Bear with me. It is Valentines Day.
It also the middle of February in New England and I'm about done with the sludge of winter. Valentines Day is saccharin and annoying even when we have reached all the society driven milestones of successful love.
There is one thing about Valentines Day that I desperately love... making cards. I love the dumb, lacy doilies, glitter, metallic pompoms and the googlie eyes. I’m at my wits end in February all of my goodness is worn out from the New Year. I have no problem allowing the dining room table to be covered in the chaos of making. We play Otis Redding love songs. We stay up late with our glue sticks and our metallic pipe cleaners. We wake up early and add finishing touches. I don't even care what they look like at the end as long as they make someone smile. Each kid makes a special one for each of their friends depending on what animal or sport they love. We poop glitter the weeks before Valentines Day. It gets me through. Who needs roses and chocolate? Okay fine, I want that too…. and diamonds.
This weeks theme is “help”.... not my strong point. I'm terrible at asking for help. I'm learning how to help others when I can and say no when I can't, how to manage my internal resources to sustain the long slow burn of being a giver and care taker.
I'm not sure if its my ego, my rural New England nature or my arrogance but I am hollowed by the act of reaching out, humbling myself, revealing weakness or asking for favors. I feel safer birthing alone where I can focus on MY truth, MY body, without eyes watching me. I won't be owned. I just get on with it.
My husband is my warrior, my best friend. But today, I’m going to zoom in on my girlfriends. I have a vast arsenal of friends. Yes, Arsenal. They are powerful. They are a tribe of remarkable, irreverent, bold, all wrong and all right women. There is nothing they can’t accomplish. They are bad ass bitches, they are soft and wise and vulnerable. I have cultivated these friendships throughout my life and I have many friends that will be life long.
These women carry me when I can’t crawl. These are the women that remind me who I am when I forget. Who make me piss myself laughing. Who tile a floor with me fueled by whiskey and hip hop until 5am. When I lose perspective they redirect me back to truth. When I can’t stand my kids, my friends love them and give me new tools of connection with them. When we speed walk we solve all the problems of the world. When I want to run away from myself, they drive me to the ocean (or HomeGoods ;)).
Female friendship is one of the greatest treasures of being a woman. How lovely that we can choose each other. There is no contract that binds us together, just a daily choice.
I hope you find connection this Valentines Day with a lover, a friend, a child, a puppy or in your solitude.