For years, I referred to the time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day as “the winter of my discontent”. For some reason, I always had this emotional lag that kicked in for those months. Nothing really heavy, just a feeling of mild underlying, well, sadness, for lack of a better word. It dragged me down and sucked a lot of my joy out of me. I didn’t know if it had to do with it being winter, or what. Once I got through Valentine’s Day, that feeling would lift like a curtain at a Broadway play. A couple of years ago when the “winter” didn’t start after Thanksgiving, I wondered when it would. However, it never did. And it hasn’t since. I thought for sure that this year the winter would come out of the north like a blast of arctic air. I steeled myself for that to happen thinking it would be the worst winter of discontent EVER. And although there has been plenty of sadness, it’s different than the winter sadness of years past.
As I wrote about in my posting “Meet Me In Montauk” I have never had what I would call a “satisfactory” Valentine’s Day. All of my significant relationships have been in-between February 14ths. That’s always been a point of emotional uncomfortableness for me. Here I am, 41 years old, and have never felt “loved” (in that boy/girl way) on Valentine’s Day. The saddest part of that is not that I have never had a “significant other” to celebrate this day with. The saddest part is that I allowed one made-up holiday day every year to make me so SAD! To make me question my worth as a woman.
But this Valentine’s Day will be different. Why? Do I have great news to share? Does Lou/Linda FINALLY have a husband? a fiance?? a boyfriend??? Nope. (Sorry if you got all excited there for a minute!) It will be different because in this past year I have never felt more love from more people. And certainly never felt more loved by God Himself. I have the most amazing family. I have the most amazing friends. And I have the most amazing God. This is what I will dwell upon, and not on feeling left out of the big pink, red, and white party!
To all of you who are blessed enough to have a “significant other”, I encourage you to make every day Valentine’s Day. To all of you who have lost your “significant other” this year, I encourage you to recognize the love of the others around you. For those of you who, like me, have never had a “significant other” on Valentine’s Day (or maybe even EVER) I encourage you to resist the urge to think less of yourself than you are.
And thanks, “Ricky”, for thinking of me on so many Valentine’s Days in the past. If not for you, my Valentine’s Days would have been morbidly depressing, not just “unsatisfactory”!