Every year, I get excited for the brightness of Valentine's Day in the depths of winter. It's an utterly sweet and stress free holiday, which is probably why it's my favorite. I endorse any excuse to bake, do crafts, eat chocolate, and get fresh flowers, but I also appreciate staking out a day for the basic celebration of love.
Yes yes I know, we shouldn't wait for a holiday to remind us to express our love for the people who are important in our lives, but it certainly doesn't hurt. I look at my own little family of four, and often it does seem like we reserve the very worst behavior for one another; brother-sister battles, parent-child tantrums, husband-wife irritations... relationships are just so damn challenging! Of course, I am insanely grateful for the privilege of these relationships, because the joy outshines the headaches day after day. There aren't words to describe how lucky I feel watching the bond between my children grow, and the qualities of my marriage mature. I have the perfect crew to celebrate this syrupy sweet love fest with, and I hope they feel the same. We'll be doing it up fondue-style on Saturday, and are extra excited for James to be home all day, since it's a week-end.
And to close out this love talk, last year I heard an interview with Jeff Bridges, which remains one of my favorite conversations about marriage and love. You have to hear the words from The Dude's mouth to really appreciate it, but I've pieced together a quote of one of the highlights for me.
The knowledge, after being married so long, is that it keeps getting better. You don't hear that too much.... It's intimacy... the high that we're all looking for... That keeps you wanting to come back, even in the tough times. Also, I've learned over the years that those tough times are... when the gold can really be found. They're kind of the key, because if you address those and are really intimate with each other, and listen to each other's stories of what their reality is like, that's where the intimacy can be found, and where love has to grow. You come to those places in marriage where you say, 'I'm out of here man, this is terrible, this is terrible!'... and you can hang with that... and love each other. What is love? Opening your heart when you feel you can't and you expand... if you can hang in, you learn in those tough times how to grow.
Wise words, just got to abide. Happy Love Day. Give extra kisses and hugs, and by all means, eat chocolate!