Well it's here again, this most wonderful of days. I've heard the rumblings and grumblings from various friends and coworkers over the last week who feel this is just a sensationalized way for Hallmark and 1800Flowers to make their annual profit as well as get many a men in the doghouse for a lackluster performance. To both of those sentiments I say "Rubbish!" For the former, so what if this is their big money maker. It's not like Christmas has any less meaning to Baby Jesus because Walmart makes a killing on it. And for the latter, well that's just laziness. It doesn't take a million dollars or a surprise scavenger hunt to spread the love. The best Valentine's Day card I ever received was a handwritten one from my husband. Now, granted, the last line was "Will you marry me?" but still you get my point. Well, at least I hope you do because it's an important one.
Valentine's Day is a holiday meant to remind us to appreciate the most important thing of all: our relationships. All living organisms are meant to be symbiotic with others of their kind. There is safety in numbers - from cold weather (more bodies to snuggle), from illness (more people to survive), from large saber-toothed tigers (you only have to be faster than the slowest one behind you). So nature has designed a way to link us indescribable to each other. Love. It comes in many forms and hardly is ever the same version repeated between any two people but it all has one thing in common. It is our life force. It is what we all need to survive. We need to feel loved and to love others in return. That inexplicable bond nourishes our souls in a way nothing else can and no matter how bitter and jaded one may come across, we all crave it. Unfortunately, all too often, we all take it for granted as well. When is the last time you told your mother how much you loved her? When's the last time you called up your sister just to tell her she meant a lot to you? What about that good friend that got you through the worst breakup of your life...have you sent her an email lately just to tell her you miss her?
I'm as guilty as they come. This past year, with the expansion of our family and starting a full time job, I've gotten bogged down in the daily happenings of a life full of To Dos. I have not fed my relationships in the ways that I want to. I haven't made the time to see my best friend for coffee more than every few weeks. I haven't made the trip to Charlotte to see my family as much as I'd like. I haven't kept in contact with my girlfriends well or chatted over the fence with our neighbors or even let my hairdresser know how much I love our monthly time together. I do try every day to tell my children how much I adore them, mostly because they are the sun that my world revolves around right now, but I'm sure my husband could use a few more I Love Yous throughout the day. Which brings me back to why I love this holiday.
It is my reminder. It's not the only one I get, thanks to the nature of my career. I see lives change in an instant on an unfortunately regular basis. I diagnose cancers and heart attacks and strokes. I hold hands while I watch families get news that makes the earth stop turning for them. I see just how fast all of these relationships can change so I do get serviced with more reminders than most, I'd care to wager. Maybe that's why I embrace this one so much. It's a pleasant, chocolate-filled, nobody-is-sick-or-dying reminder to love one another openly and without reservation.
I saw a commercial this weekend from Hallmark that may just become my mantra. "Valentines Day is about I love us." I love us. I love what we are together. I love how we are linked in this life, however that may be.
This little blog we have is not frequented by many people but those that do read it are some of the most important people to me. So I hope when you read this, it reminds you that I Love Us. Thank you for that.
Here's hoping you have a spectacular, chocolatey, lovely, memorable Valentine's Day.