An Empty Nest Dog DilemmaMarlene Kern Fischer
February (especially the 14th!) can bring mixed emotions. For people who embrace the “Month of Love,” it’s an opportunity for appreciation and romance. Then there are those who can’t stand the overbearing, chocolate-covered holiday.
This February, our CollegiateParent team is putting a spin on tradition. Instead of focusing on a single day of flowers and cards, we’re showing the love all month long.
Some of us are focused on helping others through volunteering, gift giving, sharing our talents, and paying it forward. Others have decided to take more time for ourselves — re-igniting our New Year’s resolutions, and making fun, family and friends a priority.
Caroline: My act of love is sending a care package to my college freshman for Valentine's Day. This will be the first thing I have mailed him, so it’s about time!
Charlotte: I love serving my community, and back in Virginia, I was a first responder and case worker for the American Red Cross. I’m taking time in February to look for volunteer opportunities in my new home state of Colorado so I can get back to what I love — helping people! I’m also using my recent move as an excuse to send quick love/appreciation postcards to far-off friends and family.
Evanne: The elementary school students and adults at the mentoring program I volunteer with made valentines for a local retirement home. I loved getting creative with my student, and nothing beats sparkly stickers and pink construction paper.
I'll be showing my love through having patience with those around me. Giving a smile in stressful times, when others aren't. Paying it forward and giving new and old friends the attention they deserve. I'm focusing on making myself happy, because when you are truly happy so are those around you. – Mark
Rebecca: My son Brett is a freshman in college. I mailed him a care package with some love...a valentine, favorite chocolates, rose-scented air freshener, rose tea, Red Vines, red socks, a deck of cards to play the game hearts, and anything else I can dream up.
Mike: This year I am physically far away from family and friends in Pennsylvania. To feel connected emotionally, I sent my mom flowers for her birthday/Valentine's Day since they are a few days apart and I plan to speak with my family regularly on the phone and by Skype.
Shannon: Our Valentine's tradition is to make a heart-shaped meatloaf (sounds gross I know, but my kids love it!). This year is extra special because I get to spend it with my sister and nephew as well.
Austin: This month I am finally getting after my New Year's resolution to wake up every morning before dawn and get in an hour workout before work. Also, I am going to eat healthier and read more. This month I want to put time aside for fun: go paintballing, play poker, visit a brewery and listen to more live music. I want this month to be about treating myself and my friends!
Gabe: I bought my girlfriend a Dyson Vacuum since she is obsessed with cleaning and plan to drop her off at the spa!
Brittney: I’m striving to go to the gym 4-5 times a week this month to create a new and improved image for myself. Once I have lost a few pounds, I can go back to exercising outdoors and enjoying hiking and skiing.
Diane: I’m making an extra effort to see my friends in person this month — no more excuses about being too busy! My husband and I are going on more dates. And I’m looking into a new volunteer opportunity at Intercambio where I would work with adult English-language learners. Oh, and chocolate fondue!
In the month of February, the staff of CollegiateParent is committed to supporting the American Red Cross by donating blood. We hope you will consider a donation, too!