Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Think Valentine's Day is Stupid (but I still love you...)

Some Validation Day cards from past years...

Maybe it’s just me. But instead of feeling filled with love on Valentine’s Day, I often feel depressed, lonely and not quite good enough. In the years when I did not have a boyfriend (or now, husband) on February 14th I would feel like the biggest loser ever, especially when I worked in an office and the competition-sized bouquets would pour in for my colleagues, proof certain that their partners did indeed love them, and no one seemed to love me.

Hyped to hysterical levels by Hallmark and retailers looking to make some cash in the bleak months immediately following Christmas, Valentine’s Day seems rather empty and superficial. I know that Kurt (Mr. Milkweed) loves me because he does thoughtful, kind little things for me all year ‘round. He tells me that he loves me when my hair is sticking up in a particularly unattractive way, and when I’m crabby and not especially loveable. That, to me is a true valentine. Not a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

My solution? Here at Dancing Rabbit we celebrate Validation Day (I can take no credit for it; I think we stole the idea from Twin Oaks).
Here’s how it works – a stealthy team of card-makers gets together two weeks before February 14th. Using old magazine cutouts, lots of imagination and love, a card is hand crafted for each person here at Dancing Rabbit. Then, one by one, we each write on everyone’s card, explaining to each recipient what we appreciate about them and why we are grateful they are in our lives. This isn’t always easy – Dancing Rabbit is not (yet) Utopia; there are often bumps and disagreements; difficulties and conflict. But there is ALWAYS something good in each person, and something to be appreciated. From “I appreciate your honesty in meetings” to “I am grateful for how kind you are to my dog,” it all counts, and is all meaningful.
We give ourselves the opportunity to see the good stuff, and forget about the annoying, at least for one day. On the morning of “Validation Day” we gather in the Common House, eat cinnamon rolls warm from the oven, and hand out the cards. It’s nothing but good thoughts, often from surprising places. No lover needed; just good will from your neighbors.You too, can give Validation Day Cards. They don’t have to be fancy. But how wonderful to send thoughts of gratitude to your neighbors, relatives, friends and loved ones for being just exactly who they are.

In closing, I'd just like to say thanks for reading. And come back on February 14th - there will be a Validation Day card here, just for you!

1 comment:

Now it's your turn - what do YOU think?