Smelling the Roses
Yesterday I mailed out just under twenty valentine cards to grown children and grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings, and friends. Each card was filled with words of love. It’s not that I don’t have warm feelings for family and friends all year long — I do. However, Valentine’s Day is a nice reminder — kind of like celebrating a birthday.
It’s important to take time to love ourselves, too. I was reminded of this recently when my sister Darlene (Blackford) and I were chatting about our daily activities, and she mentioned that she does something each day that gives her joy, something that makes her happy. It is her way of showing self-love. (This doesn’t mean that Darlene’s life isn’t happy; it just means that she takes some time everyday to concentrate on one thing that gives her joy.)
I thought about it. This makes sense. When we take time to do things that make us joyful, our bodies get busy making the natural “feel good” stuff, and, among other benefits, it helps reduce stress. When we stop to smell the roses, we remind ourselves who we are and what makes us special.
So this week when I was dusting some shelves filled with framed pictures of my grandchildren and a bunch of knick-knacks (mostly cows that people have given me) I actually took the time to focus on what I was touching. Do these things bring me joy? Absolutely! Memories of precious times with the grandchildren came flooding back. I took time to enjoy the two extra round cows with brown spots and two ceramic bulls with magnetic heads that are posed in fighting position and a wooden bull with dangling legs that is sitting on his behind. Did it make me happy? Indeed it did, and it helped me remember who Diane is, too.
Darlene said that she enjoyed drinking coffee from her favorite mug. It was a little thing, but it made her happy. I thought about filling a teapot with a favorite tea or coffee and serving it to myself in a delicate china cup and saucer (one that would normally be displayed on a shelf). That would make me happy.
Guys can get into the self-love habit, too. Darlene suggested that a person who takes pride in his tools might savor some time admiring the well-cared-for tools hanging on his shop wall while remembering projects completed with them or work on a project a little each day, perhaps teaching children or grandchildren how to use tools.
We all experience joy in unique ways. Some people find happiness in petting a dog or cat, some enjoy taking time to listen to cows chew their hay, others like to rub the leaves on potted plants as they water them. Still others are happy drawing or painting or reading the pages of a new novel. Darlene’s message is to find whatever gives you joy and do it each day. Perhaps this Valentine’s Day you can stop and smell the roses (literally), instead of passing by the vase of flowers on the table.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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