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Monthly Archives: February 2011

I know this post is a bit late, but I just found this interesting tidbit out, and actually, I keep hearing this from friends as well. Even if it’s just a myth it’s worth the pause: If you’ve been trying to fit in a monumental Decision before February is out—don’t. Here’s why.

Call it post-January failed-resolutions blues maybe, because all the excitement of a new year is beginning to wear off, holiday bills start coming in, and Valentine’s Day hits you in the face. February is NOT a month to make any life-altering decisions. Whatever it is, it’s definitely testing my resolve on many itching-to-make-a-change fronts.

Unless you’re totally sure and this decision is coming at the tail end of lots of introspection (as in, months’ worth), another week won’t kill you, and will probably help you make a better decision.

Thinking of quitting your job or throwing in the towel for a resolution? Give it some more time.

Itching to be proactive and meet someone new? Wait till spring…you know, love is in the air and all that stuff? Did your significant other just propose? Tell them to hold on a sec (just kidding, of course).

They say timing is everything. Did you make any big decisions this month?

NOT my bedroom...yet.{source: sheknows.com}

Is it just me, or does the recent 70-degree weather need to stay? Just in time, too, because February has been dragging on and there’s only so much spring fever I can take!

I’m sure you’ve probably heard of feng shui. Oh you know, that “ancient Chinese system of aesthetics believed to use the laws of both Heaven (astronomy) and Earth (geography) to help one improve life by receiving positive chi” (courtesy: Wikipedia).

I.e., a fancy way of saying spring cleaning.

Sometimes the best way to shift from negative energy to positive, or to shake up things that have gone stale, is to clear out the ghosts, in whatever form they might take. I’ve recently moved (temporarily) back to live at my parents’ house, so lucky me, I have many ghosts. (I tell you, it’s quite something to wake up in the room you slept in as a high school freshman.) While I figure out where to go next, I’ve been tossing out waaaaay old school papers, bon-firing photos of past loves that for some reason I held onto, and trashing lots of medals and plaques from high school and college.  (Who wants to remember past glory? Not me! Talk about depressing!)

So, while researching the feng shui idea just for kicks, I came across some interesting notes on how to use the concept to jumpstart or resuscitate your love life:

  • The bedroom must “support romance“–and it’s important to focus on a few specific areas. Such as  the wall across from the foot of your bed and what you see when you first enter the room: they should be filled with romantic-symbol-ific stuff, like hearts or roses or fat little cherubs. (Um, can I just dig up my Dirty Dancing poster? I’ll take someone like Patrick Swayze in a heartbeat.)
  • Pair up lone objects. A single candle or figurine flying solo on your dresser is a big DON’T, apparently.
  • Create space. Whether you’re looking for new romance or just wanting to improve a current one, that’s the feng shui key. Make space in your living quarters, everything from your closets to your bookshelves and cabinets. The idea is that all your STUFF represents your energy, and there’s no room for someone else’s energy in your life if they can’t fit their Macbook on your too-cluttered desk.

Hmm, does that mean if I do too good a job with cleaning my childhood bedroom, Mr. Love-of-My-Life’s energy will find me lightning fast and decide to move in with my parents too? Better tone it down…

Have you ever used the principles of feng shui to re-balance the energies of your (love) life?

My day is alternating between this:

and this:

Ah, bliss…slash disgust at the massive commercialization of this holiday AND at the sudden Facebook trend to change your profile pic to you and your loved one…sorry, but give me a break!

I know I said I like Valentine’s Day (I do! I think), but sweet contentment is, ironically, all the more difficult to achieve on a holiday.

Anyway, a wonderful Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones! Enjoy this day of secret admirers, candy, flowers…and sudden bursts of love on social media for all the world to see. And if you’re feeling down, well, eat a heart-shaped cookie.

What do you think about the Facebook trend? I swear this wasn’t around last year. Is it too cute for words, or does it just exercise your gag-me reflex?

{source: curbly.com}

Personally, I think the only gifts that are totally lame are ones in which little thought was put in (perhaps that’s why the perennial chocolate fails to please?)  or where creepiness and romance get muddied. (Personal story: Last year someone left a flower with a note addressing it to me on my car. At work. Yeah, not only did one of the managers find it, but I never was able to figure out who left it, and there are no single guys employed at my workplace. Someone who knew what car I drove…creepy!)

Valentine’s Day really shouldn’t be tricky or cause for stress. At the end of the day, who really wants all that fuss? (OK, some people. I get that.) Well for those seeking fuss, er, look elsewhere for gift ideas. I’ve come up with a list of super simple ideas for what to get all the special people in your life, romantic or not.

For the favorite gal pal: Hearts are in. Well, duh. But, no, really, hearts never go out of style fashion-wise. You can easily find an accessory or cute piece of jewelry that incorporates a heart for that girly girl on your friend list.

