Today, I opened my eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. It was officially the day after Valentine’s Day. I had made it through my first “alone” Valentine’s Day, and I have never been so relieved! Today had to be a better day than yesterday. It was a new day without the constant reminder of things lost.
I have never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day always makes me feel lackluster annoyance for it and its traditions. The little cards that the kids exchange are irritating and have to be stealthily thrown out over the next couple of days. I have never loved roses, always preferring tulips. I can’t stand the fact that most restaurants have a set menu that always contains a bunch of weird ingredients. I am not a fan of those Forrest Gump boxes of chocolate. You just never know what you’re gonna get. I also have always felt underwhelmed by this holiday. For me, it hasn’t ever been full of romantic gestures. I think most women have felt the same way from time to time. Maybe that’s why we all roll our eyes when Valentine’s Day creeps up on the calendar. It never becomes the masterpiece that we have all at one point envisioned in our minds.
With no valentine this year, I have realized it is all of the sentimental and sappy thoughts that do count. It’s all of those silly little sappy things that make you realize you are cared for. People think about you and how special you are to them. They may forget until the last minute to get you a card, but they race to CVS and grab the last lonely card on the rack. They take the time to do something for you.
Well, let me tell you, I would have given anything for a card, a sticky note, anything that made me feel somewhat thought of yesterday. Piper asked if I was sad because “no one loved me anymore”. It triggered all the loneliness and deep sadness I’ve been grappling with.
Truth be told, I did get something for Valentine’s Day. What did I get for Valentine’s Day? I got … a poop. No, you did not misread that… I got a poop. Two, actually.
One was Brody’s first potty poop. It was a huge victory for me, the possible end to almost 12 years of non-stop diaper changes. I can’t say I felt special but I was overjoyed at the prospect of a diaper free future. He could have stopped there. End of story… yeah!
No such luck. It was the second one that pretty much sealed the deal on Valentine’s Day and made me ready to drown in a bottle of red wine. It didn’t quite make it to the potty. Good thing he didn’t have on a pull up or underwear. Oh, no. That would have made life too easy!!! I thought that I was blessed because he was quietly playing under the coffee table. I was so wrong… He was avoiding me and my super human poop senses. He had gone right in his pants, and then smeared it down his thighs with his hands. On the way to the bathroom, it shimmied down his pant leg onto the floor. Just what I always wanted. A poop on the floor for Valentine’s Day. This may sound overly dramatic, but at this point, on this day, that is exactly how I felt.
Now as a mom of five kids, I have seen and had contact with quite a bit of sh*t. It didn’t shock me. Crap happens. You wipe it up and then you move on. But this one just added insult to injury. I was raw. The poop broke me. I sat on the floor looking at it and said “Happy f*cking Valentine’s Day.”
By the end of the day, I was ready to call it quits. I was bone tired. Tired of moving, thinking, fixing, feeling and just existing. I went to bed and the rest of the dreaded day was a memory.
This morning I woke up and I took a deep breath.
It brought mindfulness back to me. I needed to rethink Valentine’s Day. What I needed to do was assess why yesterday was so bad, beyond the obvious.
Breathing in and out this morning, I realized I needed think about whom I should be getting love from. Should they be the people who make me think I am lovable?
Spending Valentine’s Day alone makes you think that in some way, you are less lovable because you don’t have anyone. True or not, those feelings are very real for those of us that are alone. So who do I get love from… if not from another person? Who will make me feel lovable? Then it dawned on me in that moment of early morning breathing. I am the one that needs to give myself love. It doesn’t have to come from someone else. I AM ENOUGH.
It can be so hard to think of yourself with complete self love, but if I can’t love myself, how can I openly love everything else in my life? I need to believe that I am special, that I am beautiful, that I am strong. It isn’t good enough tot hear it from other people. I have to believe it! I need to convince myself that I am enough.
So how do I get there???!!! How do I love myself? I know people are born with this confidence skill but I really don’t think I got the gene. I appear confident but I am usually overwhelmed by self-doubt. I really need to stop putting myself last and pleasing others. Just for today, I decided to I work on being happy, about myself, about the amazing life that I have been given. I started by getting out of bed.
I took a shower, a long one until the water ran cold and left goose bumps all over me. I got dressed, carefully picking an outfit and then I put on make up, not for everyone else to see, but for me. I even matched my bra to my underwear… I gave myself the time to make my bed and flip the shades up. It all made me smile and feel success. A small victory in a long fight to reprogram and love myself and not value my worth by the love others give to me. I’ve got to start with small deeds and just a little bit of self-care.
So for me, the Day-After-Valentine’s Day will be my new holiday. Screw Valentine’s Day. I don’t need to have the fantasized grand gestures. Every year on February 15, I’m going to wake up and celebrate the growing love that I have for myself… and hopefully pick up less poop.