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Love is in the air, and with Valentine’s Day just around the bend, it’s that time of year when people either shop for flowers, cards and chocolates, or grumble about commercialized holidays that try to co-opt an emotion like love. I have to admit that, while I don’t subscribe to the idea of spending money to make others feel loved, I do love the holiday, mainly because it gives me a bright spot to look forward to during the dreary stretch of winter.
Should I always let the people in my life know I love them? Absolutely. Is it fun to have a special day to show them with things like handmade cards and homemade cookies? Of course! This year, I plan on doing things a little differently. Instead of, or perhaps in addition to, the crafts and treats, I want to let the people I love know why I love them.
The challenge is to find something new to tell them about, something so ingrained in our day to day relationships and in who they are that I often am not consciously aware of it.
Love Is In The Air: How Do I Love Thee?
Here’s an example: One thing I’m not sure I’ve ever told my husband about, something that would probably strike him as a little odd, is how much it warms my heart to wake up in the morning and feel that the kettle on the stove is still warm from when he made his coffee. It seems like a strange thing to find endearing, but when I groggily reach to switch the burner on to make tea, or get breakfast started for the kids, I love that the kettle still holds traces of warmth from his morning routine.
It reminds me of so many things. I think of him in the kitchen before work, its light the only glow in the still-sleeping house, trying to move quietly while he pours water into the French press and packs up his lunch. I think of how he takes time to stretch every morning, something that requires him to wake up a little earlier but that he does faithfully every day, a simple way to care for himself. And then I think of how he wakes early, without complaining, day after day, working harder than anyone I know so that I can stay home with our children during the earliest time of their lives. All of this, from the lingering warmth of a kettle.
It’s not the usual slew of compliments I give on Valentine’s Day-you’re funny, you’re handsome, blah blah blah, he’s heard those all before. It’s different, something new to him, but something that truly makes me realize how much I appreciate his presence, how much I would miss the warm kettle if it were not there.
Love Is In The Air: Acknowledging Love
Who in your life do you appreciate in this way? Instead of telling them the usual reasons you care about them, find a new way to describe why they are special to you. Do you have a friend who you can always rely on? Pick a specific time they were there for you and thank them for it, letting them know how it made you feel.
Pay attention to your significant other when they are talking, noticing the little things they do. Does your wife have a certain way of touching her hair that brings a smile to your face? Do your boyfriend’s smiling eyes make you smile? Let them know. And it doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship – a friend, child, parent or sibling might love to hear the unusual reasons they are special to you.
It certainly doesn’t have to revolve around a commercialized holiday either – the people we care for in our lives should always know it. When we recognize the simple things, the small things, the things we take for granted or hardly even consciously notice, we not only show someone a new and special reason they are loved, we remind ourselves how lucky we are to have people in our lives who we love for so many reasons. Love is in the air.