I am grateful my husband didn’t buy flowers for Valentine’s.

#ProjectZen #Day14 #GratitudeProject

I used to be one of those wives that kind of expected to be worshiped on Valentine’s Day. You know, the whole dozen red roses and huge box of assorted chocolates, accompanied by the usual gushy card. I’m not even sure why I expected these things. I have no answer for that. Commercialism mixed with a side of selfishness, maybe? If you do a little poking around, you’ll soon discover that Valentine’s day is a multi-billion dollar industry. That’s crazy!

26 years in, my need for Valentine’s Day affirmations has diminished. It’s not that I don’t like getting pretty flowers. I do. I prefer flowers I can plant in the ground a lot more. Cards are great too. Honestly, those notes my husband has written with his own hand…..every one has found it’s way into my treasure box. Cards, not so much.

My husband works nights, and frankly, we don’t have a lot of spare change strewn about the house for cards and flowers. We’re also not perfect and we fuss and bicker, and sometimes we may not like each other very much, in the moment. Valentine’s Day just doesn’t work for us so well when our marriage is one we work at, one we’re dedicated to, and for the fact that we choose to love each other. That’s right. We choose love. We choose fidelity. We choose to stick together. Sure, love happens easily, but to turn those flames into long burning embers, that takes work, my friends. A lot of work. It’s very easy to get angry, stay angry, slam doors, stomp off, and be really busy thinking you’re right. It’s very hard sometimes to sit down and talk about issues at hand, without opening up closets long shut and rummaging around in past issues long put to bed, and expertly pushing those buttons that set the other off. Lots of couples know how to fight, fewer know how to talk. Over the decades, we’ve gotten a lot better at the talking part.

Today I am grateful my husband did not buy me flowers. No chocolates either. Nope, not even a card. Do you know what he did do? He sent me a text after he clocked out at work to let me know he was on his way home. He stopped by the store to pick up a bottle of mustard because we ran out last night. He scooped all the litter boxes because I was not feeling well this morning. We had a great conversation in the kitchen while I was chopping onions up for chili….and we were both sniffing and wiping tears and laughing. We ate lunch together in the living room and watched an NCIS re-run and then a little bit of local news. No Valentine’s commercialism in our house today. Just a simple couple, living a simple life, enjoying simple things. I enjoyed Valentine’s today a lot more than 20 some odd years ago, staring at roses with a belly full of chocolate. I already have everything I need.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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