We’ve been talking at work this week about our plans for Valentine’s Day.
I love the variety of answers, from a decades-long tradition of a dinner this night at the same restaurant that includes the children – ‘they are my Valentines too!’ – to an even longer tradition of always some new way to celebrate, to attending a sporting event together, to romantic celebrations that continue into the weekend, to ‘we just hope to get all the kids to bed at a decent hour.’
Whether like my work mates you are in a perfect-enough relationship, or exploring a new one, nursing wounds from one recently ended, grieving the loss of the love of your life, working through the pain of a divorce, juggling an undisclosed threesome, or frustrated by your singleness, today, make time for the one most important thing.
Take time today, by yourself, to think about the things that have brought you to this point in your life.
Think about all the roads not taken, either by choice or by happenstance. The safe completion of a tour of duty. The pregnancies, or lack of them. A job taken, or not. A diagnosis. Imagine how your life would be different if certain things, good or bad, had happened, or not happened. Indulge yourself in a walk through your own parallel universe – the life you imagine you might have had, if only.
Then, for everything that seems better in your parallel universe, consider what choices you could make today that would bring a bit of that universe into this one.
And, for everything that would be much worse in that other life than in your real life, give thanks.
It’s important to do all of these things – to identify the good and to feel gratitude for it, and to identify the bad and make peace with it if you have not, and to examine the choices you’ve made and whatever steps you can take to make improvements. Doing these things cause us to realize that nothing is forever, good or bad, and to embrace both the role of luck and of choice in our lives.
And then, pick up a box of chocolates on the way home.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Life Is Honest, Open and True: Whatever the current circumstances of your love life, they will not last forever except in your heart.