Cranberries and Valentines

Cranberries and Valentines

When I created a vision board in January 2020, I had no idea that my wish for “more time together at home” would break the world. None of us gathered in that January vision board workshop envisioned the year we just had. Yet I have to laugh when I look at all the things I wanted that I did indeed make manifest this past year:

  • more time as a couple … CHECK
  • a clean and organized home (okay, not 100% but I certainly had the time for it) … CHECK
  • guest room ready for guests … CHECK

What about my broader self-development goals? A key one for last year was to “embrace my power,” symbolized by the quote “It doesn’t get easier; you get stronger.” Well, last year certainly didn’t get easier; it got more like a horror movie when we just can resist going down to the basement. But I did get stronger.

Strong enough to know when I needed help, and ask for it.

Strong enough to reach out to others who needed help, and give without worry that it wouldn’t be enough.

Strong enough to know when to shut it all off and go for a walk. And strong enough to face the realities of what was happening without breaking.

It’s been tough, no doubt. And now … we are coming up on Valentines Day. What does Valentines Day, romance, couplehood, look like this year?

How do we celebrate being together after the year we’ve had … tripping over each other as we shared spaced without respite, creating a new dance that aimed to give space where we could, without drifting too far from each other … carving out those precious moments and spareness of aloneness, without hurting each other … navigating the mountains of news, the strong differences of opinion, the social upheaval, political chaos, the pandemic, the election, the ongoing aftermath of it all?

Dare we ask each other to Be My Valentine?

If we do, it must be done authentically and honestly, acknowledging the year we had while knowing this too shall pass.

I’ll most likely bake something; chocolate cranberry scones seem just right. And I’ll linger longer over coffee and tea in the morning, maybe it will even be nice enough to sit on the front porch. Not sure if I’ll get a gift; browsing through the shops is out for a while yet, and the thrill is gone with shopping online. But probably I’ll find something and wrap it up.

More importantly, I’ll mindfully look into my love’s eyes and forget the challenges, the moments of ugliness and stress of the last year, and recommit to him in our walk toward home.

And we’ll eat scones and drink our coffee and our tea and remember that it IS the regular days, the normal times, that make a marriage what it is. And I’ll be grateful for this man by my side and know that, yes, we’ll face more rocky days. We’ll still disagree on plenty of things. That’s life. That’s marriage. And that, my friends, is Valentines Day.