Saturday, February 14, 2009

This Single Girl's Valentine Wish

Ahhh ... Valentine's Day!

That universal day of love signified by hearts and cupids, thereby establishing that while love may exist between parents and children, brothers and sisters, relatives, friends across the nation and around the world ... it is actually a day set aside for lovers.
A day for couples everywhere to declare their undying love.

Jewelry stores count on it.

Flower stores thrive on it.

Card stores go crazy on it.

And restaurants? Yeah ... they overbook and overprice on it.
It's that day when men best remember to step up and make their best effort towards the woman they love and adore. That day when women work to look and smell their best, their most enticing, to show the man they love ...

Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You get the picture.

Seems to me it's a day of trying to hard to achieve something that should naturally occur every day of the year. Then again, I'm single. So what do I know?

For starters ... I know that I have a set of parents who have been married for 52 years and have provided me with an example of the type of love I would like to have in a marriage. A love that doesn't need a special day to make them declare their love with just a shared look across a table ... with the holding of the hands as they walk down the street ... with a giggle-laugh-snort of a fun story told or shared joke ... with a quiet moment a head leaning on the other's shoulder. My parents weren't perfect. They have had their share of disagreements and disappointments over the years, however through each year they gave me and my brother an example of committment to something that means everything to both of them. Their marriage is a combined effort of work and love, on Valentine's day and every other day of the year.

Secondly ... I know I may be single ... I know I may not share this holiday with "a man", giving and receiving gifts of chocolates and flowers ... however, I know each year I have been fortunate enough to share the "Day of Love" with someone I love ... three someones to be exact.

For seventeen years now, I have spent this day in the company of sometimes one, many times two, and those years when I've been extremely blessed - all three of my girlies. Whether rushed due to busy school nights or relaxed when celebrated on a weekend, my heart is filled with delight in the time we spend together.

Now that they are all teenagers, the years of special heart patterned matching jammies and cartooned faced heart decorations are photos of memories in my mind. The special early morning breakfasts of heart shaped pancakes while watching Valentine videos of Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh have been given up for the teen's creed of "We Must Sleep Until Noon". The staying up late the night before the school Valentine's party signing little cards and baking cookies has transformed itself into running to the store and grabbing some of those little boxes of heartshaped sugar candies with messages of "hugs" and "love" and other assorted sayings stamped upon them. The years have passed, the children have grown, but there is a constant that remains.

My heart is still filled with delight in the time we spend together.

This year there won't be a sumptuous dinner at an elegant restaurant with an adoring man for me. There won't be the Valentine Party dinner we had when they were little ... red themed in honor of the day with spaghetti, red jello, red kool-aid, and brownies with red sprinkles. There will simply be me and my girlies ... two of them for sure, hopefully three ... with pizza, cookies, and a movie. Granted, the pizzas are heart-shaped courtesy of our favorite local pizza place and the cookies have the silly red heart faces from courtesy of the Pillsbury Doughboy ... I haven't given up every part of the holiday just because we've all aged!

There may not be jewelry or fancy red heart shaped boxes, but there will be soft smiles, large hugs, sweet kisses and chocolate.

There may not be a huge bouquet of red roses, but there is a simple origami flower made especially for me.

There may not be romance, but there will be love ... simple and consistent ... freely given from the heart ... one special day a year and every day after.

That's the Valentine my parents exampled and I wish for everyone.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Discussion Between Me, Myself, and I

I haven’t been writing lately. Oh … I’ve started several pieces. However nothing seems to be going very well. Nothing has been completed in the timely manner I wanted.

I’ll admit it’s made Me rather frustrated and unhappy.

I really enjoy writing. I find I am most at peace when I get an idea and put it into words. It is something that generally makes Me happy, sorting out thoughts, using words to paint pictures of feelings and experiences.

Therefore, when I am not writing, I don’t feel completely right and that leaves Me feeling rather out of sorts. I have learned that I don’t really like Me when that happens and I believe the fault for this usually lies within Myself.

After pondering the situation for a time, I decided that it would most likely help Me get to feeling better if I had a discussion with Myself. This is sometimes a good thing, but, then again, sometimes it isn’t. The discussions I have with Myself always tend to get a bit lively. I will admit that I am not always the most passive person when I find it necessary to have a conversation with Myself. It is usually because I find Myself unwilling to listen. It’s as though I find Myself not wanting to take responsibility for why I am not feeling good, or simply helping to get Me back on track towards being happier.

Therefore, I don’t enter into these conversations lightly. For some reason I can never seem to fathom, I always tend to make Myself a tad bit crazy. No matter how rational I try to be, listing the areas that need to be followed, I find myself balking … resisting listening to reason. It never fails I end up trying to bring the subject back up only to find myself pushing it further and further away.

When that happens, it generally falls to Me to sort out the finer points of the dialogue and bring it back into a semblance of rationality.

I won’t bore anyone with the complete details. The … ahem … discussion has been rather lengthy and time consuming, continuing on over the course of several days, making Me more than a bit distressed at times.

Bottom line, I told Myself that I was not happy with this empathy I felt Myself having towards the writing that I do.

I told Myself that not being able to write was making Me unhappy and something needed to be done … now.

I told Myself that I was holding Myself accountable for this inability and that it was time to get Myself together and get back to the business that makes Me smile.

Essentially, I argued, and bullied, and essentially painted Myself into a corner.

As you can imagine, this is never good. Whenever I find Myself painted into a corner, I find Myself lashing back.

Nope … not good at all, because in the end is it always Me that bears the brunt of it when I get Myself all worked up like that … when I try to make Myself take some responsibility.

For in the end … after I have shouted at Myself, forcing Myself to declare that I will never write again … it is up to Me … with tears in eyes and heavy heart … to plead with Myself to listen to what I am truly saying.

The writing that I do comes from deep within Myself and is ultimately written only for Me.

I had forgotten that.

The writing that I do only works to satisfy Me when I relax and allow Myself to enjoy the process … the search for the words to describe images and concepts that matter most to Me.

The writing that I do only works when I put away the deadlines that I impose upon Myself and understand that while I might require guidelines and structure for many areas of my life, I find Myself needing an atmosphere that is cozy and cheerful, a bit more loose-fitting, so to speak, for the writing to truly enfold Me and make Me feel able to convey ideas adequately.
It is only then that I find Myself writing and that is what makes Me very happy.