A Few Valentine's Day Reminders
By: Katie Nehl, Communications Manager
Typically, February is a month we think about love, hearts, and Cupid. In fact, it’s quite impossible not to associate February as the month of love. For some, Valentine’s Day is a dreaded day to think about; after all, with the overabundance of hoopla and hype surrounded by the “love” we’re supposed to give, it can be quite overwhelming. However, for others, Valentine’s Day is another exciting holiday to look forward to, one where a couple can visit their favorite date spot, parents get to spoil their kids, or you simply just have an excuse to eat chocolate and not feel bad about yourself. Whatever your feeling is toward Valentine’s Day, surely there are a few reminders for all of us and lessons to be learned on this day.
Everyone Gets a Card: This is probably one of the earliest lessons we learn in life about Valentine’s Day, stemming all the way back to daycare or even Pre-School. Growing up, my mom would help us make our Valentine’s Day boxes to take to school, and always made sure we had cards and candy to share with everyone. We couldn’t exclude giving someone a card with a little bag of skittles attached to it, just because we weren’t best friends with the kid. Everyone got a card and no one was left out.
Unfortunately, life as adults isn’t always like that. We might lose patience with people or not want to be around them. However, it’s important we remember we need to be tolerant in the workplace. This means, keeping an open mind when interacting with others who are different from you and being compassionate, even when you don’t agree with their opinions or values. As the age-old saying goes, treat someone as you wish to be treated. If we have the attitude of inclusion, a world of possibilities can be opened.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy: Valentine’s Day is when your married or “taken” coworkers might be getting flowers, chocolates, or have a fun date night planned. You might see cute couple pictures plastered on social media, with sappy love messages. And guess what, that’s okay! If you’re someone in love, go ahead and spread that joy and love! However, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a date, gift or significant other to be special.
Value yourself, work hard at your career with the talents you’ve been given and build a strong support network of friends and family around you. Valentine’s Day, or any day for that matter, doesn’t need to be a miserable day for you or a day where you should compare yourself to others. No matter what stage in life you are, it’s important to not lose sight of the valuable parts that bring you joy, rather than focusing on what those around you have. Work hard, and good things will come. Valentine’s Day (and any day) should be a reminder to focus on what we have, opposed to what’s missing.
Planning is Ideal: Have you gotten your parents a Valentine’s Day card yet? Husbands, have you gotten your wives one? Did you think to send one to your grandma? Some of us can be procrastinators in life, whether it’s about buying Valentine’s Day cards or finishing that huge project that’s been on your to-do list at work for two weeks. If we can learn anything from waiting till 5:30 p.m. to head to the Walmart to look for a last-minute card, and finding that all the good ones are picked over, it’s that planning is ideal. The longer you wait to register for that professional development conference, to finish that flooring project in your house, teach your kid how to drive and more, the easier it is to forget or miss out on a great opportunity. No, you can’t plan everything in your life, but poor planning, means poor preparation. Plan ahead, and go for it! Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself.
Appreciate the Little Things: Life isn’t always glamourous as it may seem on social media. No, people don’t often share those photos of the fridge full of leftovers, because you did all your meal prepping on Sunday and haven’t had time to cook since, or the sink full of clean dishes that you have yet to put away. Often times, we see what we want to see, and forget to appreciate the little things. On a day like today, don’t get down because you didn’t receive a grand gesture. Remember to appreciate the little things: like that your significant other left work early for a change to spend time with you or left the morning devotional open for you to read; that your coworker brought you amazing soup they made and shared it with the office; or that your boss told you, job well done. These might seem like ordinary things and we often don’t open our eyes up to see the value in, which is a shame. Try to remember, it’s the little things in life that can leave the biggest impressions; embrace them.
I’ll be honest. For many years, I was not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I never understood why we needed one day to profess our love, when we should do it all the rest of the days of the year. The truth is, today, Valentine’s Day, really is far more than a day about love. It’s another day we’re given to live, which is truly a gift in itself. Don’t let today be a “make or break” day for you. I hope you treat others with respect each and every day, and you won’t have to scramble to compensate on February 14th.
Happy Valentine’s Day!