Morning Coffee: Give Yourself a Valentine

Valentine 2Today is Valentine’s Day. It’s the day when women everywhere wait anxiously to see what their love has in store for them: flowers, chocolates, jewelry, dinner out, and, of course, a schmaltzy card. Some will be happy with what they get, others not, and then there are those who spend the day feeling sorry for themself because they don’t currently have anyone to be their valentine. And it starts as early as kindergarten! Remember covering a shoe box in construction paper hearts, cutting a slot in the top, and then waiting for it to fill with funny little cartoon valentines? Remember feeling hurt when others received more than you?

Why do we do this? Why do we rely on someone else to make us feel worthy? I say, give yourself a valentine!

I don’t necessarily mean a card, although you could, if you wish. I’m talking about doing something special for you. Treat yourself to a dinner out and a movie. Or, you could get your favorite take-out and binge watch whatever Netflix show currently has your attention. Dip your own strawberries in chocolate and pour yourself a glass of wine. You could take a bubble bath with candles and nice music. Book a spa day. Throw a party for all your friends who also have no valentine this year. There’s no end to the ideas.

And there’s no reason to limit this to one day out of the year. Do something special for yourself every day. One little thing, that’s all it takes, to remind yourself that you are special. You could go for a walk or call an old friend you haven’t talked to in a long time. Set aside a little time to read a favorite novel and escape any of the worries that might be haunting you.

Make every day Valentine’s Day, and be your own valentine.

Morning Coffee: The “Eyes” Have It

Healing HeartWe’ve all heard the old saying, “The eyes are the window to the soul.” The proverb can be traced back to Cicero (106-43 B.C.), Roman statesman, orator, lawyer and philosopher, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He is quoted as saying “Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi”…”The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter.”

The eyes can tell us everything about a person. They show love, hate, anger, happiness, confusion, sadness. Mothers only have to look into the eyes of a child and know when that little person is lying. And the child only has to look into the mother’s eyes to know she knows.

A simple look from an emergency room doctor can tear your heart out. While the look from the person you love can make your heart race with passion.

We describe people by their eyes: “kind eyes”, “shifty eyes”, even comical but expressive “puppy dog eyes”.

Actors know the power of the eyes. I was recently watching an old “All In The Family” episode I hadn’t seen in many years. The one where Edith Bunker is sitting at the bedside of one of the patients at the Sunshine Home, listening to her tell why she’s ready to die, how she’s had such a wonderful life. Jean Stapleton was a master character actress and when she teared up watching her friend pass, so did I. I wanted to reach out and console her. The look in Edith’s eyes made me care.

It’s the same with a good book. I haven’t watched any of the “Outlander” television shows yet as I’m currently reading the books. But I don’t have to see the way Jamie looks at Claire to know how Claire reacts to his gaze. Diana Gabaldon’s words take me there. I feel every heart-skipping, breath-catching, moment as his soul touches hers.

A good writer, like a good actor, never forgets the power of the eyes.