paper hearts with notes, by hefin owen, maggie mcreynolds blog

Who’s Really Disappointing You?

This Valentine’s Day was just about my best Valentine’s Day ever. And it took me almost all day to figure out why: through circumstance, both accidental and planned, there was no one around but me.

Which also meant that there was no one to disappoint me, but me.

I had no expectation of cards, candies, flowers, phone calls, baubles, or beads.

I had no expectation of being invited to lunch, treated to dinner, swept off my feet, or taken to bed.

And so, with others and myself released from the burden of my own expectations, I was free to do whatever I wanted with the day.

I wanted breakfast in bed. This meant getting up to make it, but once I did, I returned happily to a nest of blankets and pillows, and ate it while reading.

I took a shower and used my most expensive bath scrub—the sea salt one scented with lavender, vanilla and patchouli that I hardly ever allow myself to use because it costs something like $5 an ounce.

I cut out dozens of construction paper hearts, wrote silly messages on them, and taped them to my son’s bedroom door for him to find when he returned. Then I gave myself a Reiki treatment, meditated, and drifted into a peaceful nap.

When I woke up, I bought brown rice sushi, a bottle of inexpensive shiraz, a bar of very dark chocolate, and came home, lit candles, and had dinner in front of the firelight. I emailed some of the people I care about to let them know I love them. I called a select few, and spent the longest time on the phone with my mother, learning things about her that I still didn’t know, even after being her daughter for 50 years.

The point here isn’t how fabulous and evolved I am. The point is that I could just as easily have spent the day feeling sorry for myself that I was alone, watching crappy TV, eating cheese doodles, and telling myself sad stories about my circumstances.

I chose otherwise. I’m kinda proud of that. Today, tomorrow, next week, I am likely to make big whopping mistakes and choices that are far less kind to myself.

But I’ve got this Valentine’s Day in my memory banks for as long as my memories last. Better yet, I’ve got the delicious knowledge that if I chose kindly once, I can do it again.

Photo © Hefin Owen, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes

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