Valentine’s Day. The holiday to celebrate love. From early childhood the cute heart cards are exchanged at school with each member of the class.  In the card isle at Hallmark there are cards for friends, daughters and sons, and even a few for mothers. But the main focus of this day is on the young romantic couple in love.

All this focus on love with that someone special can end up leaving those who are alone on this day feeling very outcast, downcast, and depressed.

There is an old saying along the lines of: suffering is inevitable in life, but misery is optional. This year, if you are alone, or even with someone, why not have a small celebration in loving yourself?

This is something I began doing  on a year I did not get flowers for Valentine’sDay. I was a young woman who wanted a lot of hoopla about Valentine’s Day. When I did not get flowers, I was feeling quite grumpy about it. It happened that I was going through the grocery store, and my eye fell on the bouquets of flowers in bins. I realized in an instant that I could be grumpy or happy, but not both, and the choice was mine. I grabbed a bouquet, took it home, and smiled at my husband.

Now each Valentine’s Day, even though my husband never forgets a small remembrance, I do some special thing just for myself. It is secret loving rendezvous with Life, one that can continue for a lifetime, too. I have indulged in hours at a bookstore on a Valentine’s Day afternoon. One year I remembered to send a few children’s Valentine’s Day cards to friends. Once I bought myself Chanel #5. And the only thing greater than getting a Valentine Day’s gift is to give one. I know a woman who sends friends and family funny little gifts; she once sent me crayons and a coloring book on Valentine’s Day. I imagine her delight in the act.

This year, I’m going to give myself the gift of something I have not had in months–a quiet afternoon tea hour. I shall announce to all, requesting no interruptions. I shall enjoy a tea I absolutely adore: Taylors of Harrogate Darjeeling. I shall take the time to use my favorite turquoise teapot and my grandmother’s fine Noritake china tea cup and saucer. While I drink, I shall listen to Craig Duncan’s Celtic Sunday album and enjoy writing notes to friends, expressing my love.

What loving thing might you do for yourself this Valentine’s Day? Try it, and you will discover a happy secret. The more you love yourself, the more love you have to give away.

Not familiar with CurtissAnn’s books? Check out www.CurtissAnnMatlock.com.

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