This weekend we celebrate Valentine’s Day. As a kid my mom would buy me a red package of cute little Valentine Cards for me to write out for everyone in my class. When February 14th rolled around, the teachers would give us time to pass out our cards and each desk was filled with card in 50 shades of pink and heart shaped treats. It was a fun day to dress in red and say Happy Valentine’s Day to each other and anyone I saw on my path that day. I even remember making my Mom cards and putting a piece of candy on top of her morning newspaper each year. I still send her a card every year. Haven’t missed a year yet, and she’s 90!!! It was always a special day in our house and it was so simply acknowledged in heartfelt ways.
As I grew up it became all about having a boyfriend (yes, I had them way back when J) and exchanging gifts, getting flowers and going to a movie. Even in high school, I knew there was something really missing about Valentine’s Day because if you weren’t dating someone around that time, there was a feeling of not being good enough. Through my Junior and Senior year when I was firmly planted in a relationship, I saw the unspoken sadness in the eyes of some of my classmates who didn’t have a mate. It just didn’t seem fair that this day which was so joyful and silly growing up now was viewed as a badge of honor if you received a red rose or candy from a partner. Before I was married a bunch of us would get together on Valentine’s Day and celebrate our friendships.
Today, being married with the most amazing wife, we chose to downplay Valentine’s Day because EVERYDAY should be a day of love. Every day we should love and value all people, all animals and our planet. What have we become that our personal value is based on how many roses we can acquire, how many diamonds or boxes of chocolate we are given? Oh, let’s not forget the people who criticize their partners because they receive any old box of chocolate and not Godiva. C’mon, what have we become??? There is way too much pressure out there to be seen on Valentine’s Day hand in hand or out having dinner. We don’t go near restaurants that night because it’s just crazy loud and service will be predictably so-so at best. This year my wife and I will spend Valentine’s Day at the Humane Society taking pictures with our animals, taking a walk, being grateful for our health and each other. I’m so excited!
So as this day approaches, if the society’s definition of what Valentine’s Day means does not align with who you are; make it a special day for yourself. Take yourself out for a great cup of coffee, grab your journal, a good book and a good friend or 4-legged companion and celebrate the beauty of who you are, the richness of your soul and the vibrancy of the universe. We should celebrate life this day and every day. EVERYDAY can be February 14th!