Tonight I ended up sitting alone at my favorite local restaurant. In the restaurant, there’s string lights and music playing, which is crawling at my eye ducts. Just cry already, the music begs. I try to keep my thoughts on what’s most important, “Oh I love the taste of this dressing!” And “These boots were a good choice today.” And of course, “I wonder if the kids miss me? Its been two hours. Maybe I need to cut this short and cuddle with them.” My phone dings a few times and interrupts my thought process…
It’s my family, and the group thread is buzzing. Everyone’s declaring their love in sweet and short messages. Text PDA, if you will.
Earlier in the day, I talked to two friends on the phone. And before that, I spent a hour at the kids’ school helping with their Valentine’s Day party. Before that, I had two conference calls. And yet, in-between the music and string lights, mysterious dressing, and inevitable people watching, there was an inner settling with what was my Valentine’s Day. A settling that was cradled by the day’s connections of family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. To feel love any day, and in any hour in these times is grand generosity. It feels revolutionary.
I urge you to take a moment and keep on loving. Keep trying. Keep making things you love. Love who you want to love. Identify what isn’t love. Break old habits of lovelessness. Fall in love. And by all means, just honestly, allow love in. Whatever form, friends, lovers, an ex, your children, family, and strangers. Allow it within yourself and give it to others.
And in the spirit of love, here are five easy ways to stay connected to your friends and family:
- Create the group thread. And laugh when you look at your phone and find 200 unread messages. Maybe put it on silent. But always return when you’re free to.
- Plan a date or trip. Even if it is just planning, love lives in hope.
- Give a sweet surprise. A small package. (Such a cool idea! You can use code LATONYA for 10% off your first order)
- Pick out a book or show you both are invested in and agree to read/watch it together long-distance. Commiserate over late-might text and mid-meeting emoji’s.
- Send the email and carve out time for the call.
(Photography by Heather Moore for LaTonya Yvette)