By Winnie Yu for Completely You
Back in the day when I was young and naive, I thought Valentine’s Day belonged only to people in love: boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives and partners who spent their days locked in kisses, hugs and long, loving gazes. These were the people who bought the red heart-shaped boxes and gave each other cards inscribed with sentimental poems.
Now, I prefer to think of Valentine’s Day in a different light. For me, Valentine’s Day is a chance to reflect on all the people who have enriched my life -- not just my spouse. I think of my children, who have blessed my life in unspeakable ways; my parents, who gave up their home in Taiwan to come to the United States to raise a family; and my siblings, who have been with me from the get-go. I am reminded of close friends who are always there for me; my in-laws who have been more than generous and kind; and even my dog, which gives me the purest love of all.
Delving into my past reveals still others who have made a difference in my life. College professors who instilled the confidence I needed to pursue my dreams. Bosses who paved the way to first jobs. Editors who gave me that plum assignment. The list goes on and on.
To find these special people, all you have to do is open up your eyes and heart, and look. These people are there. Some are center stage; some are lurking in the wings. Still, others are tucked away in the nooks and crannies of your past.
No, Valentine’s Day is no longer the romantic holiday I once thought it was. It’s certainly not just about chocolates, roses and fancy cards. Instead, I like to think it’s about loving the people who make up the mosaic of your life.
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Winnie Yu is Completely You’s mom blogger. She has two daughters and is the author of seven books, including New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding and What to Eat for What Ails You. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Woman’s Day, AARP Bulletin, Prevention and WebMD.