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A New Perspective for Valentine’s Day 2021

February 15, 2021
by Beth Thomason

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I’m a cynic. I just don’t get it. Why do we need a designated day to tell people we love them? Shouldn’t we be doing that every day? I’ve always thought of this holiday as a made-up day to sell an insane number of cards, flowers, and candy to try to rid us of our mid-winter blues.

But am I missing something? I think maybe I am. As with most things in life, it boils down to attitude, and I simply have a bad attitude about this holiday.

Sure, Valentine’s Day is a nice day to express your affection to that someone special (if you have one), but I think it’s less about romantic love and more about genuine love and gratitude. So, I’m changing my attitude to gratitude. And last week at FUEL, my teammates showed me what that means and, unbeknownst to them, they changed my perspective about this holiday I’ve loved to loathe for so long.

Celebrating with Cards, Cocktails & Creativity

Our social committee–one of several committees at FUEL focused on growth, improvement, and fun–organized a Valentine’s Day card exchange with our teammates. I reacted to this news with an eye roll, but when I received a card from my “secret valentine” and read messages from my FUEL family about the cards they received, I got it. By taking the time to express how much you enjoy working with someone and how they inspire you and make you love your job, you made someone feel appreciated and loved. There was something special in this simple gesture. I have my Valentine’s Day card on display on my desk. That’s a first! On a side note, I quickly realized I have to up my game when it comes to card/gift exchanges at FUEL. A lot of thought and creativity went into the cards, messages, and gifts, and I can’t just throw something together last minute. Duly noted for next time.

We continued the celebration with a virtual happy hour where we all gathered on zoom for some cocktails and creativity. Equipped with mini canvases, paint, and brushes, we went to town painting together to create masterpieces inspired by a favorite love song, something you love, or what Valentine’s Day means to you. I am in no way, shape, or form skilled at drawing or painting, so to say I was quite intimidated by this activity surrounded (virtually) by insanely talented graphic artists, illustrators, designers, and calligraphists is an understatement. I can’t even draw stick figures, but it was fun. And I’m grateful for the time spent with my new FUEL family.

Expressing Gratitude for our Healthcare Heroes

Taking gratitude to another level for Valentine’s Day, our community committee coordinated an agency-wide effort to gather goodies and deliver care packages to healthcare workers in ER departments at local hospitals and at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic this weekend. My house was the designated delivery spot for the FUEL team’s donations, and the outpouring of generosity for this effort was amazing! There were boxes and bags of snacks, candy, gum, hand sanitizer, water, and more. Again, it’s all about gratitude. We’re grateful for the sacrifices our healthcare workers make every day–and have especially made over the past year caring for COVID patients–and our team showed an outpouring of gratitude through their donations and handmade, handwritten cards of appreciation and love.

Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day comes every year on February 14. This year, I decided to love it. Gratitude is a sweet thing.

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