It's Valentine's Day. Not just any Valentine's Day, but The First Ever Such Holiday I've Been In The Relationship I Always Wanted. And now? From a vantage point laced with all this happiness - finally - this day inspired unexpected reflections.
A couple of nights ago, the topic of The Impending Holiday came up for the first time with my honeyman. (I don't remember how, but being the girl, I'll take the blame for that foray into Oh So Comfortable Territory.) Since we've been able to miraculously carve out a space in which any topic is on the table for discussion, it wasn't really that uncomfortable. Even the silly stuff - should one of us value something silly - gets talked about. This is the first Valentines Day to come around since we became a couple, so how was HE to intuit the particular set of sensations that swirls through the head of a woman who often didn't choose that well on the love front in the past, the evidence of whose former choices were often exacerbated by the This Holiday of Luv?
So we had a wee conversation. It went a little something like this:
I admitted it kinda' matters. He admitted it's good I thought to mention it, what with my usual practical attitude toward such things. I assured him this didn't mean I was expecting to be showered in diamonds. He assured me it's a good thing I have my feet planted in reality. I asserted that it would be cool if it didn't matter. He asserted that if that's really true, I could make that happen. My response came out along the lines of, "Yea. It's not that true, lover. Don't forget about Valentine's Day."
It came up again last night and our discussion went a bit deeper, centering around a core point:
"It's pretty arbitrary to have an official holiday meant to remind your partner you love them, when you make conscious efforts, every day of the year, to act in ways that show them how much they matter."
He said it first and we both believe it to be true. One could argue the merits of such a day for hours, and I know people have. We didn't argue at all. So far, such occurrences have eluded us. (How's that for a Gratitude List entry?) We looked at the statement and let it hang there. In truth, this partnership values - and routinely celebrates - the miraculous discoveries that are forever presenting themselves to us. And we value fun. Sheer, unadulterated reasons to smile, to laugh, and sometimes? Sometimes to be so overcome with amusement at each other that we have to hold our sides or grip the table to maintain balance, such is the wave of impact our enjoyment of each other's humor imparts. This, babies, is SO much more valuable to me than showers of diamonds.
This morning on Facebook, a sweet friend wished us all Happy Valentine's Day and made a point of saying that she was including everyone, whether in a relationship or not, since we're surrounded by so much love, regardless of the presence of partnership. I've been thinking about that, and how so much is open to interpretation. Who "owns" Valentine's Day, anyway? Who gets to say that it's only for the lovers who have "That Special Someone" in their lives?
My life has been outrageously skewed on the love front. Between family and friends and friendly acquaintances and clients, even, (I mean, I'm the lucky chick who flew to Los Angeles and hung out with clients in their home for two weeks before heading off to Seattle... the love has definitely been heaped on me from all directions,) I've never truly felt unloved, in my life.
Having realized that so solidly, I then remembered the latest, ever-reappearing-reminder of how important it is to tell your peeps how much they matter to you. Someone I knew died this week. We weren't close. In fact, I hadn't seen him in years. But I always thought highly of him. Did he know? While I'd known his health wasn't good, it never occurred to me that he was sick enough that his life would end early. It never does occur to us, does it? Even after several significant losses that came far earlier than I was prepared for, I still never expect to hear of someone's passing. Now, having learned this particular news, I have the reminder, once more, to make the time to Share the Love. It doesn't matter how many things we're juggling, of all the choices in life, it seems important to find little ways to say how we feel. I'm not there yet. I ponder the people who have impacted me, who have taught me important lessons, who have shown me respect and kindness and, yes, love, and I am humbled at the expansiveness of this community. Telling all of you one-by-one could become a full-time job if one really went all out. And so I'll tell you here, all together, and I'll work on telling you, individually, more often, too.
And today? On this Most Auspicious of Valentine's Days? I'm happy to have the love I have. From my broader community, from my friends - close and casual - from my family, and from my honeyman who so stunningly and completely gets me.
I wish you, dear reader, incredible happiness as well. And invite you to post here if you like. I get more emails than comments these days when I bother to post to my blog. But if you comment here, others get to appreciate your words, too!