I'm doing something a little different this year for V-day. I'm attending a FISHING conference with Dan. Actually, he's attending the conference while I hang out and roam the streets of Columbus. Well, I had PLANNED to roam the streets of Columbus, that actually sounds like fun to me, but it is 6 degrees here right now. 6 DEGREES! Are you kidding me?!
So plans have changed and now I'm hanging out in the warm hotel lounge with my coffee and my laptop. Not a bad Saturday morning, actually.
I know you're thinking that I must be the best wife in the entire universe (or the dumbest :-)) for agreeing to come to a fishing conference on Valentine's Day weekend. But this is actually payback for the writing conference I attended in Nashville several months ago. Dan went with me for moral support, so I'm returning the favor. And I really don't mind. Especially after I saw the look on his face when we arrived and were surrounded by the biggest crowd of grown men wearing camouflaged hoodies and driving big trucks that I've ever seen. He looked like he was in heaven, and I was so grateful that I was there to share it with him. We had breakfast together this morning, then I left him in the conference room, on the front row with his notepad and laptop ready to go. I don't know if I've ever seen him this excited.
It's amazing the things we do for love.
When I think back on some of the lonely years I spent dreading Valentine's Day, a fishing conference with the man I love doesn't sound so bad. And it certainly helped that he had roses waiting for me in the hotel room when we arrived.
You know, for years I hated this holiday. I dreaded that one lonely night of the year when everyone else was celebrating their love with their sweetheart, and I was all alone.
But I made the most of those times. I had love all around me, just not always the romantic kind. Looking back, some of my most favorite Valentine's moments were during those single years.
There was the time that my roommates and I drew names and got each other fancy V-day gifts. We woke up early like it was freakin' Christmas morning, and sat around the table in our pj's opening our gifts. It was one of the most fun Valentines I've ever had. Of course at the time, I didn't realize how lucky I was, surrounded by my besties, not a care in the world. Sometimes I miss those day so much.
Back in those days, my sorority sisters and I also had a tradition where we dressed in all black and formed the Lonely Heart's Club and went out on the town to keep each other company on this otherwise dreaded evening.
And all of the years growing up, my Dad never missed a Valentine's Day. He always showed up with flowers and candy and cards for my Mom, sister, brother and I, and it always made me feel so special.
There were some lonely Valentines days; some where I was with someone and knew it wasn't right, and still others spent desperately wishing for someone special to do a little something special. And then there were times with my friends, bonding over our singleness together. And now there are fishing conferences and roses in hotel rooms. But there has always been LOVE. Sometimes romantic love, sometimes not. I've been beyond blessed all the years of my life to be surrounded by friends and family and LOVE.
Wherever you find yourself this Valentine's Day, EMBRACE it. Appreciate and enjoy your place in life right now, just as it is, and accept the love that is all around you.
Happy Valentine's Day!
© Haley McManigal 2016
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