Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago...

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It’s the middle of the worst time of the winter–and this Chicago winter weather’s a real bear so far! Two feet of snow in one day; dirty, ice-encrusted mountains now of three and more feet high—even close to three stories in some of the big parking lots. Plus I’ve been fighting a severe case of bronchitis-cum-crud for more than two weeks, including a trip to the ER for coughing that was keeping me sleeping bolt upright far too long. Hope you’re doing better than that…

Monday is Valentine’s Day. A day to treasure yourself and your friends with words and even cards or hearts. Some single women tend to get down because they don’t have romance in their lives on this day. Why surrender to that kind of thinking? Put romance in your own life—take a bath with rose petals. Pour yourself a glass of champagne; treat yourself to a really special chocolate or other fabulous dessert. Seriously, find a really good chocolate shop and buy yourself a couple of favorites. Do it at home alone, or do it with friends—at home or out somewhere. Buy yourself a beautiful piece of lingerie if you love that sort of thing; you will know you’re wearing it. Or even treat yourself to a beautiful new piece of jewelry.

Tree decorated for Valentine's Day in San Dieg...

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But it can be most rewarding to share with your friends. Spend an evening together—talk about all the fun things you do in your lives. Talk about the fun times you’ve had. Plan an excursion together. Surprise each other with thoughtful little gifts. Women are each other’s greatest supports—a day like Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to honor that truth. Who cares what anyone else is doing?

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A beautiful Valentine idea for all SWWANs and friends

Thanks for this wonderful idea from Beth Bradfish, single-working-woman publisher of Express Harmonies and owner of Beth Bradfish, Inc. workshops and seminars.

A Heart-made Valentine
February, 2009

“Get out your scissors and paste.” Remember the valentines you made when you were a kid? How much fun was that?!

Here’s a way to do that again with a grown-up twist that promises a powerful impact.

Step 1. Thinking about your loved one, identify his or her three greatest strengths. If you need some words to choose from, try this list from Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happiness (Simon & Schuster, 2002): curiosity, love of learning, judgment, ingenuity, social intelligence, perspective, value, perseverance, integrity, kindness, loving, citizenship, fairness, leadership, self-control, prudence, humility, appreciation of beauty, gratitude, hope, spirituality, forgiveness, humor and zest.

Step 2. For each of the strengths you choose for your loved one, write down a recent admirable example in which he or she displayed this strength. (See #1 below for an example of what this might look like.)

1. Strength: KINDNESS

Example: Monday, before you left for work, you cleaned the snow and ice off my car windows. That was so kind of you and reminds me of all the kind and thoughtful things you do for me and so many other people.

2. Strength: _________________

Example:

3. Strength: _________________

Example:

Step 3. Draw a nice big red heart around what you’ve written and hand it to your loved one on Valentine’s Day. (And then wait for a big smile to break out!)

“What underlies this exercise is the importance of the ideal self, both in our own mind and in that of our partner. The ideal self is the image we hold of the very best we are capable of, our highest strengths realized and active. When we feel that we are living up to the ideals that we hold most dearly, we are gratified, and exercising these strengths produces more gratification. When our partner sees this as well, we feel validated, and we work harder not to disappoint our partner’s faith in us.” –Martin Selgman from Authentic Happiness.

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