I’ve been a bit grumpy lately—maybe the hormones, maybe trying to do too much, maybe not writing enough—possibly all three. But I had a reality check this morning when I thought of a dear friend of mine who is heartbroken at the moment. Then I heard another friend in my head saying, “Celebrate your life.” I love that expression, because it reminds me to practice gratitude, taking my focus from what I don’t have, and redirecting it to one of my many blessings.
Which brings me to my Valentine. I suffered through many Valentine’s Days, either lonely or heartbroken, so today I’d like to celebrate the great love I have with my husband, Carl.
I remember thinking, shortly after I met Carl, that I hoped he would always be a part of my life. We were just friends then—it took us almost a year to figure out we were in love—but I liked him at first sight, immensely, and as I knew him better, my affection, respect and admiration for him continued to grow. He made me laugh harder and more often than anyone else I’d known—no small feat, given how hilarious my friends are—and he had a giant heart, filled with kindness. We were babies when we met, all of 22 years old, but I already knew how some friends stayed in your life, while others were just temporary. I really hoped Carl would be one of the few permanent ones.
So I married him.
And I can honestly say, I have more respect, admiration and love for him today than I did 12 years ago. He is still the funniest person I know, and one of the kindest. He’s loyal, honest, hardworking, and thoughtful. He’s forgiving, accepting of my shortcomings, and generous. Without him, I wouldn’t have had the courage to really pursue writing. His belief in my talent, his support of my dreams, his willingness to follow me into uncharted waters, well. It’s more than I ever would have asked for.
So for those of you in romantic relationships, I invite you to celebrate your loved one today. Not because Hallmark tells us to, but because I bet you don’t do it enough. I know I don’t. And for those of you for whom Valentine’s Day is hard, celebrate what is working in your life today. I know if you look, you’ll find something.