Valentine's Day Ruminations

This begins the week where talk circles around this ‘upcoming’ holiday. As single by choice, I will not be an active participant in all of the activities that many couples take part in. No fancy dinners out, no bouquet of flowers delivered to my door, no mushy greeting card, etc. Honestly, I’m really okay with the lack of all of that – preferring, instead, to make it a day of self-care and garnishing love upon myself. For me, that means cooking myself a good dinner and letting the dishes go ignored. It means relaxing with a good book or movie. It might mean staying in my PJs all day. It will mean ignoring any chores that are waiting. For me, it is a day where I get to shower the love and attention that I give away so easily to others on myself for a change.

I heard some folks talk about their plans, and I could tell by their conversation that either they are very young or I am very old (or a combination thereof). One spoke of taking his fiancĂ© to a hotel overnight. Another, when asked what he was doing for Valentine’s Day, said, “I’m doing my girlfriend.” Those kinds of comments got my mind thinking – – did my generation, back when it was that young, focus on a booty call as what the holiday was worthy of? I didn’t then and I don’t now.

Other conversations from a slightly more mature crowd focused on what HE was doing for HER. Listen, I 110% support showing the woman in your life some spoiling, and if you need a holiday in order to do that (the question is, why don’t you do it more often?), have at it. But what about the guys? Do the women also find ways (beyond allowing the booty call) to shower their men with love? I always did – I always thought of the holiday as a two-way street.

Of all of the years when I did have someone in my life with whom to celebrate this particular holiday, I remember two distinctly. One was the time, in my 20’s, when my beau brought me a half-dozen black roses. Black roses have always been my favorite flower. Okay, they were actually 6 white roses spray-painted black, but it was a huge deal for me! The other one was when I was in my 40’s and my partner cooked dinner for me at his house. I’m not going to knock that it was lobster tail, which I adore, but he could have made mac and cheese and I’d still have been happy just to have someone cook for ME!

I’ve also talked to enough couples with a lot of years together under their belts to realize they do very little on Valentine’s Day, if anything. I’m not suggesting anything big, but a small token of romance doesn’t seem to be like much to ask! Again, I go back to my suggestion in my previous post that “little things mean a lot”. Make a favorite meal – invest a few dollars in an appropriate greeting card – let them sleep in – take them coffee in bed in the morning – do a chore that usually falls on that person to do – – – again, the list is endless! To completely act like it’s a nothing holiday feels wrong to me.

I also talked to someone who is assistant manager at a restaurant/bar about my idea that someone should create a “Singles Only” event for Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve. These are the two holidays when singles are shunned from available events at which to celebrate! It almost makes me feel like a “less than” because I don’t have the opportunity to attend an event for those holidays as a single person. I am quite certain no restaurant is going to accept my reservation for a ‘party of one’, knowing they can get two people at that table and make twice as much profit!

So if you’re single, either by choice or circumstance, consider treating yourself in some way and acknowledge that self-love is okay. You are special because of who you are, not because you’re part of a couple. Eat some chocolate – buy yourself a bouquet of flowers available at almost any grocery store – go bold and look at yourself in the mirror and say out loud, “I love you.” Think about how relaxing it is not to have the stress of having to think up and act upon plans to make someone else feel special!

Fill your own cup full of love so you can nourish others with the overflow!

This. Just This.

We are all cognizant that we live in a world where many people think that their opinions and ways of doing things are right and are, therefore, quick to judge others who don’t esteem to the same opinions and ways of doing things. Racism, as a definition, now expands beyond the color of your skin and includes such things as political beliefs, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, etc. This saddens me, and I know of others who are also saddened by the state of humanity today.

For those who choose to judge me for ways in which my beliefs and values are different than yours, I want to say this, just this:

How often have wise sages told us that, in order to love others, we must first love ourselves? I heard it said this way: You can’t give to anyone else what you don’t possess to give. We’re not talking about self-ego. That is something entirely different. Self-love is accepting who you are, with all of your flaws and imperfections, and striving each day to be the best person you can be, to yourself and then to others.

So, if you find yourself judging others because they are somehow “different” from you, you need some lessons in self-love. And, when we learn to love ourselves, with all of those imperfections and flaws, then we are able to love others with the same compassion that we give to ourselves.

My hope is that each of my readers will love themselves more and judge others less. Happy self-loving!