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Feeling Blue On Valentine’s Day

Shannon Bradley CollearyToday is a blue day for no particular reason. My children are thriving. My marriage is solid. We have money in the bank and a roof over our heads. I have the privilege of defining what I’ll do each day. But I’m still blue. And it’s not a crime.

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, but we don’t celebrate it. My suggestion.

I’d spent so many sad Valentine’s Days in relationships that were lonely and unfulfilling. Valentine’s Day tended to highlight everything I didn’t have.

Then I married Henry and we celebrated Valentine’s Days extravagantly. He bought me gifts I asked for. We had dinners at pricey, over-crowded restaurants you practically had to sell a kidney to get into. We wrote forced love letters. We made love like Chinese pandas expected to mate in captivity. In retrospect I wonder if I wasn’t trying to somehow make up for all of those pitiable Valentine’s Days past.

Well. No more.

Henry doesn’t have to perform on Valentine’s Day to prove he loves me, because I know he does each and every day. And men really don’t seem to give two craps about Valentine’s Day. Do you men?

So to those of you out there who will be feeling blue on Valentine’s Day, whether it’s because you’re single or not in the relationship you’d like to be in, you are not alone. All of us are dog paddling as fast as we can to stay afloat. Even those of us who seem to have the world on a string.

So on this particularly annoying holiday, be your own Valentine.

Acknowledge to yourself what a challenge it can be to be human. Forgive yourself for your struggles and praise yourself for getting up and try, try, trying again. Recognize your bravery in all of the things you do. Even the small ones, like getting up and going to work when you don’t feel like it. We aren’t really here to kick ass. I repeat. We aren’t really here to kick ass.

We also aren’t here to be better or less than anyone else. Who can know what it actually takes to be this specific human being?

Today I don’t like myself very much and I feel blue. But it’s okay. And Valentine’s Day won’t make it any better or worse. xo S

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Blue on Valentine's Day

19 comments

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  1. Rosie Carrillo
    Rosie Carrillo 13 February, 2014, 11:26

    1. I do not know where/when the photo was taken, but I LOVE it. It is simply beautiful.
    2. This is, in my opinion, one of the best of your blogs. They are all, certainly, worthwhile.

    Happy Valentine’s (and every other) Day! XO

    Reply this comment
  2. Melissa Henn
    Melissa Henn 13 February, 2014, 13:28

    You’re really more than enough. The Blues tell lies.
    I also get bummed out at the strangest times. Maybe it’s the voices of assholes past trying to spoil the good things & love I’ve got now. Not every single day has to be sunny, or positive. Buddhists call it Samsara- a sadness for no particular reason.
    I enjoy reading you. Keep it going! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  3. Sonora
    Sonora 13 February, 2014, 17:41

    Well put! Love your take on this.

    Reply this comment
  4. Sonora
    Sonora 13 February, 2014, 17:42

    Especially “We aren’t here to kick ass.”

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 13 February, 2014, 17:58

      Hi Sonora — it’s exhausting feeling like we’ve always got to be “kicking ass.” The other day I was jealous of my cat, lying on her back, legs outstretched on the bed. I guarantee you she wasn’t worried about achieving anything move than dinner.

      Reply this comment
  5. Denise
    Denise 13 February, 2014, 17:49

    Great advice! I would rather be alone than be in a bad relationship. One day I’ll be in a good relationship again.

