Love In All Seasons


When you're a child, Valentine's Day means decorating a shoe box to collect fun notes and cards and sweet treats from your classmates. There may even be a lunch exchange or a party. And whether you like all of your classmates, you'll bring enough Valentines to share with everyone in your class. It's an "equal opportunity" holiday.

When you're a teenager, Valentine's Day has a little more at stake. The girls hope they get some sort of acknowledgement from the boy they like and the boys just hope that the girl likes them back. The communication about "the liking" is typically carried out by the friends of the supposed "likee," probably through social media. It's a "socially conscious" holiday.

When you're a young adult, Valentine's Day is about over-analyzing the level of investment of your first serious mate. Your expectations are high and the pressure's on. Your gift needs to represent exactly how you feel for him or her without overshooting or underestimating, either of which could be deadly. It's a "make-it-or-break-it" holiday.

When you're a newlywed, Valentine's Day is about indulgence. Fancy dinners, elaborate gifts, extensive foreplay and lingering passion. You and your spouse are completely into each other and demonstrating your undying love is paramount. If it's IG-worthy, even better...you'll score major bonus points. It's a "more-is-better" holiday.

When you're a parent to babies or young children, Valentine's Day is about falling deeper in love. You never imagined your spouse could become more attractive, but seeing them love your little ones--changing a diaper, singing a lullaby, kissing a boo-boo, telling a bedtime story--fertilizes that deep-rooted emotion you have for the person you've chosen as your partner in all things. It's a "count-your-blessings" holiday.

When you're a parent to tweens and teens, Valentine's Day is about remembering the reason you fell in love in the first place. Life is less about your marriage and more about your all-consuming, completely-exhausting, totally thankless job of parenthood. Even though you're tired and the newlywed luster has faded while the business of life has settled in, it's more important than ever to sincerely demonstrate what a loving relationship looks like. Your children are watching and they need to see that the terms "unconditional" and "everlasting" are attainable and worthy of the work. It's a "put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is" holiday.

When you're an empty-nester, Valentine's Day is about a more refined level of indulgence than during your newlywed bliss. You enjoy life at a slower pace and have discovered a true understanding of what your lover wants and needs. On a daily basis, you act out your vows with more intention and promise than ever before. It's a "slow-and-steady" holiday.

So on this Valentine's Day, please take the opportunity to surround yourself with the people you care about, sharing your love and fostering relationships that will last throughout all the seasons of your life. In fact, the same goes for the other 364 days of the year. After all, there is no limit to love.

{J}
Holly and Jenn

#oneword2021

 


Happy 2021 friends! Can you believe we survived 2020!?! We really did. Let that soak in a moment, will ya?

As you know, we open each year with the #oneword campaign. Looking back at previous years' words, and the runners-up, it's clear how great a guide these words have been for me. A beacon to help me create some goals and then, over the year, find a way to see them flourish. I hope that you have scribbled down your #oneword over the years and can glance back with a similar sense of perspective. And if not, there's always a new year. This NEW YEAR. Perhaps give it a try.

So there were quite a few words in the running for 2021, but most of them didn't quite capture the need for endurance and the acceptance of the unknown that no doubt 2021 requires.

Then the word DREAMS came to me one night in a...(I know, corny) dream. And that was just the right kind of thought I could get behind. Because when you don't know what's in store, when you don't have a lot of control over things, the environment is just right for DREAMING! And for me, I'm dreaming of a book deal, a new WIP, a vaccine, followed by a TRIP on a plane, and all the HUGS with friends and family to make the pain and loss of 2020 disappear. DREAMS can be whatever you make them, but when you let them lead you, great hope can be found there. And I am hopeful for 2021.

At the end of 2021, my dream is to look back on the year and at all the ways that I worked hard, the ways that I brought love to the world, and the ways that I showed grace. Those actions are within my power, after all. Even in a volatile year. 

So if resolutions have a tendency to overwhelm you, if you find it too easy to fall victim of the "be-more, do-more" hellscape so common this time of year, consider #oneword as a healthier option. What do you think? How will 2021 shape you?

It is the best of times friends. Take it, shape it, DREAM it, and have a blessed and bountiful new year.

{J}

By the way, if you want to make a cool word cloud to inspire you, check out this site. It's free and so so fun!
Holly and Jenn