For the guy: Gadgets galore. After years of puzzled bewilderment trying to buy my dad gifts, it hit me–unless you’re going super sentimental, the perfect gift for the guy in your life – any guy – is a gadget. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Anything they can pull apart and put together again is fair game. Heck, just get one of those miniature Lego box sets where they have to put together some structure or contraption. And, tools are always a quick win. Just get a hammer or screwdriver in a new color. Wrap the gift in red or pink and voila! You are the best Valentine gift giver ever.

For the kids in your life: Cards and candy never fail.  We grown-up women may frown upon the trite box of chocolates, but kids haven’t been jaded yet, and you’re sure to score success with a simple card and a box of candy, preferably one with a cartoon theme or “fun” candy, like Gummie Bears or Jolly Ranchers. So easy to shop for!

For the sentimental fools: something made from scratch. Sentimental fool,  I can definitely be one of those. If you know someone who’ll appreciate a bit of that extra silly effort, a handmade card, a batch of colorful cookies, personalized crafts (see image above), or a heartfelt handwritten letter you’ve taken the time to drop in the mail will definitely be cherished.

It really is the thought, the tiny act of thinking to give something at all, that counts. So make it simple and personalized.

Is there any type of gift you would love/hate to get on Valentine’s Day?

I know I talked a few months ago about why you SHOULD avoid your ex, but every situation is different. The ex I spoke of was, thankfully, not a member of the Facebook or Twitter species. There’s a difference between seeing someone in person and ‘seeing’ them via social media.

Apparently, the website yourtango.com is declaring an end to unhealthy online connections: they’ve declared February 13th the first ever “Break Up With Your Ex” day.

“Our mission at YourTango is to help you live your best love life, but you can’t do that when you’re tethered to the past,” says the article, and goes on to recommend that we un-friend on Facebook or un-follow on Twitter all exes or former love connections by February 14. You know, to be free of all that by Valentine’s Day.

Ah, sounds so healthy, right? Not as easy as it sounds. I know many friends who insist upon remaining friends with some or all of their exes, for one reason or another. Even if they hope to the high heavens that they never run into an ex, they won’t be the ones to break that Facebook connection.

I once un-friended a guy I sort-of dated because it seemed best not to be keeping tabs on him. Ironically, I had to see him in person nearly every day anyway due to shared activities, but the Unfriend step was like magic. It was the one thing that really got me out of that tethered-to-the-past state.

Then again, he was an absolute scumbag. (My incessant profile-viewing involved a lot of seething and un-well-wishing, NOT being heartbroken or regretful.) Scumbags aside, what is the best thing to do? Not every ex is awful, after all.

Do you categorically un-friend your former significant others, or is it done on a case-by-case basis? Or, on the flip side, do you just love having access to their profile for future stalking purposes? (Or, are you still friends with any of them?)

I always think that modern-day Valentine’s Day is sort of like that childhood pastime of daisy picking. “He loves me, he loves me not…” Just like we as youngsters put too much stock into the number of petals we counted, it seems like a lot of the old mentality still might ring true. Remember in middle school and high school when the SCA brought around the carnations that you were able to buy for a dollar and give to someone? And if you didn’t get something from your crush, you were, well, crushed! Have we really changed all that much?

It could be that we put too much emphasis on what our significant others give us on Cupid’s day (or whether we get something at all). According to a study done by David McCandless and Lee Byron on break-up trends, it looks like Valentine’s Day is just the beginning of a slow climb to peak Break Up central around spring break. (The data was collected via status updates on Facebook , which we all know is totally infallible and COMPLETELY REFLECTIVE of real life, so take it for what you will.) Not a total shocker, though. If one person has certain expectations and another just doesn’t get the fuss, clashes happen.

For better or worse, Valentine’s Day brings out emotions in us all: pain, heartache, joy, cynicism, and sheer utter annoyance. And it’s nothing if not a little ironic–even if you don’t care about the holiday, or what you get or didn’t get, there’s always someone who thinks you SHOULD care (been in a store lately?). Funnily enough, I actually like Valentine’s Day! As with anything, a little moderation and style go a long way…even for such a ridiculously commercialized day.

Whether you love or hate the holiday, it’s just two weeks away, so you better start figuring out what to do, whether it’s sending flowers to a significant other, emailing a quirky e-card to friends, or hand-making a valentine card for your neighbor (or any mix-and-match of the above). And there’s nothing wrong with boycotting the holiday altogether, either. (Um, just be sure not to leave your house if that’s the case, because you will run into someone carrying a huge bouquet of flowers and/or giant heart-shaped balloons– guaranteed.) But whatever you decide to do, do it with love!

Is February 14th a hated day of the year for you? Would you break up with someone for not getting you a special gift, or, would you break up with someone to avoid the pressure of coming up with the perfect Valentine’s Day gesture?

In honor of this not-to-be-hated holiday, I’ll be posting some gift ideas for all the people in our lives soon!