Whether your divorce is fresh or you've been divorced for awhile and dating hasn't exactly produced the man or woman of your dreams, you probably dread Valentine's Day. It's just a reminder of the fact you're alone after divorce and you don't have anyone special to spend the day with. You may want to tackle to the ground all those happy couples you see that day. Or you get this sad, sinking feeling when your coworker gets a dozen roses from her attentive boyfriend. Twelve reminders you don't have a Valentine in your life.
I'm here to tell you, I feel your pain. I spent my share of Valentine's Days alone. Tons of them as a matter of fact. And each year, as the day rolled around, I'd develop Valentinitis, a condition where I would become frustrated and even a little bit sad a couple weeks away from cupid's holiday.
I tried to hide from the day. But it followed me around. On television, there were the jewelry store commercials. The Hallmark commercials. The restaurants advertising their romantic Valentine's Day dinners. So I turned off the TV as much as possible.
In the stores, teddy bears and chocolate candy invaded the aisles. I'd avoid those aisles in the same way you might avoid a building full of quarantined sick people.
But just when I thought it was safe and that I'd escaped Valentine's Day, I turned on my computer and there it was: An ad from a florist.
Argggh! Valentine's Day was stalking me. I couldn't get away from it.
And then, one year, a brilliant thought slapped me in the forehead like a batch of heart-shaped cupcakes. What if I could give myself a good Valentine's Day? I didn't need a boyfriend to have a wonderful day.
So that year and every year following I did something nice for myself on Valentine's Day. I cooked myself a delicious dinner. I bought myself flowers. I worked on writing my novel (a real treat for me since my novel, one of my biggest passions in life, usually takes a backseat to my other work). I relaxed by taking a luxurious bath.
While I was doing all those things, I wasn't thinking about how other people who somehow knew how to find love were out having romantic dinners. Instead, my thoughts switched to how lucky I was to be spending an evening doing what I love to do. I was actually having fun!
I transformed Valentine's Day into Do What You Love Day.
Every year after that, as the day approached, each time I saw a commercial advertising Valentine's Day, it reminded me that the time was drawing near when I would have one evening to do anything I wanted to do. And I started looking forward to Valentine's Day.
My wish for you this Do What You Love Day is that you'll spend it doing what brings you the most joy in life. Start planning now all the fun things you can do that night.
And you don't have to do it alone. Especially if you're more of an extrovert and get your energy from being around other people. You can get together with a group of friends who are in the same boat. Have them over for dinner.
And those roses you see on your coworker's desk? They're no longer reminders of a day that has no possibilities. They're reminders of a day filled with limitless possibilities on what you can do to give yourself the gift of joy.
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