A gluten-free blog about the life of a celiac in college (and now grad school). Full of personal stories about life with celiac disease and fibromyalgia; gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes; and product and restaurant reviews. Plus, reflects on body image, dating and more with a chronic illness!
I know. Like the boxes of chocolate now eaten and thrown in the recycling bin, the word "love" is losing its appeal this February. Valentine's Day has passed and the build up weeks before - recipes, cheap date ideas, desperate Yahoo forums on the "right" gift - have finally stopped clogging up the blogosphere.
And that's a good thing. I don't mind reading about some greensmoothies between all the chocolaterecipes!
Or a little bit of both!
But it also got me thinking. Why do we schedule "love" for only one day out of 365 (or 366 this year!)? When was the last time I said I love you?
Sure, when I sent my family a loving (and hilarious) gluten free meme on Valentine's morning. But also yesterday. And the day before in my morning texts to Mom.
One of the many hilarious Valentine's Day memes!
When referring to the friends who nearly made me choke laughing during dinner at Slaters 50/50 when two unnamed betting participants (one guy, one girl) both left their numbers for our hot waiter. The winner (who the waiter calls) is still undetermined.
To my boyfriend before I fall asleep.
About the teacher of my Human Sexuality class, who always leaves me dazed, enlightened (and sometimes mentally scarred) at the end of class.
My reaction? All of the above...
Fact is, love and me get along pretty well. Maybe you can relate. Or maybe you're the kind of person who abstains from casual "xoxo's" and goes all out on Valentine's Day. Neither is bad or wrong. But both kind of people likely have one thing in common:
Like me, they probably forget to say "I love you" to the person in the mirror. On Valentine's Day or any other day of the year.
Or to the person in the shadow...
"But I smile at myself!" You might say. "And when I rock that favorite dress of mine, I say, 'Darn - insert amazing name here - you're looking fiiiiiine!'"
Those are great routines. But I suggest that, like not limiting love to one day out of the year, one shouldn't limit showing self love to feeling good about one's appearance.
Instead, flip the equation. Not, I look good so I love myself. It's I love myself...so even if I don't totally believe it, I look good because I look like me.
True, the latter phrase doesn't have the same greeting card ring to it. It's messy and non-idealistic and individualized.
But so is love. It can't be put in a box - on the calendar, in a mirror, or in someone's mind. Maybe we schedule love for one day because it's easier. People who want to express everlasting love every Monday through Sunday? Good for them. People who turn on the candles and fireworks February 14th? Valentine's has got them covered.
This year, I'm not setting a goal to change the amount of love I give. I'm still gonna be a hugger - if my mom's any proof, it's in my genes! But I am going to tweak my definition of self love. More common. More unconditional. And worthy of a 365-day holiday.
All the hugs!
Just like finding the right Valentine's Day gift, saying "I love you" isn't always as easy as we anticipate. But sometimes that makes the reward even sweeter.
(Especially if leftover Valentine's Day candy is involved!)