Valentine’s Day Scrooge

I might be the Scrooge to your Cupid. I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I do not believe in it. For me it has nothing to do with cupid or love or chocolates or panties. It has everything to do with having these items each and every day. Chris knows that I do not care in the least about flowers, gifts, and that the last place I want to be on Valentine’s Day is a restaurant. I do not want to pay for overproduced, overpriced food with a bunch of couples that may just be meeting for the first time or for those that are just checking a box off a list with their spouse. Flowers — check. Dinner out — check. Happy wife? Maybe.

Happy wife, happy life. This happy wife does not equate Valentine’s Day in a typical way. Valentine’s Day should be lived everyday. Love, hugs, kisses, cupid…flowers…living appreciation. Surprises (even though I suck at keeping them). Each of these things shared at random throughout the year, means living love every day. What if we all tried to extend Valentine’s Day to every day of the year? Would we all be happier and more loved? Random Acts of Kindness every day to those we love.

Whatever you are doing on Saturday this year, whether going out with your loved one, or picking up a quick box of chocolates at the drug store, or staying home and snuggling on the couch, try to love today, and tomorrow, and the next day. Do not do it just because it is Valentine’s Day. Do it next week, next month, and this summer.

How are you living love in your life? Do you only do it on Valentine’s Day? Do you expect anything in return or are you just expressing yourself from your heart? Be Cupid every damn day.

Nobody I would rather be with…

There are a few things I love in life. A great book, new ideas, learning something new about myself, chips, and while there are probably a ton of other things on my list, the one that tops them all is my husband. I never was a girl who dreamed of marrying, or had a wedding book, or even really gave a shit about the wedding, but what I think matters most is that I married my best friend, and he continues to be the best damn thing that ever happened to me.

So when I find a great book that talks about marriage, has a sassy rant throughout the book, and makes me appreciate my husband that much more, I call it good. I just finished a great book called: “The Longest Date: Life as a Wife” by Cindy Chupack. The cover might look cheesy, but let me tell you, Chupack was a writer on Sex and the City, and also writes for O Magazine (Oprah), that woman knows her stuff. She was able to peak our interest for many years (and how many of us wish that Sex and the City was still on the air)? I felt like she spoke right to me. She got me. She got marriage, and attempts into motherhood. She was flawed like we all are all the time. She spoke to my decade ago single self, she spoke to my married self, she spoke to my potential mother self. I think about this all the time pertaining to Chris:

“And I think now about how many of those nights we’ve had since, and how there is nobody I would rather talk to when I am feeling less than, nobody I would rather come home to after a hard day, and how wrong I was about you and us and what we could become. And unlike most people, I love being wrong. I love thinking I know the ending and then being surprised.” Page 33

I wholeheartedly agree. There is no one I would rather come home to than Chris, no one I would rather snuggle with when I have a rough day, feel sick, or just need to feel connected to him. No one I would rather talk about my day to (good or bad), and how clueless I was to how good life would be together. The only difference between me and Chupack: I do not love being wrong. I do not like surprises. Although I have felt I knew the ending and was then happily surprised, and sometimes that surprise is way better than we can ever imagine.

Read this book. It will make you smile. It will make you think about your marriage. If you are single or in a relationship you are not sure about, it will give you humorous clarity or levity. We only live once, life should be enjoyed. We should be pampered, and love every minute of spending time with our better half. They should inspire, encourage us, and elevate our game. So that we bring only goodness, joy, and happiness to those around us. So that the love we have with our better half pours out of us and we and those around us are never the same. Call me a sap, but how can I not be excited for the best date I have ever had?

Surprisologist.

A surprisologist. I like it. I am probably the worst person to be called a surprisologist. One year for Chris’ birthday I planned a trip to San Francisco. As it got closer to the trip I could not contain the surprise, I just had to tell him. Partly I wanted him to be able to get excited by our trip and start to think about whether there were any special places he might want to go, and partly I just could not contain my surprise any longer. How did I break the news to him? I told him I wanted him to open a birthday gift early, and I wrapped a box of Rice-a-Roni “a San Francisco treat” and asked if he could guess his gift. I no longer remember his face or response, but let me just let you know the moral is I am not good with surprises.

I recently read a Ted blog about a woman (Tania Luna) who is a surprisologist. She has started a company called Surprise Industries and well let’s just say she has me curious. One of the things she lists in the TED blog is how we always surround ourselves with what is comfortable, with people we know, and that we rarely break outside of our comfort zone and find ways to meet new people (and well get excited about it).

What could you do that would add a little surprise to your life? Maybe it is a little thing to surprise your spouse or kids once in a while, or maybe it is adding flavor to how you engage with others. Take that belly dancing class, hip hop, or heck, go country line dancing. In this quote from the article, Luna tells us that surprises can teach us to grow and reach:

“Few people follow their dreams or take positive risks — not because it’s difficult or even scary, but because we avoid that sensation of uncertainty that we call awkwardness. Learn to love it. Remind yourself that discomfort means you are growing AND reaching someplace special that few people dare to go. Try a hobby that looks awful. Talk to a stranger.”

I would lose count of the number of people who avoid awkwardness. Who likes feeling awkward? However, feeling awkward could lead to feeling brave. Feeling brave can lead you to feeling badass. Who does not want to feel badass? I am not saying you have to go pet snakes if they freak you out. Maybe just go introduce yourself to a stranger at your next charity function or company picnic. I know I have work to do. Whether or not I can keep a surprise inside, I could definitely add some flavor to the surprise I bring to my world. What about you?