Reach out to a loved one this Valentine’s Day

“I hate January,” I declared to my husband as I dragged myself out of bed one dark, dingy morning for another day of work.
“It’s cold, I get up in the dark, and by the time I’ve finished work it’s dark again”.
“I haven’t left the house for three days. I rarely get to walk the dogs, and we’re all broke!
“January is the longest, most depressing month of the year.”

Valentine’s Day can be a really lovely occasion if you have someone special to share it with.
I think it’s been very over-commercialised over the years, but my inner-romantic still loves the concept of having a day to celebrate love.
This year I would encourage everyone to celebrate love. It doesn’t have to be love for a partner, it could be love for a family member or friend.
I remember when I was a child my Dad gave me a Valentine’s Day card one day before I went to school – it was the first one of the day to bring me luck and he hoped I would get many.
I was never someone who ended up with piles of Valentine’s Day cards but I was lucky enough to be the recipient of some over the years, often signed with a “?”
And to this day I still don’t know who some of them were from.
As an adult I have to confess that Valentine’s Day does not always get celebrated on the day, sometimes we choose to celebrate before or after the event.
In our town we have Royal Shrovetide Football that takes place on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday every year, so if it falls on Valentine’s Day I spend most of the day not seeing my husband, traipsing after “the hug” through muddy fields and rivers (I love following it so I considered this fun) with a friend of mine.
Eventually we all ended up exhausted in a pub, before heading home and to bed.
It wasn’t the most romantic day ever, but it was great fun and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
Many other Valentine’s Days I have been working so we have chosen to celebrate on a different night, and I have to confess that although the stereotype is for the man to forget, I am definitely the worst partner in our relationship.
One year I had totally forgotten about, tried four shops on the way home and ended up turning up with a bottle of wine and no card.
Last year, I actually bought two Valentine’s Day cards (which were very lovely), and then lost them. Only finding them over Christmas (hopefully they’re still where I left them so they can be used this year).
Luckily for me, Gareth is not easily offended and he liked my present last year. He found the lack of card quite amusing, so all was well.
I think with everything that is going on in the world this year, it is important to be thankful for the wonderful people that we do have in our lives, so if you have got friends or family you can’t be with use it as a chance to let them know that you care.
Send a card or small gift to your friend who lives on their own, to your extrovert friend who misses people, to your introvert friend, to anyone in your life who you miss.
If, like me, you live miles away from your family, and you know it could well be several more months before you do see them, then maybe send them a note to say that you miss them, and never underestimate the power of something hand-written in the post – so much more personal than an email or a WhatsApp.
I hope that whatever your circumstances this Valentine’s Day that you are able to find some joy in the day, and maybe next year we can all have a big party instead!



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