I have never really been one to celebrate Valentine’s Day. In the past, I have tended to take a cynical view of the holiday – maintaining that it was created by the greeting card company as a way to make money – and argued that everyday should be a day that you tell the people you love that you love them. It’s also my birthday, so people (i.e. ex-boyfriends) are never really sure which one they should celebrate and it always ends up being this weird combination of the two.
And because it’s my birthday I have this sense that I don’t have to get anyone else something for Valentine’s Day – no one else (unless maybe your birthday is on Christmas, I suppose) has to give gifts to other people on their birthday. Why should I?
But I’m tired of being cynical and I want to do something nice for my sweetheart for a change.
I have a wonderful husband. Truly. I am not an easy person to live with: I am moody (although less so now) and prone to withdrawing from situations that make me uncomfortable; I don’t always share my feelings right away, but let things bottle up and before you know it they are spilling everywhere, all over the clean floor; I lack self-confidence and am easily flustered by criticism, especially from the people that are closest to me; and would rather be in fitted pajama pants than a fitted skirt.
But Tim loves me anyway. And I admire him.
I admire his fortitude. He works harder, arguably harder than I do, everyday and for the last 7 months he’s been working for no pay. He passed a major milestone – completing and defending his dissertation – as a father of two. He maintains close relationships with friends across great distances and friends next door; and he strives to make all of these relationships stronger. He accomplishes everything – nearly everything – he puts his mind to and isn’t afraid to challenge himself with his goals. He is an intellectual of the highest order (watching him present his research was inspiring).
I don’t often give Tim credit for these things; I don’t always see him because I am forced to see other aspects of life that are more obvious and demanding. And that is not fair. He is my partner, and I couldn’t do this – be me in the way that I can – without him. And since I haven’t been telling him, everyday, all the reasons that I an honored to spend my life with him, I’m going to do it today. Valentine’s Day.
From A to Z, I admire Tim because he is:
- Affectionate – with everyone who matters to him.
- Bold – will shout his opinion from the rooftops; I envy the freedom that gives him to act.
- Curious – he takes things apart just to see how they are put together.
- Dedicated – to his family, friends, work, and – importantly – bettering himself.
- Engaged – see above.
- Fearless – he is not afraid of failing or succeeding. It’s beautiful.
- Gregarious – I am always grateful to have Tim with me at a party where I know no one, because he can engage anyone.
- Honest – in all aspects of his life, especially with himself and with me.
- Intentional – he doesn’t do anything without thinking about it, and has very good reason for doing what he does.
- Jovial – he makes me laugh. many times each day.
- Kind – even if it sounds harsh, his words come from a place of love.
- Loyal – he is the person you want on your side.
- Manly – i.e. good to have around for opening jars.
- Nuanced – when you think you know him, you learn something new.
- Open-minded – willing to accept new ideas & people.
- Perceptive – he knows when something is wrong even when I don’t.
- Questioning – always looking for something to learn.
- Rational – sometimes to a fault?
- Sympathetic – he can put himself in anyone’s shoes, see things from your perspective.
- Tactful – careful with what he says under the most delicate of situations.
- Under-appreciated – and under paid and under valued.
- Visionary – will do great things when given the chance.
- Warm – he will pay attention when you speak, and you will feel appreciated.
- X-ray vision – just kidding, but would be cool.
- Young-at-heart – still loves to laugh.
- Zoetic – full of life.
Thank you, love.