Words & Banter

Thinking About Hearts On Valentine’s Day

Image by farakos on iStock


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Happy Valentine’s Day. And before you say anything, yes, I know you don’t celebrate holidays, so just humor me.


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But, I do “celebrate” February being American Heart Month since heart disease is the leading cause of death – for both men and women.


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Gee, that’s one way to turn a “fun” holiday into a real downer. Today’s supposed to be about letting people you love and care about know that you’re thinking of them. Think Hallmark cards, squishy teddy bears, chocolate hearts.


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Do I have to? I rather think about eating well and exercising. I would think you would want to make sure you are around for the people you care about.

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I do, and the irony is that I know what to do. I just can’t find the motivation to keep it going for more than a few days. But when it comes to eating well and exercising, nothing seems to deter you.

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Because every morning, I walk into a large closet filled with size 2 clothing.

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That’s funny.

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It is the truth. I have always been a clothes horse. Now, decades later, I have a significant investment hanging in my closet. And, since almost everything is timeless and classic, I would be extremely annoyed if it no longer fit.

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Well, even if that’s something us “mere mortals” can’t relate to, at least it keeps you motivated. I just don’t have anything like that in my life.

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Really? I can name two things.

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Well, I’m not sure Natasha and Sawyer would want to be referred to as “things”, but I see your point. I think I did a better job staying fit when they were younger and truly needed me every day. Plus, back when I was cooking for them, I was more focused on healthy eating.

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Those are excuses. Are you saying that now that they no longer need you as cook and chauffeur, they also do not need your life experience and unconditional love? Especially as they face the challenges of adulthood.

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Ok, now I don’t know whether to feel guilty or sad because I’m not taking good enough care of myself to always be there for them. At least, if I’m lucky, for the next 30 or 40 years.

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How about stop being so dramatic and just start taking better care of yourself? Do you remember the airplane and oxygen mask analogy?


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Absolutely. It was one of your more clever trick questions. You asked me if I was on a plane with the girls and we lost altitude, causing the oxygen masks to drop, would I first put the mask on myself or the girls. I answered, “The girls, of course.” You then pointed out that if I didn’t take care of myself first, I wouldn’t be in a position to help them.


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And everyone else that might either need you or want to have you around for a long time. But, it is your call … you can make smart decisions now or regret it later.


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Well, that’s brutally honest. But it has motivated me to go for a walk and think about how I’m going to not only begin, but maintain, a “new and improved” lifestyle. I guess, in many ways, I’m now saying Happy Valentine’s Day to myself, not you.


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Mission accomplished.
Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock

Are you taking the Dry January challenge and not having any alcohol for the month? Or, maybe you plan to drink less (but not nothing), which makes it Damp January. Or, maybe this is the first you’ve heard of it. (If so, there’s still time to start!)

Well, nothing much has changed from our approach to Dry January last year, except the one who had started drinking more last year is continuing the trend …



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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK , started Dry January , where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


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I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
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It’s January, and everyone’s probably tired of reading about New Year’s resolutions.

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Not me. Since I never make them, I never feel the need to read about them.

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Of course, you don’t. So, what should we write about?

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How about that we celebrate some of our favorite things in January?

So many “National Days” in January are fun (we’ve written about them over the years) and remind us of some of our favorite things. (Can you pick which are Red’s favorite holidays and which are Black’s?) And whether or not you make resolutions, it’s always important to have a sense of humor and enjoy the simpler things in life …

Answer: Red’s favorites are Bagels, Popcorn, and Hugging. Black’s are Clean Desk, Bagels, and Backward.

Wishing you Happy 2024 – with new beginnings and much more!