If the benchmark for a successful Valentine’s Day includes a shop-worn half-dozen saran-wrap laden bouquet of red roses, a few out of date Ferrero Rocher chocolates and an off-brand greeting card with the word “love” mistyped, then I have hit the mother-load jackpot. Yes it seems that the only time the “ex-boyfriend” can even remember Valentine’s Day is when I am gone for good. And by gone I mean I have thoughts of Cancun at Spring Break and Vegas escapades that can only be recalled with the assistance of iPhone photos and Visa debit card receipts. Yep too little, too late. The gas station roses just won’t quite make up for two and half years of sub-par treatment and caviar dreams. I mean seriously, did you really think that ringing my doorbell at 10:24 pm Valentine’s night was going to impress me. No. What really impressed me was the $6 amazing cocktail I had at Flavor in Del Mar and the two extremely well-mannered and polished twenty-something young men that had enough class and maturity to hold an intelligent conversation with us for half the evening. So how does love lost but identity gained have anything to do with a woman’s blog? And by God Milena, how does it relate to running? Well here is my parallel so listen closely ladies. You may want to put away the Droid, turn off the Mac Book Pro and instead pour a great glass of lambrusco and take note. It really all has to do with attitude.
You have all heard the saying “No one wants to play with the toy until someone else does.” It seems that saying not only holds true in the dating world, but in all aspects of life. Your kids don’t want to pay attention to you until suddenly their best friend notices how awesome “Mrs. Kellerman” is. Your husband really doesn’t seem to take notice of the ten pounds you lost until his best friend points it out. Even the dog tends to take for granted your dedicated outings to the dog park until you are too busy a few days to take him and he misses out on the chance to see that oh-so-fine Bichon Frise with the perfect puppy pedicure. Yep, you are officially transparent, or so it seems. And then one day you have had enough. Instead of packing lunch you give the kids money and let them “fend for themselves” at the school cafeteria. Instead of making sure your husband has his favorite stock of Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Potato Chips on hand, you conveniently print out a MapQuest with explicit directions from your house to the closest location. And instead of taking Mr. Biggles to the pooch park, you hire K-9 Commando, owned and operated by a former CIA agent who now will teach the chocolate lab all the commands he missed out during his formative years. And what do you do with all this new free time. Simple, you put on your running shoes, head out the door with your new Jaybird headphones (my pick for the ultimate all-time favorite running headphone) and take yourself on a much needed, much deserved, long-overdue run. The time alone is worth all the trips to Nordstrom in the world, and the message you are sending to those around you (that mom has boundaries) is actually going to help everyone around you be much happier and healthier. Now they start to look inside to problem-solve and actually can reflect about the efforts other’s go through when then love and care for someone. I always say actions speak louder than words. I used to tell my ex that consistently but he didn’t seem to understand, want to hear or choose to listen. He had two and half years to figure out the importance, meaning and love that comes with that phrase. Unfortunately, he figured it a few months after I left and Valentine’s Day came and he had no one to spend it with. He left flowers on my doorstop along with a voicemail that was garbled between tears, an attempt to clear himself of the guilt he doesn’t want to deal with and a few long-winded apologies. I contemplated leaving the six red half-dead roses out on the porch. However, the lover of beauty in me brought them in, placed them in a vase and waited to see if they would come back to life. I deleted the voicemail and didn’t return the call. The roses were completely wilted the next day. Take back your power by under-doing, leaving the heavy lifting alone and do it with love in your heart and a smile and kind words. Those around you will sit up and take notice. You deserve the respect. I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. And if it wasn’t what you wanted it to be, then here are my suggestions. Go buy yourself a dozen roses, a new pair of running shoes and some Jaybird headphones. You will thank yourself down the road!