Life and Style

Appreciate love this year

Celebrate love as a whole in all relationships, not just exclusively romantic ones. There is more than enough love to go around. 

Celebrate love as a whole in all relationships, not just exclusively romantic ones. There is more than enough love to go around. 

Image By: Téalin Robinson

Ever since the introduction of putting cards and candy in your classmates' decorated boxes in second grade, Valentine’s Day has been a stressful holiday for many people. There’s the stress of impressing the person you want to impress, pretending you couldn’t care less about it if you’re single and getting a reservation at the perfect place seven months in advance. I’ve determined that Valentine’s Day is the most stressful of holidays — it’s practically a glorified ACT.

I’ve always approached Valentine’s Day differently than the people I see around me. It’s one of my favorite holidays despite the fact that I have never celebrated with a significant other. This will be the first year I do, and I feel no anxiety at all, just excitement.

I love to celebrate special occasions, and I find it a very important part of our culture. In today’s hyper-speed world, everyone is always doing more than one thing at a time. Brush your teeth, then drive to work, eat lunch, all the while on your phone. 

We hardly ever carve out time for reflection, but Valentine’s Day is about reflection and appreciation. We get a day to stop thinking forward and start being in the present. We get to think about all the love we have in our lives. 

Our millennial generation gets a bad reputation for being ungracious and unappreciative of what we have. Can you blame us? We’re in an era where we’re conditioned to expect instant gratification all the time. 

We don’t have to be slaves to our technology. We can choose to take time to step away, unplug and appreciate the present.  

I have been with my boyfriend for almost a year and a lot of it has been long distance. I don’t want to say long distance is “hard” because it’s not “hard," it’s wonderful, but it’s different, brings its own challenges and requires a lot of care. I am excited to have a chance to look back at the past year and think of all the successes of our relationship.

Although  it’s not often marketed this way, I think Valentine’s Day should be about friends and family as much as it is about romantic love. There’s very little difference between the love of a relationship and the love of friends and family anyway. 

Take the day to call your parents and tell them you love them, your friends too. My best friends from home have been with me for seven years and my parents for twenty-one, that’s surely something to celebrate. 

I realize that appreciation is the crux of many of my columns, but that is just a testament to how important I think it is. You’ll never regret telling your parents you love them. You’ll never regret telling your significant other how happy they make you. There is no need for moderation when it comes to appreciation. When is the last time you resented someone for telling you how much they appreciate you?

We can easily turn Valentine’s Day into a holiday that everyone looks forward to if we remove this connotation of stressing and impressing from the day and shifting it to appreciation and recognition. You never know what is going to happen on Feb. 15, so let’s leave Feb. 14 with no regrets. 

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