February doesn’t have a lot of upsides. Around here the winter is starting to feel endless while spring remains a distant anticipation. This year more than ever, our hearts are feeling a bit heavy.
So, perhaps this month, as it is Valentines’ time, we may lift our spirits by celebrating love. Some of you may groan as you read this sentence. We get it.
Many of us are a wee bit cynical about Valentine’s Day, regarding it as an overblow Hallmark holiday that adds unnecessary expectations to our relationships with a flurry of cards, chocolates, and fancy dinners. For singles, it can trigger distress.
Valentine’s Day, and its requisite celebration of romantic love, has a long and somewhat sordid history dating back to Roman times. Some say it derives from Lupercalia, a raucous Roman festival where men stripped naked and spanked young maidens in the hopes of increasing their fertility. Yikes.
Another theory is that it originated when Roman Emperor Claudius II, believing that single men made better soldiers, tried to bolster his army by forbidding young men to marry. St. Valentine performed secret marriages and was executed for this crime on February 14th. Again, yikes!
No matter its sordid history, or the modern-day hoopla surrounding Valentine’s Day, this year we’ve decided to spread our love far and wide. The pandemic is making us all rethink our established norms and why should the season of love be any different?
We’re going to put extra effort into celebrating love this year and cast a wider net. For us, now feels like the perfect time to reach out to people we love that have somehow slipped away, and to rekindle these connections.
Here are some of our ideas.
- Send a handwritten letter to a cherished friend who lives far away.
- Send a thank-you card to a teacher who inspired you or your children.
- Send a thank-you card to a health care worker who cared for you or someone you love when you were sick.
- Rekindle a friendship you let slip away.
- Tell your favorite aunt or uncle how they impacted your life.
- Write a thank you letter to someone who is making your community a better place to live.
- Tell someone you work with why you appreciate them.
- Leave a treat for the person who delivers your mail.
- Remind your parents of your favorite childhood memory.
- Write a tiny love letter to your kids every day for a month.
- Write fan mail to your favorite up and coming musician or artist.
- Send an unexpected gift to someone you like.
- Help someone who is struggling right now.
- Take your dog for extra walks.
- Give your kitty extra treats.
And while you make some extra effort to spread your love far and wide in this great big world, don’t forget to give a little extra sweetness to yourself.
Enjoy more of your favorite guilt-free pleasures. Drink more tea, take more bubble baths, and walk in the forest. Enjoy good whiskey in a pretty tumbler, wiggle your toes in merino wool socks, and wash your body with handmade soap.
Always remember, in the wise words of John Lennon, “It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love”.
So, go for it, reach out. LOVE.