I am honored to publish a guest post written by Karen Amster-Young, co-author of The 52 Weeks: Two Women and Their Quest to Get Unstuck, with Stories and Ideas to Jumpstart Your Year of Discovery (Skyhorse Publishing). The book is available at amazon.com and in stores everywhere.
I love this book and have mentioned it in past blogs!
I know you will enjoy Karen’s take on activities for celebrating this day set aside for fun and romance. (As for me, I’m going with When Harry Met Sally!)
50 Shades Darker, 10 Things to Keep in Mind for Valentine’s Day
By Karen Amster-Young
I didn’t run to see Fifty Shades Darker, the 2nd movie made from the best-selling 50 Shades trilogy by E.L. James. It wasn’t because the early reviews weren’t great; it was more about lack of time and making choices and, let’s face it, there are better date night options if you are looking to strengthen your relationship with a significant other. Besides, the books are better. For 50 Shades of Grey, I actually went with a group of girlfriends. We laughed out loud together at the dialogue and cheesy sex scenes like a group of teenagers.
Which reinforces the point of this Valentine’s post: there are many relationships in our lives – from siblings to friends to our kids. When we’re young, we may spend time giving out love notes or something to our classmates and crushes. Now we have many relationships and they are often in need of a shot of attention. Unfortunately we don’t spend enough time on making them stronger – maybe we just never think we have enough time or, more complicated reasons leave us overthinking the matters of the heart.
When you get right down to it, relationships are everything. They fuel all aspects of our life — and without that fuel, the days can feel pretty empty. But no need to go there. Here are 10 low-impact ways you can build bonds and re-think Valentine’s Day. And, let’s face it: with the constant stream of non-stop daily news, we can all use a few days thinking about something else. In fact, on second thought, maybe going to an entertaining, trashy movie with someone isn’t such a bad idea after all!
- Plan a group date. More people around takes the focus away from you and your relationship, which can be a good thing sometimes.
- Stay in bed and finally treat yourself to a day of doing nothing. Love this quote: “You call it being alone. I call it enjoying my own company!”
- Make annoying heart cookies with your kids for their classmates. It’s really about the time together. Remember, they grow up and one day you will miss it!
- Smile more often. It actually tricks the brain. It is impossible to feel stressed if you smile.
- Married for 100 years? Recreate your first date with your spouse.
- Clean house: toxic relationships are not relationships.
- Write a real letter to your favorite aunt (or uncle, or cousin or whoever you have been, let’s face it, neglecting).
- Plan a girl’s weekend.
- Give love to a stranger: volunteer to keep someone company, read to an elderly person or make a home-cooked meal for someone in need.
- Show love to your country in whatever way is right for you.
And of course, there is always 50 Shades Darker playing in the theaters. It’s probably the perfect antidote to CNN. If you’re worried about your brain cell count, try LA LA Land instead for some romance; better yet watch old movies at home – When Harry Met Sally anyone? The best!