Feeling the love
Today is one of those commercial holidays that I’m not super crazy about. I mean, the sentiment is lovely, but this day tends to create angst and fretting and a sense of obligation about gift-giving and displays of affection and declarations of gushy-googliness that I’m not really into.
It screams, “Spend money to prove how much you love someone, and they will prove how much they love you by how extravagant their gift for you is!” For someone whose love language is not gifts, this doesn’t “prove” anything. It actually does the opposite.
And, this day tends to exclude or ignore people who are not paired up, whether by choice or by circumstance, and that’s just no fun.
I’m a big fan of Galentine’s (really, I’m a fan of almost ALL things Leslie Knope), and people finding their own way to “do” Valentine’s Day. Like my sister-in-law’s buddy, who, for an anti-Valentine’s event in Montreal this year, created “2 giant vulva sculptures you can sit in and wrap yourself in labial love!” (Check her out: @vulvaluv). Yessss!!
So this year, rather than be a Valentine’s Scrooge McDuck -- OKAY -- to be LESS of a Valentine’s Scrooge McDuck, I’ve tried to cultivate a sense of gratitude to help me feel the love that is all around me, every day. I’ve been able to crank up my awareness of what I’m grateful for in my life, and feel the love coming my way.
Here’s a short list of the love I’ve experienced in the last few weeks since finding out I’ll be undergoing cancer surgery next week:
- Tucking-in snuggles with my daughter in the evenings
- Prayers, good vibes, ju-ju, and other positive intentions from the kindest people in my circle, and beyond -- Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, Wiccans, atheists, agnostics, and all kinds of other non-particularly-denominational people
- Hugs, lots of hugs, and often from unexpected people I wouldn’t peg as huggers…like one of the guys that built our house (and has since become a friend)…I got two from him last night!
- The free sharing of resources, contacts, information, experiences…my network grows…
- Lunch dates
- Coffee dates
- Kind words from people who, despite dealing with their own personal challenges, take time to reach out….you are amazing
- Phone calls, emails, texts and messages from friends and colleagues near and far
- Drive-by well-wishers at my office
- Slobbery excitement from my dog as he leaps for joy when he gets to go to daycare
- Hand-made cards from my daughter
- Speediness in the healthcare system
- Prompt and efficient and wonderful HR professionals helping me navigate the medical-leave-of-absence bureaucratic process
- Gifts of wine, chocolate and pistachios
- Another foster family opening their home to provide a safe and loving place for the boy that was in our care so I can focus on my health, and the Social Services staff who worked magic to allow it to happen quickly
And so, my heart has been filled and refilled by the generosity of the people in my circle and in their circles.
The world is a good place.
There are good people doing good and kind things.
On this day about love, let’s all remember that.
And spread some!
Love and light,