Valentine's Day......

I’m out of town this weekend with my daughter, traveling to New York City to celebrate a milestone for her in her life (another blog post, later). Her desire on this short break is to do some sightseeing of places she hasn’t seen in the city (Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty this trip — how have we/she missed these in the past?), and to eat in some fun restaurants that we don’t have back home. No big deal, right?

And just now, while working in a favorite neighborhood cafe, I realized that today, folks, is Valentine’s Day. The abundance of pies and sweets and the lady at the counter already looking tired at 9am gave it away. Now I am wondering if we will be able to get reservations anywhere for dinner this evening — or even walk in to a place and find a table. And we aren’t in town for that long. Really a first world problem and I know it.

I do love the sentiment of Valentine’s Day— to recognize the love and caring we have for those around us. I do really enjoy the social media postings from friends about their families, spouses, pets on this day. Lots of cute photos and hearts.( My strongest memories of Valentine’s Day curiously center around those tiny Necco hearts with writings that they don’t make anymore, and the flimsy cards we wrote to EVERYONE in our class.) I did send notes to some of my favorite young ones for the day, and hugs and smiles to the rest of you, truly.

But I also know that this can be a challenging day for so many people who are alone — either newly on their own or for a long time, by surprise or by choice. And also for friends and family who have lost people in their lives recently. This holiday can be sweet and bitter all at once.

For those of you (us) on their own, or missing a loved one —this is one of those holidays that can unleash a bundle of emotions, whether we are ready or not for the onslaught of feelings.

To manage the day my only bit of advice is to do what it takes to make it special for you. No one to bring you flowers? Buy them for yourself! (I do every year — and I get to choose which flowers will be in my house and they are never red.) Not going to be getting chocolates from anyone this year? Good! Go buy yourself the kind you really like (the extra dark type, I see you). No reservation in a fancy restaurant for the evening? Great! Make a great meal for yourself, or better yet, invite others over right now to join you this evening as you throw something together last minute. Take out works really well, too. And in the end it all will be cheaper than that evening at the restaurant with over-priced holiday prices. And maybe lots more fun.

Honor the day, honor the emotions-- all of them. Celebrate the memories, celebrate the people who have come, and maybe gone, who brought love and lessons to you. Relish the fact that you can choose how to spend the day and that you don’t feel compelled to buy in to the cupid industry.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you.

Deb

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