“Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.” Jim Carrey
Valentine’s Day, I have always squirmed in discomfort, feeling a forced love situation. Perhaps I’m most likely tainted by wonderful, awful memories—pressure to get it right and be over-the-top romantic on that particular Day.
As a child, we had to include every classmate with a note, a card I had to sign, and a sugar heart with some divine message such as “be mine.” The last thing I wanted was for Cathy-Chapstick or Billy Strange-kid to be mine. I thought it was a task then, and I still do.
I hate the overpriced set meals, never mind flowers, cholate, and fancy lingerie that will make somehow illicit unforgettable sex until next Valentine’s Day, yay. Oh, and lest he forgets some gold jewelry, go him, poor guy, so much pressure. How many people get engaged on this hopped-up love day? Or breakup, for that matter. I have had it out for St. Valentine for years; that alone is ironic as I am a self-proclaimed warrior for love. Furthermore, Valentine’s Day is when my parents conceived me, on that lucky love day, hence me their favorite daughter. It is time for me to get it right; it is never too late.
This year is different. It has taken me a while to formulate a shift and turn this Day into something worthy, practical, and flat-out positive! It helped that I was trapped at home due to illness with nothing but napping and tissue boxes. I concluded that being married is not easy, but that is a given.
Every birthday calls for great reflection on my goals, energy, love, life, experiences, and what I can do to be better and feel better. Birthdays do that for me. Why not embrace the same attitude toward a love day?
I devised a plan for love for my jaded Valentine’s Day, an idea to turn the whole damn thing around. My husband and I will take the Day as a love reflection.
Where can we do better? What was challenging about the last year, and how can we navigate it better? Do we feel heard, seen, and acknowledged? What do we want our days going forward to look like? Our disagreements, our partnership, and our heartaches? How can we better take care of ourselves and our relationship? How can we get through disagreements more efficiently?
We both got excited about this idea. I remember being mad at him for weeks, not days or weeks, last year. Stuck in my head, I could not clear my words and communicate my feelings. I am now confident I can do better and will. It is unfair to hold a person you love emotionally hostage, and I know better. I am lucky I have a partner that wants to do better, just like I do. We are both lucky, but it takes work, I won’t lie. I liked the Day more when I was single; I would spoil myself with a massage, a new candle, and new pajamas. I was a perfect valentine, for one. Oh, always a guilty romantic comedy.
Blow up Valentine’s Day and make it fit for you, whatever that may look like. Find love right where you are.
My Mantra: “Happy Valentine’s Day, turning our hearts to love and healing.”