Valentine's Day & Creative Expression



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Valentine’s Day. Not everyone’s favorite holiday as it is wrought with expectations of roses and chocolate. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against roses (one of my favorite flowers to paint) or chocolate (have you seen my kitchen?). However, I think Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to find creative ways to express yourself instead of just phoning in the flowers and chocolate.

I’ve told the story of my little book before, but I can’t remember where. I made the book in these photos for my now husband when we first started dating. He was going home to Hawaii to see his family for the holidays, and I was missing him. At the time I had no kids and only a small apartment with a dog. My time was a bit more flexible then. I decided to make a page of this little book each day that he was away and I gave it to him when he returned so he’d know how much I missed him. That was 24 years ago (give or take) and it survives to this day. Making this book— sewing, cutting, picking the colors, creating a vision— took my mind off of him being away and was a cathartic form of expression for me. Remember, it was made back before the days of scrapbooking, Circuit cutters, and inexpensive printers. It was a labor of love, but it was one of the ways I could tell him how much he meant to me without words. Knowing me, I’m sure I also baked!


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Valentine’s Day has some fairly forced love language brought to you by the people who sell said “love language” and they’ve got it all neatly tied in a bow. But what if you looked beyond that stuff and tapped into what you do naturally, only in a bigger way? Have you heard the episode of the Creative Pep Talk where Andy talks about being “higher-lingual”? In it, he talks about a man he knows who has a pronounced stutter when he speaks, but when he sings, he can freely express himself and use his voice to communicate more than he ever could with his words. He’s able to communicate better in a different medium. Wow. That one blew me away mostly because I believe that each of us has a way that we best express our love and ourselves to the world and it most likely isn’t what they are selling at the local card shop.

Think about how you are most comfortable expressing yourself. What is it that you do to daily to show your love to those around you? Do you cook or bake? Do you write funny notes or draw? Do you sing? Or are you the guy who can grab someone’s shoulders in the sweetest way and give a squeeze that shows you care? What is your love language? And, better yet, what do your loved ones “hear”? You may not know it right away— it could take years to discover. What are you doing when you lose track of time or get so engrossed that you forget your other worries? Those two questions will give you a hint about your preferred method of communication.

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You may already know your preferred mode of expression, and you may also be wondering how the heck it relates to Valentine’s Day. I’ll be back next week with some ideas to kick up what you already do to make it special. In the meantime, stay creative and connected.

handwritten jenny sign-off

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