Celebrating the Season of Love
To those of you who celebrate it, happy belated Valentine’s Day! To those who don’t, happy Discounted Chocolate Day, one of my favorite days of the year!
As someone who has spent a significant number of Valentine’s Days being very single, I’m a little jaded about the whole holiday. It’s easy to see the traditionally white, cishet, alloromantic, consumeristic focus of the holiday when you’re on the outside of it.
I do think, though, that there’s something to be said for celebrating love in the middle of one of the coldest, darkest, months of the year. On my bus ride home from work earlier in the week, I overheard a woman asking someone on the phone, “Do you remember last year when my mom sent me an entire cheesecake for Valentine’s Day?”
I don’t know about you, but winter is always a tough time for me. Whether it’s the lack of sunlight, the limited outdoor activities, or the rain, my mood tends to tank, and I have a harder time maintaining relationships with my friends and family. And Valentine’s Day, with its picture-perfect versions of romance and happy couples, can make everything seem even worse.
But, between that overheard bus conversation and a good talk with my psychologist, I’ve been reminded this week that taking some time to think about the people and things that we love and—if we have the capacity for it—acting on that love, is a concrete activity to help manage the seasonal blahs.
So, I started making a list of loves in my life—both the obvious ones like friends, family, and pets—and the more random things like
meeting a friendly dog or peeling the protective plastic off of something new. Just remembering things that give me the warm fuzzies has been positively impacting my outlook on life.
My next step will be acting on some of those loves. I don’t think I’m quite ready for the expense and logistics of shipping anyone an entire cheesecake, but I do want to take a few minutes to send a letter or a text to a couple of people who I love and mindfully do some activities that make me happy.
Now that you’ve read what I’ve been thinking and feeling this Valentine’s season, I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on the holiday? What do you do to mitigate emotional slumps? What are some things that you love? What are your favorite cheesecake recipes? I suspect there may be some baking in my future.