love is all

I write a lot about love. So it makes sense that I would write about love today, on the day we Americans celebrate (romantic) love.

And we do celebrate Valentine's in our house. My husband, my soul mate and I have been together for almost 18 years, there are a lot of reasons for us to celebrate. 

However, I feel that often the message of Valentine's is lost in the over-consumption that the holiday tends to encourage.

Don't get me wrong, I love chocolate and flowers as much as the next person. Actually, probably more so for chocolate and less so for flowers. At least, I prefer my flowers living instead of cut and I feel like today's roses are gorgeous but don't smell gorgeous anymore, which totally defeats the purpose... I digress.

Valentine's Day is ultimately a celebration of love and love isn't about buying people stuff. Love is about sharing your life with people and the choices you make everyday that reflect on that connection. 

Celebrating connection is awesome! Writing a special note or letter for your someone special is an amazing gift of connection, even when you don't feel particularly eloquent. Just be real and focus on your connection. 

Chocolates, flowers, jewelry -- buy them if you like. And if your lover likes. (Chocolate is more of a weekly buy in my house, and not the crap kind they market for V Day, but the luxurious dark kind.) 

And buy yourself something, too, while you're at it, because you are the most important lover in your own life, aren't you? I hope you are. Self-love is fundamental to being able to feel (and share) the love in your life.

I did buy a big gift for my love this year, but it was mostly a practical gift; he's been doing all the laundry and wanted something to listen to music with as he folds it in our bedroom. I want to encourage his awesomeness in doing the laundry (a chore I hate) so I checked all sorts of different devices and winded up buying a wifi BluRay player that we could hook up to our small TV - which means we can also watch Netflix and Hulu in bed, too, in addition to being able to stream Pandora. It's a win-win situation, which everybody in our house benefits from.

Alas, the power button on the device failed after turning on once (so annoying!!). But it's under warranty and will be replaced. 

A thing is just a thing. My real Valentine's Day present isn't something I bought. My real present is my presence, my affection, my passion for the man in my life. My encouragement of his passions, his interests. My interest in his life and finding ways to make it easier for him to be who he is. And these are things I express every day, not just one day of the year.

Love is beyond things. Beyond even people. 

Love is all there really is. 

You are loved.