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Who's Your Valentine?

My girlfriends and me at a recent reunion. Many have known me for decade and still like me!

When I was asked to write a piece on Valentine’s Day, I thought, Oh God…not again!  I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day, but it’s sure not going anywhere – at least not while Hallmark is still in business!

So I thought about my own Valentines.  Who are they?

Well, for starters, there’s my adorable husband. He’s a terrific guy and, after nearly 27 years, I think he’s a keeper.  He makes me happy and, maybe even more importantly, keeps me healthy!  He’s my #1 Valentine.

I think, however, it’s also important to identify other Valentines in our lives.  For example, my girlfriends are my Valentines too. Some of them have been in my life for more years than I can count (or would admit to, anyway), and you can’t even start to place a value on that kind of history. I talk to some of them all the time, others less frequently, and some only once in a blue moon. But they’re all important. They know me for decades, and some of them still actually like me!  Imagine! They are all my Valentines…and there’s  a whole bunch of them!  That makes me incredibly lucky.

I’m also fortunate to have some very special guy friends. I’ve known one since we were both babies in the publishing industry and even now, he moves heaven and earth to see me when we’re in the same city. He definitely qualifies as a Valentine.  I met another friend, a radio personality, when I was about 17 and interviewed him for my high school newspaper. We’re friends to this day, traversing the hundred or so miles between us to get together whenever possible.  He’s 88 years old now, but he’s spry, in great shape, and still sounds exactly the same as he did back in his radio days, with all of his marbles and the same unerring sense of humor.  Permanently on my Valentine’s list.

There’s also my pal from my old office building. We vowed to have lunch for each other’s birthdays and during the Christmas holidays each year. We joke that we’re caught up all the way to about 1987. And then there’s my favorite doctor.  Saved my life—not just attitudinally or with great medical advice, but rushed me to the OR and quite literally saw to it that I would live to see another day, not to mention my kid. He totally qualifies.

Oh yes, my kid. Twenty-six years old and living on the other side of the world (thank goodness for Skype and WhatsApp!). I tell him occasionally that I’ve spent years trying to find someone I’d trade him in for…so far, no luck.  He’s mine and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every now and then, I unearth a Valentine or Mother’s Day card he made for me when he was little. Sometimes makes me cry.  Usually makes me laugh. If this guy isn’t a Valentine, nobody is.

But you know who I haven’t mentioned yet? Me! I get to be a Valentine too!  I show it by getting up at three in the morning and going to the gym every doggone day. I eat right, determined to maintain my hundred-pound weight loss. I read labels incessantly so that my diabetes doesn’t get the best of me (numbers are good, medications are history!). 

This is something I highly recommend. When celebrating Valentine’s Day this year —and every year from now on—put yourself high on that list. Take care of yourself by making good choices.  Just because the word diabetes isn’t written on your forehead doesn’t mean it’s not there. Watch your weight. Get out there and move (I describe myself these days as being in the move-it-or-lose-it stage of life!). Kind of sounds like every day is Valentine’s Day when it comes to your health. 

So, celebrate Valentine’s Day with—and for—all the people who are on your Valentine’s list.  Especially you!

Stay well! See you next time!

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