    Reply this comment
  6. joanne
    joanne 13 February, 2014, 18:02

    First, I need to say that I notoriously hate February. I have always had the ‘blues’ in February, and perhaps the connection was my past miserable Valentine’s Day. One year, when I was a newly divorced 30-something, a man I was ‘seeing’ left me a single rose and a risque card at my back door, which I found when I returned home from work. I knew he was out on a romantic dinner with his ‘real’ girlfriend. The first time I considered myself a ‘side piece’, a feeling that disgusted me.
    My un-husband of 15 years has been hit and miss as far as Valentine’s Day – some good, some unfortunate, particularly when he was working out of state and relied on the ‘interwebs’ (edible bouquets and limp flowers).
    Today, we went to my favorite nursery and he purchased two lovely orchids that I chose and came home and put in one of my own containers. Spent a fraction of what he has previously, and I’m so much happier.
    Shannon, I already told you that you are the ‘trifecta’, but I totally understand the ‘blues’, and February always seems to bring them. Today would have been my mother’s 93rd birthday. She’s been gone almost 6 years, but I can still hear her voice in my head, and it’s not always positive. What I’m trying to do today is remember the good, and embrace the incredible place I am in today. I choose to believe that she is happy, not critical of me. I’m sure she is.
    Anyhoo, on the upside, you live in sunny California (yes, I live in Florida, but it’s 40 fucking degrees here!), as does my dearest childhood friend and college roommate (in Irvine). She is also ‘blue’.
    Let’s get our shit together sisters and bust on into March!
    xoxo
    Joanne

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 13 February, 2014, 22:03

      Joanne — what a lovely hello from you in my inbox. I especially relate to the parts about your mom. My grandma passed two years ago aged 99 and I still hear her voice in my head, but all very good. But just so you know there are several critical voices that languish about in there too. Will keep their identities private. Yes, March. March seems like it’s going to be a lovely lovely month. xo S

      Reply this comment
  7. Lisa
    Lisa 14 February, 2014, 06:40

    This is perfect. My husband and I never celebrate Valentine’s. This year, he DID get me flowers, but it was on Monday. It meant so much more that way. I feel like Valentine’s day is just another female contest in which no one really wins. Social Media is making it worse. If I see one more pic of flowers on a desk, I may puke.
    That being said, I have told the husband that he has to teach our son about gift giving, and how to treat a woman, so I guess we will be celebrating Valentine’s day in that capacity in a few years. Sigh. Does it make me a hypocrite that I want my son to be a romantic, or at least know the protocols?

    Reply this comment
  8. Carolyn J.
    Carolyn J. 14 February, 2014, 09:26

    Maybe get out and go for a walk, feel the fresh air?
    For myself, I’m single and got over a lot of holidays years ago. I just think of all the things I don’t have to do, like cook a big dinner or whatever, and take it easy.
    And on the plus side, Valentine candy will be half price at Walgreen’s tomorrow!
    Good wishes.

    Reply this comment
  9. stef
    stef 14 February, 2014, 14:00

    My nails are blue today. Does that count? I skipped the red/pink shade for a change…

    Our anniversary is Feb 9, our daughter’s birthday is the 11th, so we celebrate alone on the 9th and skip the crowds, then have her birthday, then on V Day we usually have a super nice candlelight dinner (steak, crab, dress-up, champagne) at home together with our kids.

    This year, for the first time, they are both on first dates with their own first Valentines, so we are having a Night Home with champagne and chocolate and raspberry tart.

    We celebrate it, but I agree…I don’t need him to prove anything today. He’s good at being awesome and sweet every day, so today is just a bonus. And there’s extra chocolate. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  10. Laura Huffman
    Laura Huffman 14 February, 2014, 14:27

    For the record, I took that photo in the train station in Trenton, New Jersey! We had gone to DC for the pro-choice rally on the mall. I think it was 1989.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 14 February, 2014, 15:27

      Hello Mistress Laura — yes I remember that trip quite fondly. I think that’s where Sweeney’s Goat was born. xo

      Reply this comment
  11. Estelle Sobel Erasmus
    Estelle Sobel Erasmus 14 February, 2014, 14:42

    Shannon,
    You are a lovely lady and a wonderful, compelling writer. I have felt blue, too, but now with the help of a life coach I’m making changes in my professional life and putting my energies in the right place. I, too, don’t care much about V-Day because I know my hubby loves me every day. Hope you find the reason for your blues so you can move ahead freely.
    Estelle

    Reply this comment
  12. sara
    sara 20 January, 2017, 09:33

    awesome fabulous

    Reply this comment

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