This is my very first Valentine’s Day post in my two+ years of blogging. And there is a reason for that: I do not particularly like Valentine’s Day. I am single (All the single ladies… All the single ladies… uh uh oh oh oh oh oh oh – Do you hear Beyonce too?) Unattached. A bachelorette. A spinster (one of my least favourite words in the English language – yuck).
So I am reclaiming Valentine’s Day on behalf of all the singles – men and women, gay, straight or otherwise, young and less young! Instead of celebrating the love relationships we do not have, let us celebrate all the LOVE we do have! Period. Full stop. All the people we love. We probably need it now more than ever.
Many have been promoting self-love or self-care for a long time now. And thank goodness for that! What does it mean? I think it means different things to different people (I say this about work-life balance too).
For me, it varies. It includes the little things in my daily/weekly beauty routine: shaping my brows, applying my make up and styling my hair, at-home facials and mani-pedis (because… lockdown). But it also includes enjoying a hot bath from time to time, alone time to shop or read or just veg, splurging on a spa day with the girls, or scheduling an extra session with my therapist. To me, it is about physical, mental, and emotional well-being. There are ebbs and flows, for sure, but overall, I try to balance (or at least I can now recognize when I am out of balance and course correct).
I am not a mother, but I would bet that moms (parents) struggle with this, weighing their guilt against their mental sanity. There are moms out there who might consider peeing uninterrupted an achievement of self-care (I joke, of course).
Point being, do not underestimate this one. Do not sweep it under the rug. Do not always put yourself last. Be selfish from time to time! Mental and emotional health are equally as important as physical health.
Give yourself the gift of relaxation!
I have an amazing group of female friends around me: my university friends and my “we met as adults” friends. Words cannot express my gratitude for these women. All these women are intelligent, hardworking, successful, and beautiful inside and out. They make me laugh, they let me vent, they tell it like it is (some more than others – you know who you are). But through all the ups and downs, they are there for me. And I for them. We are all distinct personalities with varying backgrounds, opinions, and ideas, but we respect one another and hold each other in high regard.
There are too many instances to count where they talked me “off the ledge” of making a rash decision, or were my shoulder to cry on after a breakup, or encouraged me to keep going when I faced a setback and wanted to quit. And sometimes they just let me bitch about something or someone to get it off my chest. We have studied together. We have vacationed together. We have witnessed some of life’s milestones with each other (marriage, children, divorce, loss, first homes). I even have the honour of being godmother to one of my friend’s daughters!
Moral of the story: do not take your friends for granted. Like a love relationship, friendships need work. Maybe not quite the same, but still. Surround yourself with good people (some might say “high vibration” people). One-sided friendships are not friendships – read that one again. Unfortunately, I have had to come to this realization with (former) friends, but we are probably both better off for it. It just was not worth the energy.
Show your girl gang some love!
For the Love of Family
These are the people in your life, no matter what, you love them. Our parents make us the people that we are – quite literally. Not only genetically and physically, but our values, believes, and ideas initially come from our parents. A lot of our personalities too. Who has not heard from one parent that “you’re exactly like your [other parent]”? Of course, as we become young adults and get exposed to more of the world, our values, believes and ideas evolve (at least in my case).
Our siblings are the people we play with as children, fight with as adolescents (but also join forces in resisting or pushing the boundaries set by our parents ), and grow with as adults. We can be a lot alike or very distinct. In my case, my sister and I are quite different people, and sadly, we did fight a lot as teenagers – but we could chalk some of that up to being teenage girls when everything in life is a crisis LOL. As we matured, we became close and now have several shared friends. Siblings also serve as good mirrors for us, telling us how it is and reminding us who we are. They know us better than almost anyone else, provide a sounding board, serve as a buffer, and make us laugh. And sometimes, siblings share a juicy tidbit of family gossip.
Family: we may not always like them or their behaviour, but we still love them in the end.
Gifts for the fam-jam!