Here is an accurate representation of me from the past few years on Valentine’s Day.
It’s never been my favorite, but I’ve never really loathed the holiday either. I usually just ignore it altogether; however, with a blog post release scheduled on the dreaded day itself (happy Thursday), it would be ridiculous to not integrate V-day. So without further ado …
When I was in 2nd grade, my entire homeschool co-op piled into a bowling alley covered with neon signs and stacks of pepperoni pizza. All of us snuggled into our lanes with our homemade Valentine’s Day boxes and wide grins. It was fascinating watching the middle school boys attempt to show off, and then subsequently witness their bowling balls roll into the gutter on repeat while they blushed in embarrassment. Even as an almost eight-year-old, I loved Valentine’s Day; at the end of the day, I left with arms covered in Hannah Montana tattoos and an excessive amount of written compliments. That year, I even left with a love note from my secret crush, of which my dad quickly confiscated. Valentine’s Day was the best day of the entire school year.
In 3rd grade, I had a 104 degree fever.
In 10th grade, I gave my Valentine some V8 juice as he read me a hate poem. The day prior, a classmate had tragically passed away.
Junior year of high school, I waited in freezing weather to audition for The Voice.
It was just another day of the year.
While throwing a “We Hate Valentine’s Day” party hypothetically sounds like a great idea it really is unproductive in the long run. You have a full day dedicated to L O V E – why not do something with it? I would say that if someone was throwing such a party, I would definitely attend out of sheer excitement to hear everyone else’s horrible ex stories. But since it is the season of hearts and chocolate, let’s just humor the idea of showing love this week, unromantically, without draining ourselves or letting it deter our spirit.
Here are five undemanding ways to show love over the next week, in honor of Valentine’s Day:
- Write letters! Write to your mom, your long-distance friend, a new pal, a mentor, or anyone else you can conjure up! There is nothing as timeless and meaningful as writing notes and sending them in the mail. Stamps and all. I promise you will feel the love sending them just as much as receiving.
- Intentionally apologize. Rifle through your past and evaluate if there are any relationships or interactions that need mending from your end. I know that I wrestle with needing to feel in control, and apologizing puts me in an extremely vulnerable state of being. It is easy to feel that you have to remain strong in your past choices and decisions, but I promise that some of these choices are unnecessary baggage that can be thrown off by two simple words: I’m sorry. You’ll find that the new vacant space where your baggage was is the perfect spot to hold a little more love.
- Practice self-love. Write out your favorite quotes or scriptures that validate your identity and worth. Place them around your living space. Buy a shopping cart full of candles from TJ Maxx. When you do not feel like yourself, find an outlet where you can be realigned – this could be cooking, or journaling, or in your bed studying the ceiling, or talking yourself through worse case scenarios. Loving yourself is a choice just as much as it is loving someone else.
- Spontaneous chores. Since we are focusing on simple, frugal ways to show love, crossing something off someone’s to-do list probably tops the charts as the EASIEST option. Go wash the dishes. Or mop the floors. Or pick up the groceries. It is not going to dent your day. Take your pick and make someone smile.
- Spoil your pet. Buy your dog or cat those special treats you’ve been eyeing at the store. They deserve it, those pure angels, and you deserve to see your pet feel loved. I don’t know who came up with the phrase “happy wife, happy life,” but it should be “happy pet, happy life.” Okay, maybe I understand that the phrase does need to rhyme … If you do not have a pet, go share your friend’s pet or adopt your own. Reciprocated unconditional love is always worth it.
I encourage you to find someway to incorporate more love in your day sometime this week, because love conquers all. No amount of dark chocolate, wine, roses, or Hannah Montana tattoos can beat your dog squeaking his new chew toy. (PS. If you write me a letter, I will write back!)
Happy Valentine’s Day + may the force (of love) be with you.