Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
I feel somewhat reflective on this particular day, as work is slow, Lent has recently begun, everybody's talking about love, and in the constant flux of my life, I just like to ponder. Once, my pastor told me something and suggested I do like Mary and ponder those things in my heart. It was such an interesting piece of advice for what he then said to me, but I've since held onto those words as I realized that my life is always a pondering of my heart. I never felt such a close connection with any of the protagonists in the many stories of the Bible, but it gave me great encouragement to identify with Mary.
Until last year, I never had a boy to do the Valentine's thing with, but I still liked Valentine's Day. First of all, if I was ever sad about being single, it wasn't because it was Valentine's Day. I didn't need a holiday to make me feel sad about not having somebody. Second of all, (and this should actually be first of all, but we'll keep moving) candy. I can't think of any reason why we should be sad about candy (outside of the extremes where child labor is the reason we have chocolate). And now that I do have somebody, it's simply an excuse for a date (again, as if I needed a holiday for this). But whatever the sentiments, I believe that with winter being such a dull time, any reason for someone to get or give a piece of paper, cardboard, or foliage to say that you're great is a wonderful thing well worth the effort. Also, candy. We should be looking for excuses every day to make somebody feel lovely and loved, so since the work has already been done for us on February 14th, we should be happy and relieved. I have felt just as loved and appreciated when my friends, roommate, or mom made me Valentines as I have these past two Valentine's holidays with my special someone. I never had a reason to dread the day. And I never called it Singles Awareness Day, because again, I didn't need a holiday to remind me of that. So as ridiculous as the notion of this day can be, I have no problems with it.
As for my ponderings about Lent and whether or not I should physically do something to commemorate this time of year, I've decided to be more intentional about the structure of my life. Every day I wake up, feed my dog, feed myself, clothe myself, make my lunch, go to work, come home, feed myself, shower, zone out in front of a computer screen, and go to bed. I believe there is more I can do to expand my time and make the most of my being. I need to read more and write more. I need to learn new things without neglecting the perfecting of the things I know. I need to bathe my dog. I need to be outside more. I need to make sure May 11th doesn't surprise me with unfinished tasks.
Unfortunately, pondering doesn't accomplish all of those things. But I have to do it.
Some people stay busy so they won't be caught pondering. It inevitably brings up things that are painful because we find the truths about ourselves and about others that we normally wish to avoid. I have many times brought myself to tears in my lonesome hours because the silence revealed to me the unpleasant needs for change in my life. But you see, I feel odd in that I have never been one to busy myself so I don't have to think about something. I have been just the opposite. There are many things that do not get accomplished because I like to sit and think too much. Even in the pain, I like it. I like the cleansing that I feel when I dwell on situations and events and people. I like the resolve that I feel ever more closer to when I've completed inner discussion on an issue. People are never as introspective as they should be, and while I consider myself quite the introspecter, (it's not a word, you don't have to look it up) I should hate anyone to think I feel better than others. I most certainly do not. With these activities bringing faults to light, I can assure you that I feel awful at times. But in order to clean a wound, the dirt must be brought to the surface. And only then will we feel like the clean, healed, and unblemished individuals we always hope to be.