I have this distinct memory of myself in my second year of uni: a single, raw, post-breakup me, walking by myself along St Giles in Oxford on Valentine's evening. Out of nowhere, this stampede of dolled-up-and-dapper couples appear, and I literally have to duck and dodge to avoid getting trampled by their lovedupness.
I don't remember what I ended up doing that night. Did I cook by myself? Did I watch Bridget Jone's Diary for the 23rd time? Did I call up a single friend and drown my solo sorrows in a bottle of cheap wine?
Fast-forward 14 years, and I'm happily married with a 16 month old. We're not huge V-day people, so Valentine's this year will be like most nights, the 3 of us cozied up at home. I'll probably write Rob a sentimental card, and he'll hopefully make his chocolate molten cake, and we'll end the night falling asleep to our favourite show.
Of course, now that I have the domestic bliss I used to dream about, I find myself fantasising about alone time.
I fantasise about showers that are longer than 4 minutes, and waking up whenever the heck I want, and having uninterrupted time to sit down and actually finish something! 'Me-time' is now squeezed into nap-time (and sometimes bedtime), a precious window where I can tend to nobody but myself. It's when I get to really sink into Positively Psyched stuff - blog, create, brainstorm, tinker... and it never feels like enough.
This lack of quality me-time is making me think long and hard about my relationship with... myself.
Am I a priority? Do I really listen? How do I talk to myself in my head? Am I loving? Am I bitchy? What do I give myself permission to do? Should I spoil myself more? Do I respect my own boundaries? Do I guilt trip myself? Am I my own best friend or my own worst enemy?
It's true whether we're single or hitched:
We are the bosses of our own bliss.
So this Valentine's, I'm feeling the need for some self-loving. Me and I have some catching up to do. I found this awesome Manifesto by Jennifer Pastiloff that's going to be my Valentine's love-note to myself:
P.S. Feel free to save and print this Manifesto for some self-loving! Stick it on your mirror or make it your iPhone lock screen wallpaper (it's a bit busy as a home screen, I've found). Oh and Happy Valentine's, lover. Hope it's a deliciously self-indulgent one. C x