By Juliette

Growth and Love on Valentine’s Day

Growth and Love on Valentine’s Day

I hadn’t intended on writing a post today but, when the mood strikes. I’ve also noticed my post count hovering at 99 for the past week so I felt compelled to officially house 100 thoughts, ideas, and stories here at Namastay Traveling. It’s rather hard to believe the many thousands of words I’ve been able to crank out, after all the idea of this blog to its actually fruition took all of 24 hours. After writing for numerous publications because I simply loved it so much, it feels pretty darn good to have a home base. Plus, I’m so grateful to have my memories locked in this internet world, as silly as that may seem. Especially now as life gets turned upside down once more come June, I have a feeling I’ll be turning to this corner more and more.

Welp, that wasn’t actually the motivation behind this post whatsoever. It’s been a minute since I’ve visited my yoga roots as a teacher and feel the message of Valentine’s Day so aligns with what I teach in my classes. Love in all forms, centering on finding love inside and spreading it outwards. Although I’ve stepped away from teaching yoga at the moment, my own practice has been thriving. Although I won’t deny this is certainly a Hallmark holiday, I find that it doesn’t take away from the spark of all the love that embodies today. Mind you, Valentine’s Day is a BFD in an elementary school, so I’m currently drowning in glitter and red lollipops. It could be worse.

As a kid, I had never noticed that Valentine’s Day had much to do with ~romantic love~. I have my parents to thank for making February 14th a day full of special surprises (chocolate at breakfast?!) and little stuffed animals waiting for us in the morning. I adored arts and crafts and couldn’t think of anything better than drawing cards for my friends and family. Plus, I didn’t have to go to church on Valentine’s Day #sorrynotsorry. It was such a special day to look forward to in the dead of a seriously debilitating Syracuse winter. One that was filled with special thoughts *just because*. I realized it this afternoon that it was probably one of the things I’m so eager to share with our little one. Celebrating the small moments and turning otherwise mundane routines into memories. After all, these are the pieces I remember most from my own childhood.

As I’ve gotten older, the day has certainly shifted into one about self-love in a genuine effort to be more loving towards other. The definition of love for me has evolved over time, though the meaning behind it hasn’t. Perhaps it has more to do with the role I see myself in, and the standard for how I care for myself and others has shifted. If anything, this day is the time for self-reflection. Am I truly taking care of myself? Am I showing myself the same love I would give to a friend? And if so, how can I ensure other’s are doing the same? While I try to show love to myself and others in small ways every day, I so enjoy having a day to make an obnoxious declaration of how much I care. If anything, it forces me to think of a way to do more and to never be content with ‘good enough’. Valentine’s Day becomes more about growth than spite, and more about sharing than keeping to myself. For the sake of ease, here are some things I opted to do today that I wouldn’t have had it not been February 14th.

Spent the morning taking Cedric on a longer walk than normal. I let him sniff every.single.patch.of.grass that he wanted to.

Completed all the items that I had put on Dan’s to-do list so he’d have less on his plate. I had the time and #teamworkmakesthedreamwork.

Took Cedric to an extra day at his daycare center for their Valentine’s Day party.

Actually baked one of those Pinterest recipes I saved years ago to share with coworkers.

Planned a real-life date night to see one of Dan’s favorite comedians. (It was supposed to be a surprise, but I always realize it would be a great surprise after I already tell him about it. Oh well.)

Made a homemade Valentine’s card out of construction paper and stickers to give to Dan with said tickets.

Made set plans with friends both near and far of time to spend with each other in the coming months.

Bought a new book as a ‘valentine’ for the sweetest little boy I tutor. He always brightens my day and reminds how excited I am to have my own spunky little boy in the coming months.

For me, I gave myself an open schedule this weekend to do some of my favorite things without having to be locked in to any plans. I’m eager to try out a neighbor’s Pilates class (and also, a bit fearful), to finish reading The Library Book and begin reading One Day in December, and finally paint my toenails while I can still see them. I also wanted to make sure I had some quality time with Cedric on the docket so Dan could spend time trying out the basketball courts near our house and doing things that fill him up.

And finally, ate chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies from my favorite baker, and even brought some home to share.

What did you do differently today just because of Valentine’s Day pressure? Anything new things that might seep their way into your daily schedule?

My two Valentines (this third is currently kicking me in the ribs from the inside).
rescue puppy

Love and chocolates to you,
Juliette

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