…critique of Valentine’s Day.
I’m not going to bother with the historical roots, or any of that. It’s been covered.
If you need this one day to pay attention to the people you care about, you’re doing it wrong.
There’s nothing wrong with doing something special on Valentine’s Day. The thought does count; it is, in fact, intentionality that’s at issue here.
It’s about pushing limits in your relationship. Just ask yourself two questions:
- What assumptions are you making?
- What are you taking for granted?
If you aren’t pushing each other to expand, what are you doing? Stagnancy and inertia kill. It’s both your lives, together. Look at the idea of “Steak and a Blowjob” day. V-day is often used for “unusual” sexual favors. The intimacy makes it a useful example.
Is one of you uptight about something? Are you assuming that something isn’t that big of a deal? Think about blowjobs. Someone doesn’t want to do it, what I picture is, “nope, that’s gross, not happening”. In other words, conversation shut down. I have a feeling there are a lot of assumptions not being addressed when a conversation is shut down like that. Are you just coasting? Shouldn’t you be exploring why bj’s (or whatever) are an issue for you? Who’s body do you think of as “dirty”? Do sexual acts make you feel bad about yourself? Do you dislike sexuality because you aren’t comfortable with your body or with sex?
Don’t mistake me: if you’ve tried and there’s some specific reason that something just doesn’t work for you, great. Maybe you work something out if the other person really likes the act. Cause it’s about the relationship, as well; it all goes both ways. But if you basically force yourself to do it once a year, there’s an imbalance that needs to be addressed.
How honest are you, with yourself and your loved ones, about your needs?
So what should you be communicating right now?
I’m probably the poster child for quality over quantity.
I wish I were bragging. The fact is, I just don’t have much energy for stuff. If I have a cabinet or two full of dishes, they start collecting on my desk and living out of the dishwasher. With only a couple of each item, they get washed and dried quick. I take care of them.
Of course, this means durability has a higher priority. I don’t want to have to buy replacements, unless it’s something basic, utilitarian, and cheap. Otherwise? I am not spending more money on this, what the hell, I just bought this.
I do get more pleasure from beautiful items. And with only a few, as with clothes, it becomes more important. On the other hand, a slight tradeoff in durability is worth it if the aesthetics fit.
Durability keeps me honest. Aesthetics keep me satisfied.
This means I look for just a few, beautiful, lasting items. Yeah, kind of an expensive combination, but it’s worth it. This form of simplification is just a necessity for me. I almost wish it were a choice. I mean, do you have any idea how long it takes me to find a jacket I’m willing to buy?
Most importantly, it’s a focused, practical simplicity. It gets me out and searching for things I need. It helps expand the range of my life.
Whatever gets me out, right?
I use it to print notepaper. I mentioned this before.
I designed a basic notebook paper in Open Office.org. It prints on letter size paper, and cuts down to half that.
I just couldn’t find lined notepaper in a nice cream color. So I found some nice 24 lb. printer paper.
The notebook is a Levenger Circa Livingston. There’s a brilliant series of posts reviewing the system at DIY Planner, if you think you might be interested in using them for anything other than notes. They require a little extra care, but I find the system is worth it. I have the portable punch; the punch is absolutely key, and opens up a lot of possibilities.
I also print lines on index cards, in a portrait orientation. It’s hard to find those pre-printed. I have them bound on the top edge. When necessary, they fit in the larger notebook.
They also have an amazing variety of planner pages, and a great community.
Of course, I could always print a few planner pages for other uses, but I don’t really need a planner at this point.
Besides, the paper and the notebook, on their own, give me minor inspiration to write just for the sake of using them.
Enjoy the stationery pron.
Among twilight clouds
(Photo by SPierce Photography/Liska Rial Eman. Click through to Flickr)
Next time you go to make a purchase, big or small, delay. Make the delay twice as long for online purchases – notice any sensations that arise when you delay.
My problem is the opposite of most. I dither. I’m not a big spender to begin with, on top of which I talk myself out of things.
Can you imagine what it took for me to spend approximately one thousand dollars for my DSLR setup, three years ago?
I knew what I needed. The research had been done. Doing the deed took very little time. For me, it’s better that way.
I quash things that I should get because they aren’t a “necessity”. Never mind things that are only wants, but honestly feed my emotional health.
Do you see where my skepticism towards being honest with yourself comes from?
What you resist, persists. Let it go and all that energy you’ve bound up, all that tension, just goes away.
Let. It. Go.
This might be my version of the post-holiday blues. With all those three-day weekends, I had the time to develop my interests. My personal schedule tends to be relaxed and spread out, so the extra day makes a huge difference.
Now, I’m back to where I was before: I can’t depend on the weekends, I have to fit things in more around work. I was working on this in particular just before the holidays. I don’t do so well at fitting tasks around other tasks, bits and pieces at a time. It isn’t that I can’t, I just don’t have the same motivation.
It’s like when I bought my camera. That was a necessary splurge. I may not love work, but I can afford to do things that I enjoy. Of course, that’s only step 1.
Step 2 is paying in time. Money only gets you started. Photography (or any interest, really) requires taking time to learn the skill, to learn and enjoy. That’s the tricky part, really.
My camera sits more than it should.
- I sit back and analyze.
- I get eloquent when I’m angry. As my boss would attest.
I’ve had years of practice at stoking my anger (about something or other specific) until it burns off quick.
- Alternatively, a good loud scream and possible hitting something (not alive; a big trash can does the job) do, in fact, help.
Of course, not all strong emotion is anger. Many strong emotions are far more subtle.