The Evolution of Love and Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is around the corner and if you examine the history of it and its sorted origins, one can’t help but compare it to the evolution of love through our own lives and how it changes as we age.
In the beginning, love is elementary and given to all. Perhaps your story is like mine. I remember quite clearly the earlier Valentine’s Day celebrations. In elementary school, you would have a Valentine’s Day party during the last hour of the school day. We would all be prepared to deliver little Valentine’s Day cards and treats to our fellow classmates. Everyone gave and received a token of love to and from each class member.
“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved…”
Singular but Cryptic Love
In 4th or 5th grade, I recall spending the night before the Valentine’s Day party picking special Valentine’s Day cards out for a few special friends. The entire class still gave and received cards but you knew through cryptic messages who was special to you and who you were special to.
“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”
–Zora Neale Hurston
Middle school changes everything! In our school, you could buy a red or pink carnation and have it delivered to a special someone on Valentine’s Day. The cost of this token was $1. The flowers were passed out during school. When you received one, all eyes were on you. Blushing was inevitable. If you gave one, your heart would pound with adrenaline while you knew your flower was being delivered to your crush! The impact was fast and fleeting. Five minutes later, life was back to normal.
“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.”
Love and Loss
There are a few lucky ones that meet their soulmates in high school, but for most of us, this is the stage of great love and loss. You give everything you have only to lose it all. Somehow, we think that is it. Our love story has come and gone and that is it forever. If only we knew the treasures that lie ahead. In high school, love is sweet and true but lacks depth. Valentine’s Day means teddy bears, roses, heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolate and sometimes an item of costume jewelry that one promises to treasure for life.
“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.”
After experiencing such loss, an era of self-love emerges. The me, me, ME phase. Staying unattached during this time frees you up to become rich in experience, education and whatever else you chose to fill your bucket with. Valentine’s Day is most likely spent at the Bar with friends celebrating your freedom or out in nature enjoying your solitude.
“Continue to share your heart with people even if it has been broken.”
This era of love is no longer associated with age. This phase can happen anytime and almost always when you least expect it. This era of love is mature and begins to define our lives. It may or may not be singular. Regardless, this is when the seed of true love is planted. We meet someone new, and everything starts to change. The self-love love you knew prior completely fades. We start to intertwine our daily lives with that special someone. In the springtime, things grow quickly. Hearts are renewed, minds are tied up with thoughts of another, and futures are blown open with possibilities. Valentine’s Day celebrations are surprise getaways, fancy dinners, and steamy nights.
“I love her, and it is the beginning of everything.”
–F. Scott Fitzgerald
Commitments are made in this phase. Plans are secured, vacations are taken, houses bought, and families planned. Whew! Life goes 100mph and you still can’t get enough. Days stretch on but they feel like they are flying by. Valentine’s Day during this era is a new puppy, keys to your shared house, or the earrings that you truly treasure for life.
“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get–only with what you are expecting to give–which is everything.”
In the Deep Fall phase of love, all the plans you made have come to fruition. With that comes responsibility. You have mouths to feed, dogs to walk and bills to pay. Life is rich and you find that your love has so many layers now. Albright exhausting! Valentine’s Day celebrations are quiet days spent at home together, a bath drawn, or a car washed. Service projects to show you love and care about the other person who is the cornerstone of your life.
“Where there is love there is life.”
Together you built a life and lived it. In this phase you wind down and rest. Things don’t move as fast as they once did but its nice. This pace gives you time for reflection and your heart is filled with awe and gratitude for the journey you were able to take with that other person. Valentine’s Day is spent giving a heartfelt card that says it all or maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t celebrated at all because every day together is a testament of your love. And then it ends. Love retreats. Whether its by death or a breakup, our love cycle ends.
“’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
–Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The Cycle of Life Kicks You Back to The Beginning
Don’t tell me you thought that was it?!? Ha! The cycle of life kicks you back to the beginning. No matter how long your love cycles last, you will find yourself back at the beginning. Such is life and love.
“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
How has your love evolved through time? Share your stories with us and we will publish them on our next blog. Send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sending Love to Seniors
The entire Sierra Senior Services Team wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day and wants to remind you that we are here for you. There are times in life when we all feel alone and isolated. If you are having trouble feeling happy, it’s time to get help. You don’t have to suffer alone. Resources are at your fingertips and there are people that care.
For highly reviewed grief support services, reach out to Tahoe Forest Hospital District Hospice Services. They offer one-on-one counseling, support groups, and other special services. Adjusting to life without a loved one takes time, and a variety of support services are available. For additional information, please call 582-3534.
The California Department of Aging has a website with several resources for aging individuals. Check it out: www.aging.ca.gov. Also, check out our local connection points. There is help available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling the numbers below:
Placer Country – (833) 342-5211
Nevada Country – (833) 342-5211
Washoe Country – (866) 535-5654
Sierra Senior Services is the local Meals on Wheels provider covering the Greater Truckee/Lake Tahoe region. We provide home-delivered meals, and can make referrals for additional support services that empower seniors to continue living independently. Sierra Senior Services is a California 501-(c)-3 Non-profit Corporation · Tax ID 68-0484075 Contribute today!