Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day The Sequel: I HEART Happiness

I once offended an IT guy who was working on my firm-issued computer for me on Valentine's Day.  Our conversation worked its way around to me admitting that I didn't like Valentine's Day because I suspected that by night's end it hurt or disappointed more souls than it lifted.  He concluded that I was single and bitter.  I wasn't actually, either.  I'm an oldest sister and my dad was a cop.  It is in my DNA to look out for people.  When I see people hurting, it hurts me.  Happiness at the expense of other people's is what I objected to and only that.

You know from following me on twitter (@mmfinck) and facebook (, that the word "love" shows up frequently ("I am loving this workshop!",  "GOAL!  I love Abby Wambach.",  "I loved Hemingway and Gelhorn.", "I LOVE this book!!") in my posts.  I wonder from time to time if my free use of that word makes my remarks comes across as insincere.  I re-read, shrug, and post.  The sentiment doesn't come from shallowness.  Inversely, depth.  I experience things deeply.  Good and bad.  I admit it.  (Common characteristic of writers, I suspect.)  I just happen to celebrate the good publicly and the bad privately.  My friend brought over her new puppy to see me the other day.  After only one short visit, I love that puppy.  I suspect that I will love her all her life until she is no longer.  Her snuggles made me deeply happy.  That feeling burrows into my heart.  I welcome it.  It fulfills me to have reciprocal, personal connections with as many things as possible.  This quote by C.S. Lewis captures it for me.
"Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives."
~ C.S Lewis

I don't say that I "don't like" Valentine's Day anymore.  I just like to expand it beyond romantic, even parental or familial, love.  I still don't prefer pre-fixe menus or extravagant gestures.  But there is little better to celebrate than:  affection, kindness, personal connection, and inviting happiness/people/things into our hearts. 
 "Come live in my heart, and pay no rent."
~ Samuel Lover, Live Heart Come

~MM Finck

[Please allow me one aside.  I wouldn't be the big sister/mother of daughters/feminist that I am if I didn't say:  Inhabitants of our hearts must be worthy of it.  "Love is not abuse."]