Do you have favorite things that you take note of throughout the day, month and year?
Yeah. Me too. It could be something as basic as your morning coffee; or as complex as a benchmark anniversary.
For some reason, I like beginnings. I guess it’s the possibility of new things and new opportunities that creates extra hope at the beginning of a day, week, month or year. As we learned last year (and, indeed, so far this year), you cannot always trust that the “newness” is going to be a good thing. It’s a chance we take- entering into something new. Of course, we usually don’t have a choice when it comes to beginning days, weeks, months and year. If I’m alive, it’s going to happen, whether I like it or not.
I really like double beginnings; such as the fact that February 1st was not only the beginning of the month, it was also Monday, the beginning of the week! Since I like these beginnings and double beginnings so much, why didn’t I blog about it? I did “mark” it but only by noticing it. I didn’t say a thing. This double beginning isn’t like missing Christmas or forgetting a birthday. Those are big important events. This double beginning isn’t so much as a blip on most peoples’ radar but to me it’s of importance, in fact, it’s a medium important event to me. But I allowed it to slip past. Why, I wonder? Do you let medium important things slide past?
Perhaps I let this double beginning of medium importance slip past because, if I’m totally honest, I am becoming just a little disillusioned by “beginnings”. There isn’t, and never has been, anything magic about a beginning. For years, I have looked forward to a beginning as something hopeful, a new chance at change (and it certainly can be that). But you can begin almost anything at any time. And the main problem with being disillusioned is just that… it (whatever you are hoping for in a wish-it-happens kind of way) is an illusion. It’s something you only vaguely wish for, often something that is not even based on fact, a fantasy. If I am looking for a beginning to change my situation and do nothing to bring that change to fruition, it’s an illusion, a lie. Rarely does anything suddenly change without some sort of effort on my part. I might need to simply change my mind or I might need to take a walk or even take a class. But usually something is required on my part in order to see a change. The action doesn’t need to be big; it can be as small as that change of mind I mentioned. But any change is bold and often scary and that in itself is worth celebrating and taking note of- it’s of great importance! Do you ever feel disillusioned about things you’ve done for years?
Back to February! I really like Valentine’s Day. I love the colors: red, pink, white, purple. I love that there’s so much talk about love: loving each other, romantic love, giving love, how to love better, all the scripture about love and loving. I love the heart shape. (Of course, I love hearts- the ones that beat and keep us alive!) There’s something to talk about- February, the shortest month has the sweetest “holiday”! On the 1st of February, my pink and red heart flag goes on the porch. The string of hearts, saying, “welcome” goes on the door. This year I added shiny red hearts behind it. A little sparkle, you know! I don’t have a wreath, per se. Maybe I should get hearts and flowers and ribbon when they go on sale and make a pretty one this year. Do you have a Valentine wreath? I don’t expect gifts and dinner in a romantic spot. I plan dinner for whoever is going to be around because, usually, there is more than just the hubs and me. I plan to put the red table cloth on the dining room table, and get out the candles. I like to plan something special for dinner, and especially something special for dessert! Dessert must be something involving chocolate and something red or pink… and whipped cream, of course! What is your favorite Valentine’s indulgence?
LOL! I was just talking to a friend about Valentine’s indulgences. She said she’d call my Friday and remind me to be sure to have a good-for-you dinner and a sugar-free dessert. HA! We got to laughing about crazy ideas and decided I should serve dark chocolate-covered carrots! That’s just hilarious to me! What kind of pretend good-for-you dessert would you serve? (Make it outrageous! Strawberry frosted Brussell sprouts, perhaps?)
I almost always THINK about making and sending Valentines to family and friends. What’s more fun than creating something pretty out of paper, adding encouraging, loving words and sending it off in the mail? This year, I managed to make a dozen cards and get them all in the mail. If you didn’t get one, I’m sorry. Believe me when I tell you that I thought about making one for you and I WANTED to make one for you, too. It’s just that I ran out of time and blank cards. I hope you’re not offended. You really are in my heart and I love you truly. If you do get one, I hope you are encouraged by it. Do you send Valentine’s cards?
I realize that Valentine’s Day is a sore point for many people, particularly us women, and I am sorry. It can be that way for any of us. That’s why I take the bull by the horns and plan what I like to do! I also think of it as Happy Heart Day, or Happy Love Day. That takes the broken hearts and not-received flowers out of the mix. We can all celebrate love… the love of a spouse, hopefully. the love of a child, perhaps. the love of a good friend, for sure. the love of a teacher or mentor, sometimes. the Love of Father God, always and unconditionally, faithfully. I deeply desire for you to know you are loved and lovable.
February is the birth month of our first grandchild… and my really good friend…. and my friend’s son, who is our “other-son”. All those beginnings and celebrations along with Valentine’s Day make it a fun month for me. That first grandchild? She’s turning 21 this year! How the years have zipped past. She is, and has always been, the “best thing since sliced bread”, the “cat’s meow” and the “bee’s knees”. She is smart and confident and kind and loving and beautiful inside and out. (Ok, full disclosure, every single one of our grandchildren is all those things and more in their own unique and wonderful way. I guess it’s just that she is the first. And it’s her birthday month!)
One sad thing about February is it’s the month my really good friend (see above) passed away. A death anniversary always makes a month emotionally tricky. Do you take note of the hard stuff as well as the good?
And finally, one more thing about February: the possibility of getting a good snow event here in Central NC. If we are going to get snow, February is our best bet. Now I know you folks who live with snow from October to May probably can’t understand this but to us, 4 inches of snow is a big deal. Schools close, everybody stays home (oh wait…) and, well, it just feels so nice to be cozy inside while everything you see is being covered with a soft blanket of beauty. Usually our “big snow” only stays around for a few days and then we all move on and resume our normal lives (whatever normal is). It’s a bit like a holiday in the middle of a dreary, dull winter. Snow covers dead grass and bare tree branches; it sparkles in the sun; it provides hours of cold fun for playing; it encourages warm cocoa with marshmallows (if you’ve thought to get them along with your bread and milk, beforehand!). And yes, it also messes up everyone’s schedules. But that’s part of the experience. Even us old folks secretly pray for snow! Do you enjoy snow?
I’ve asked a lot of questions along with my musings. If you would answer one- or all!- of them, I’d be so happy to hear your thoughts.
Whether you respond or not, I hope (the believing kind) that your month is pleasant and that (Valentine’s) (Heart) (Love) Day is a nice day for you. Blessings….