a little birdie says: happy generosity day

You would think, as someone who has been in a stable, long term relationship for almost half my life now (we are coming up on that milestone this summer!) and who writes extensively about love as one of my guiding principals, that I would really be into Valentine's Day.

But you would be wrong if you made that assumption. Love is all, yes, but Valentine's Day as it is celebrated in America is just too damn exclusionary for my personal tastes.

It's not that I hate the day itself, or the idea behind it.  And definitely not to say that I don't appreciate a loving card, or my sweet child picking out and addressing cards on his own. And I will write my own mushy words today, yes of course I will. I like writing love letters. I write a love letter every day here, Mon-Fri.

I just don't like commercialism and the made up holidays that commercialism spawned in the last century or two. I am finding myself outside of belonging, yes. Becoming more and more minimalist, without even trying, really.

There's not much real about Valentine's Day to me.

As a teenager, a geeky, nerdy (yes, both) hippie outcast teenager, I decided to become vegetarian on Valentine's Day (giving the V a new meaning - it became my Vegetarian Day). That was before Eve Ensler remade the V yet again.

I am very proud to support her version of V Day (and the newest incarnation, One Billion Rising). Ending violence against women (cisgendered and transgendered) is part of my mission in this world. Yet, you'd be correct in assuming that ending violence against men is just as important to me. I'm not particularly interested in dualism.

And so, remaking V Day into being just about women isn't quite right to me, either.

How happy I was to find a new direction, then, for Valentine's Day. A direction I can support completely full heartedly. One that celebrates all of us, whether we are women or men, single or partnered, haves or have nots. (In fact, let's especially support the people who don't have enough.)

I am celebrating today as Generosity Day.

Will you join me?

Donate your time, or a little extra cash. Smile at someone you wouldn't normally smile at. Buy the homeless person you pass by every day on your commute a hot meal. Write a letter to your besties, telling them how much they inspire you. Open a bottle of bubbly tonight after the kids go to bed and get a little wild. Practice generosity today, in all sorts of forms.

And don't forget to be generous to yourself, too. Be kind. Be loving. Take a bath with some essential oils. Anoint yourself. Wear things that help you realize the actuality of your beauty. Treat yourself to healthy, fresh food. Don't go overboard on the bubbly or on anything, really. Remember the middle path is usually the kindest.

Practice generosity, in all its splendid forms. Yes.