts, most years we do not. It is a given that we celebrate.

When I was single, it was only slightly different. I made a point to have dinner with a single friend and go to a movie every Valentine's Day. Some years it was a guy friend, other years it was girlfriends but I never stayed home alone on Valentine's Day. I did the kid valentine suggestion every year. It was so fun to see the face of the bank teller or the cashier at my regular lunch spot when I handed them a valentine and wished them a grand day. It was also a way to mend fences with folks at work I may have rubbed the wrong way - nothing cures ill feelings more than a Charlie Brown valentine attached to a dum-dum sucker. Even year's when I felt anxious or sad and believe me there were a few, I always made myself keep the traditions.

Valentine's Day, much like our lives in general, is what we make it.

Take time this year to change your relationship with Valentine's Day.

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