Why I’m done bashing Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has never done much for me. When I was young enough to be excited about it, I didn’t have a boyfriend and felt left out when my friends got flowers or candy or cheap, gross perfume from the boys they were “going with.” By seventh grade, I was bashing it for the Hallmark holiday it was.

Once I found myself as part of a couple, though, my attitude didn’t really change. I think I might’ve gotten some flowers, but they just felt like a token. Almost like a “no thank you” serving — you know, when someone makes something you don’t like but you take just enough to push around on your plate and make it look like you ate some. I felt like I received flowers because that’s what was supposed to happen. And it didn’t feel special.

That hasn’t changed. It’s not that I don’t want to receive gifts, because I do. I really, really like flowers and don’t let anyone tell you differently. But I’d rather get a card or flowers or something because someone’s thinking of me, or because Jared knows I’ve had a crappy day, or because I’m celebrating something meaningful.

But! With all that being said, a little something did change for me at the beginning of this year. I still don’t want flowers on Friday, but I’m done bashing the holiday itself.

See, it seems to have become seriously uncool to set New Year’s resolutions. I feel like, everywhere I turned at the beginning of 2014, every time I asked someone whether they set any, they sort of scoffed and said, “Oh, no. No, I don’t set New Year’s resolutions. I don’t believe in it. Why should I change things just because it’s January 1?”

I get that, but each time I heard that remark in its various forms, it dug a little further under my skin even though I know no one meant it as an attack. I like resolutions. I don’t think everyone needs to set them, of course, but I like the feeling of a January 1 clean slate. I mean, I try to live a reasonably healthy lifestyle and be the person I want to be, you know, most of the time, but that brand new year inspires me to look at how I can improve, and why I want to improve. And then I set goals and make plans and work toward becoming that person I want to be.

I don’t set “I want to lose 10 pounds” types of resolutions, but I might set an intention to cook a little more at home, use more fresh produce, focus more on nutrition, etc. Scoff if you want, but every year, by making these resolutions, I get better and better at things like this — things that are important to me.

Just because I don’t get sappy over Valentine’s Day, that doesn’t mean I’m not all for celebrating love. If February 14 kindles your romantic fires, then you know what? That’s awesome, and I’m honestly happy for you and I hope you have an amazing holiday. Really. (But, of course, make sure you show your special someone how much you care on other days, too. Just a little pearl of wisdom from someone who’s been happily married for about a decade.)

As for me, I’m happy to spend my Valentine’s Day with Jared and/or with friends. Maybe I’ll even cook (because I do that now) and drink a little wine and enjoy the love and friendship that’s in my life. So I guess maybe I do celebrate Valentine’s Day a bit; just in my own way.

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