Today is my perfect Valentine’s Day. I get to watch the Daytona 500. I realize that watching NASCAR may not be every girl’s dream for Valentine’s Day, a day usually hallmarked by, well, Hallmark, candy, champagne, roses, and heart-shaped chocolate boxes. But it works for me. On Valentine’s Day we celebrate love, and that means doing activities that make your loved ones happy. Some people will go out for a romantic dinner – I am making tempura shrimp and vegetables that go well with other race food. Some people will dress up and look beautiful for their partners – I will be in jeans and a number 14 sweatshirt. Some people will exchange cards and romantic gifts – I will place bets on NASCAR drivers and hope that my friends’ drivers lose. Traditional Valentine’s Day? No. Valentine’s Day Fun? Yes. Valentine’s Day is a moment to reflect on the important relationships in our lives, and there is one that is commonly ignored. My friend Carolyn Strauss (www.CarolynStrauss.com) reminds us in her blog that we need to remember to love ourselves as well. We need to love the person we are. So please take a little time to do something nice for yourself, as well as your loved ones. However you decide to celebrate a day that focuses on love and friendship, do what makes you happy, and what makes those around you feel cherished. Share the joy of being together. Make a promise to spend more time with someone special, whether it is a grandparent or a niece or a significant other. Happy Valentine’s Day! Mary
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