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.

“The Level” from Fluidstance – I want one!

Every once in a while I crave something I cannot have. My sister sent me a link to this Fast Company article for: The Level. I want one. Be sure to read the Fast Company article for a full background on The Level. But, here is the gist: it is like a skateboard that you stand on at your standing desk, or wherever you might be. It is a balance board that means that you use your core all day long. At this time the Indiegogo effort to raise money for The Level shows that they are sold out. So unless a bunch of us want to go in together to get a group volume we have to wait until they sell normally. Bummer. I think this could actually make me focus differently when I stand at my desk (the few times I am actually at my desk during the day).

I have a standing desk, which I love. I can decide if I want to stand or sit in my tall chair. Often I stand and I enjoy it. I have had a dilemma for quite some time that I am sitting at a computer (whether at my desk or later at night on much couch) and I want to do what I can to reverse the effects of my ever turning in shoulders. I try to stretch more and more when I feel the pain and weight in my shoulders. I should probably schedule more massages and take better care of my back, shoulders, and neck. But, as many of us are, I am negligent, and find that scheduling a massage is time-consuming. It should not be, but somehow it is. For example, I have a gift certificate I got about 9 months ago and expires in March. Which means I have not had a massage in that amount of time, yet somehow I never get around to scheduling the time to release all the tension in my body.

Every time I get a massage I say I need to do it more often, and yet I still do not. Maybe I should schedule it for Valentine’s Day and go pamper myself. Why not? Right? Do you take the time to pamper yourself? If so, what do you do? Hopefully, it does not just involve chocolate, but something that allows you to truly relax and release the stress in your body. Whether it is on a day-to-day basis at work, after work, or on the weekends. We all have to find a way to release the tightness, heaviness, and stress.

I look forward to “The Level” being for sale again. I think I might actually purchase it.

Valentine’s Day: Every Damn Day

Roses are red, violets are blue, I have something to say, yes, I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Aw hell I am not a poet, I cannot write poetry, and…

…I have never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. It probably started back in younger years when our schools would do a Valentine’s Gram delivery of roses + candy, and you always wondered whether or not you would receive one, whether it was from a friend, or a boy. I have high expectations, just ask Chris. On our first Valentine’s Day (I cannot remember if it was while dating or our first married Valentine’s Day), Chris was traveling and sent me flowers. They were tulips and when I opened the box, the flowers were dead. It was not Chris’ fault, but I was livid. I remember being quite clear that he never “send” me flowers again. He has honored my request.

Why does it make me happy to not receive flowers on Valentine’s Day by my amazing husband? On that very first Valentine’s Day together, I very clearly remember discussing it with him and telling him how much I detest Hallmark holidays. I just am not a fan. Why should corporate America tell us when we should shop, spend money, and love on our loved ones? It is bullshit. EVERYDAY should be a day that we love and pamper our loved ones. It does not mean that we have to give gifts, in fact I am actually not interested in gifts. I care more about how we treat, care, and love each other every single day of the year.

So, Chris and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. Yes, we might make a fun dinner together, and spend time together, but we do that every night that we possibly can. Yes, call us sappy, but see I still feel like I am in my honeymoon phase. I get excited to see my husband at the end of the day, and can text him near the end of the day to ask “when can we leave so I can see you, and oh, what is for dinner.” We might not have a relationship that is like many others, and we do not yet have kids, but we are close, tight, and well-connected. There are days that I worry about what bringing kids into the mix will do to our marriage, and I know it will be different, tough, precious, and make us grow in different ways. I digress, I still completely dislike Valentine’s Day. Who wants to fight over a table at a restaurant and pay double the price for a meal just so you can say you took out your loved one on Valentine’s Day? Why not do that once a month, or week? Why not find different ways to keep that love alive regardless of it being February 14?

So I veto Valentine’s Day, instead I think every damn day is Valentine’s Day. Every day should be about doting, loving, and finding ways to make the world better for your loved one. Love them so damn much. Hug them hard, cuddle with them, and do not, I repeat, DO NOT forget to tell how them how much you love them EVERY DAMN DAY.

Has Pinterest started a cultural shift?

Some of my friends have become Martha Stewart moms. On Facebook I see photos of the amazing Valentine’s Day cards they have made for their children to take to school. They are clever and creative cards. They completely blow away the cards we pulled out of a box, sorted through, selected our favorite for the friends we liked the most, signed our name, folded, and shared. With the addition of Pinterest to the social media scene, I see moms outdoing themselves from the plethora of ideas and possibilities in front of them to create fun ideas.

Blast back to the past (yes to the 80’s) when the triangle on your butt was the most important thing. Were you wearing name brand jeans? Were they Guess or a knock off brand? Many times your place at school and in a clique of friends had to do with what you wore or had. Sad, yes, but true.

my Pinterest boards...

my Pinterest boards…

Has there been a cultural shift? Is Pinterest part of that shift?

Yes. By giving moms (and no I am not leaving you out dads, I just see more of these photos from my girl-friends), easy access to ideas that they can “pin” to a bulletin board and pull out during holidays, school events, etc. With direct access to how to execute on a project, we have born an organic DIY revolution of moms to become very creative and industrious. It has brought back my youth, and it is the new thing. I can remember many times when my mom made my clothes and I was embarrassed by it (there was no brand label). Many of the gifts from my childhood were homemade, and I hated it. If only I could go back to that time and appreciate those special moments more.

So, thank you, Pinterest for the cultural shift you have brought to homes. You’ve empowered moms to be creative, try new things, and hopefully in the process they have included their kids in the make-your-own Valentine Pinterest style.

One Billion Rising

Yesterday you might have received flowers or chocolates or gone out to dinner. A day of sharing love. I have never really been a fan of Valentine’s Day. Yes, I believe in love, doting, and pampering, but I think it should happen every day of the year, not a random day in February. What I do like about February 14 is that for the past 15 years, groups of women have come together to stand for women (V-Day). Events like “The Vagina Monologues” that Eve Ensler started on February 14 many years ago. This year, when researching which initiative I wanted to support, tears filled my eyes. I found “One Billion Rising.” The first few lines on the Girl Effect website says:

“One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. With a global population of seven billion, that breaks down to one billion abused women. On 14 February the One Billion Rising campaign will call for an end to such violence.”

(c) OneBillionRising

One billion. I am one of those one billion women. I am a survivor. You probably know more of those one billion than you realize. It could have happened to your best friend, mother, sister, cousin, or coworker.

While we rise together as a force, we need to collaborate together so the number goes from one in three to ZERO. We need to end the violence against women. This is a personal, local, national, and global issue. Violence against women will touch every single one of those one billion women for the rest of their life. One billion is shocking. Absolutely shocking, horrifying, unimaginable. My tears are ones of anguish, pain, shock, sadness. How did this happen? How is this possible?

I know it is February 15 and I am a little late to share this information, but the message needs to continue to be shared. Forget chocolates and flowers. They do not matter if a woman is given flowers on the February 14 and beaten on February 15. We need to dance, rise, educate, and raise awareness for violence against women.

Please share this message widely. Join One Billion Rising.

This link covers events that happened on February 14 worldwide.