Love Yourself and Others On Valentine’s Day!

From my column the week of February 8 in the Albert Lea Tribune and The Courier Sentinel.

img011I love Valentine’s Day. It is my favorite holiday over Christmas and Thanksgiving. I don’t love Valentine’s Day because I get so many valentines, although my husband usually remembers the day. It wasn’t always that way in the early days of our marriage. He did pretty good the first year. He welded me a Valentine sign that said he loved me. It is awesome, and I still have it 45 years later. It is my favorite Valentine’s Day gift from him over the 45 years.

There were a couple of missed years because he didn’t realize how much the sentiment of love meant to me, but he does now and never fails to remember the day. I too, over the years have not always been thoughtful on the day either so we evened each other out.

In thinking about the day I have examined why this day is so wonderful in my mind and of course the answer is love. We all want love in our life. We all want to feel remembered and cared about. I also like the color red and love hearts, so that adds to my joy of the day. I also like the day because it is a great time to do special things for special people in our lives all in the name of love.

There is a downside to Valentine’s Day if we let it happen to us. On the years I didn’t receive any valentines from my family, kids or husband I felt let down, left out and unloved. They didn’t intentionally mean to make me feel left out; I made myself feel that way. In my heart I knew I was loved, but my head had the poor me sentiment. And I let it ruin my day. I finally realized my family is not into Valentine’s Day, and it was silly to have the attitude I did. They show me they love me all through the year.

My mom loved Valentine’s Day. I could always count on a card from my mom. I always gave her a card and something on the day. I think I got my love of holidays from my mom because she loved holidays. It seemed out of character for her, but she always wanted to celebrate the holidays. In fact, I know she loved Valentine’s Day because she kept all the old-fashioned valentines from the ’20s and ’30s and all the cards she got from me and my dad. When I realized she kept the memories, it made me feel loved.

Once I changed my attitude about the day I began to love Valentine’s Day. I enjoy the decorations, playing love music and sending valentines, and sometimes I even buy myself some candy or flowers — although I know I will receive a valentine from my valentine.

A few years ago a woman told me how she missed Valentine ’s Day. Her husband had died and now she didn’t get any valentines anymore. I guess this is what this column is about, sharing the love.

If you are lucky enough to have someone in your life to remember you on the love day, take time to remember and perhaps put a little love into someone else’s life who may not be remembered on the day of love. And if you are that person who is not remembered, love yourself on this special day. Go out to eat, call a friend, buy yourself some flowers or some candy or indulge in something silly and fun to make your day. Love yourself. It is not selfish or indulgent; it is a healthy pick-me up.

Happy Valentine’s Day.
“Don’t forget to love yourself.” — Soren Kierkegaard

Revive The Greeting Card!

Column: Something About Nothing, by Julie Seedorf printed in the Albert Lea Tribune February 3.

The United States Postal Service is raising its rates. It is partly my fault. The reason I partially blame myself is that I am memory-challenged when remembering to send people cards for birthdays, Christmases, baby births and times of illness, sympathy and friendship.

I like to get the cards. I keep the people in my prayers and always have good intentions but never seem to get it done.

This is not something new that has developed since I have become an adult. When I was in grade school and high school, I would write letters to my aunts and uncles and cousin but they would never get mailed. When they came to visit and occasionally their visits were yearly, I would hand deliver the letters to them.

This is my greeting card showing greeting cards.
This is my greeting card showing greeting cards.

There is one problem, and that is the fact that I love to buy greeting cards, and I love to make greeting cards. I must have a problem with that in many areas of my life since I love cookbooks and recipes but don’t like to cook. Maybe it is the author in me that likes to see things in print.

Since I am changing careers I need to readjust and change out my office so I can work more efficiently with my new writing career. It is amazing the joy it creates when you find an object that you have been looking for. In the midst of the mess I found so many greeting cards. As I looked and sorted the beautiful cards in to categories I wondered how in the world I ever accumulated so many cards. Then I felt a little sad that I never sent the cards to the people they were meant for.

Some of the cards that I found were perfect for someone in their young adult years, but the person that I had in mind when I bought the card is no longer a young adult, in fact they might be called a senior citizen now.

In my meandering of thoughts it crossed my mind that greeting cards are probably obsolete too or they will be soon. I hope not. History is represented in greeting cards. I have the Valentine cards that my mom got when she was young. I have the Valentines that my parents gave me when I was young, and when I read them it brings tears and good memories to my heart.

I am de-cluttering, but there are some things that are keepers in my heart, and those are the Valentines of my youth. The birthday cards from certain people from my youth that I still have. It is the Christmas cards, not all but some, that I have kept over the years from people that I miss because they are living with God now. Those cards give me comfort, make me smile, occasionally make me cry and bring back memories.

My mother never threw anything out, and I was very vocal in letting my opinion be known. There are items that did not need to be kept, and I would still be vocal about them if she were here. She was a child of the Great Depression, and that made her at times hoard things.

When it was time for me to go through her things I found the treasure of her youth. I found a scrapbook she had made of old Valentines. I found cards and letters of sympathy from my dad’s funeral. I hadn’t paid much attention then to all the cards and letters of caring he received when he was sick and when he died. Reading them twenty years later as an adult made me appreciate the impact he had on people’s lives. I would have never had known that.

As I look at the cards, the many, many cards, I have in my stash to send to people I made a decision. This year I will try over the year to mail every single card that I have to someone. As crazy as it may seem, I might send a Christmas card in July. I am not going to pay attention to season but I will pay attention to the get-well and sympathy cards and make sure they go to the right place at the right time. Sending a sympathy card could get a little tricky if the person were still alive, though many years ago when my uncle’s favorite team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, lost the World Series, I felt it did warrant a sympathy card. I was sure my uncle mourned for the next year about that.

Will I live up to my new resolution? It’s not a New Year’s one. Join me in sending cards to friends, family and strangers this year. It may change their day, it may make them smile and … it might keep the Postal Service in business. Challenge your friends. Let’s start a card revolution in 2014.

I have started a page on Facebook called “Revive the Greeting Card.” Hopefully it will help me in my resolve to send out greeting cards. Hopefully the members of the group will keep me on task.

If you are a Facebook person look for the page “Revive the Greeting Card “and join us. Take the time this year to send some greetings to someone, it may change their day.