Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Surviving Valentine's Day

As I sit here at Hubbard and Cravens, drinking my earl grey tea, my mind goes back a few days contemplating the Valentine weekend… I had an amazing weekend full of friends, laughter, companionship and even a date…..yes, that is right….the girl who puts all into the friend box actually had a double date for Valentine’s Day. But of course, that is the subject of another blog……I am working on being transparent……but some things need to stay in my head for a while….

My thoughts for the past couple of days have gone to What Happened to Valentine’s Day?????

When I was a child, Valentine’s Day was one of my favorite holidays….. We spent a whole week in preparation - making “mailboxes” out of paper sacks, shoeboxes, envelopes and decorating them with hearts, glitter, cut-outs……it was just a beautiful holiday…..full of pink and red….lace…..candy…..love…..it was the highlight of the year. Before the class party, we would make the annual trek to Walmart to choose our Valentine cards and convince our parents that we truly needed candy to go inside them. Each card was addressed to my classmates with the selections thought out carefully. I loved getting all of the valentine cards and would sit for hours looking through them and of course sorting and eating the candy. My Valentines box/bag/envelope would become a treasure for the next month reminding me that I was liked…loved…..special.

Somehow as an adult, Valentine’s Day turned into a day full of pressure - of knowing in the back of my mind that I was somehow going to be disappointed….the expectation of having a dream deferred…a hope quashed. I know there are others who feel the same way. Why is that?? How did a holiday full of “community” - of parties, giving encouragement to friends, and of course, presents - turn into a day of isolation for a single girl (and even a married girl)?? Where did the shift begin?

Ghandi says to become the change in the world that you want to see…….so that is my goal - to take back those dates in my mind - - those dates on the calendar that loom over me like an anvil…..the dates haunt my soul and cajole me to eat a whole box of Girl Scout Cookies with a nice Cabernet.

Last year on Valentine’s Day, I called a guy friend to see if he would like to accompany me at the local Art Walk. We had a great time discussing art, drinking complimentary wine and eating fine chocolate. It was a great evening……and for the first time, I realized that I could take back the significant dates in my life and make them my own. I realized that I didn’t have to wait for someone else to plan, organize, or even generally make me feel special - - I could orchestrate my own happiness….and you know what - it worked. Two weeks later, I threw my own birthday bash…..it was a wonderful feeling….

So - I am taking back Valentines Day, my birthday, Easter, Mother’s Day, the Indy 500, the 4th of July, my old anniversary, my children’s birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. From this day on……these days will be filled with community, fun, food, laughter, and smiling caring faces…. The dates will no longer loom over me….reminding me of what “once was…” instead, I will create new memories to cherish and to add to the old memories.

As far as the date goes…..stay tuned……all is beautiful…..I feel special…..and for once in a very, very long time….I dare to hope and dream….

No comments: