Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day To Me

Pink hearts dangle and the red ones are shooting arrows aimed straight for the heart. Tiny snowdrops and hyacinths peek through the ground. February is the month for love and sweethearts. If nothing else, Valentine's Day occurs at the half-way point of winter - a welcome break from the dreariness of the month before.

Boxes of gold-wrapped chocolates are delivered with a sweet smile. Red wine is sipped over a cozy dinner for two. Something sparkly and expensive might make an appearance, if you're very lucky. We reach out to our special someone to indulge them with love and affection. In fact, we've dedicated an entire day to going that extra mile. Well, that's the Hallmark version and we feed into it with blissful abandon.

What about the women? When do women set aside time to indulge ourselves? If you're like most women, there might be a small window of opportunity -  the third week of September between elementary and high school - to take a day for yourself. Ladies, we must make time for ourselves a priority.  In order to know our authentic selves,  we must be still enough to hear her speak. And she will speak, perhaps just a whisper at first. Listen to her and she will show you the way to your future.

Typically, women don't make the time to indulge their needs. Who has time for soul-searching when there is laundry to be washed, dinner to cook and groceries to be bought or noses wiped and little hearts to mend with a hug. I hear you loud and clear. Nevertheless, above all the din, above all the noise, you must purposefully set aside time for yourself. Just a half hour here and there will suffice - it's a start. Pamper yourself. Light a candle and meditate on the flickering flame. Run a warm bath and luxuriate.

If you think women in general do not make time to meet their needs, imagine what it must be like to be a woman who lives with chronic illness and/or daily pain. These women are busy surviving, trying to make it through the day with as much resilience and courage as they can. And with the least amount of pain while doing it. Their days are filled with struggle, marathon napping, keeping medical appointments while still attempting to deal with household chores and family life. Pampering is a pipe-dream.

But, all women must learn to close the door and turn away from the world from time to time. They must re-energize, rejuvenate and renew. It is especially difficult for women with chronic pain to find the motivation, the energy, to perform just 'one more thing' on your Type-A To Do list. But it is imperative and can be as simple as making the decision to find delight in the abundance around you. You could turn it into a theme for noted special occasions, such as Valentines Day.  Why not try some of these suggestions and see what other ones you can come up with on your own?

- if you can eat chocolate, why not give yourself a box of the best?

- try wearing pink or red lipstick for the whole month of February.

- bring flowers inside. No one ever said you can't buy a single stunning red rose for your desk or night table.

- listen to music that moves you. Soulful music. Perhaps it might be classical music that stirs you.

- light candles (unscented) and see how life slows down. Already, it oozes romance... and flatters
  mature skin!

- if you can find the energy, string up a few pretty pink or red and lacy hearts. Have someone do it for you if
  you can't manage it yourself.

- who can resist pink cupcakes dripping with icing and coconut? Or red velvet cupcakes? Or deep
  chocolate with red candy hearts? You get the idea.

- write and read poetry this month. Make up your own or (re)read the greats.

- give yourself a daily affirmation.

- don't forget about that luxurious bath with the (unscented) candles accompanied by relaxing music. Dry     yourself gently with the softest, fluffiest towel you can find.

The list for indulging yourself is limited only by your imagination and it will serve to lift your spirits.

Fibro Tip of the Day:

- ensure that you bed down in comfort. Because you're prone to pain, you may require a special mattress cover like an egg-crate, or one made of lamb's wool. The newer and more readily available mattress cover is the 'memory foam'.  Make sure the cover is a material that breathes as you don't want to become sweaty at night and make sleeping problems even worse.


  1. Great suggestions Cathy!! Thank you for the reminder to take care of me too!


  2. You're important too. Make time for yourself, give yourself a special treat.

  3. Great advice Cathy - thank you !!!

  4. I really enjoyed reading this .. remember to pamper yourself, first of all. Thanks for the ideas!! Hugs!

  5. Thanks Kaye. I am finally starting to take my own advice!

  6. This was beautifully written and I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you!