There Are Many Ways to Say I Love You

It’s giving someone the last bite of apple pie.

When my husband makes me a sandwich, he often gives me the bread heel, because he knows I love it. He also happens to love it, so that makes the sacrifice even more special. He also scratches my back without me having to ask, and he holds my hand when I’m going down the stairs because, let’s face it, I’m a klutz.

There are many ways to say I love you.

It’s remembering someone’s shoe size or their favorite flower. It’s putting up with insane relatives. It’s making sure someone is wearing their seatbelt.

It’s dropping someone off at the front door so they can avoid the rain. It’s handing them their vitamins after breakfast. It’s taking better care of yourself so you’ll be able to take care of someone else.

There are many ways to say I love you.

Sometimes, I love you means biting your tongue. Sometimes it means speaking up. It always means listening.

It’s giving someone else the last bite of apple pie. It’s sharing your secrets. It’s trusting and being trustworthy.

There are many ways to say I love you.

It’s stepping aside and it’s stepping up. It’s walking hand in hand, and it can sometimes be walking away. It’s sitting through a movie that wouldn’t have been your first choice.

Anything that demonstrates that you have given thought to what makes someone happy is a resounding I love you. Putting someone else first is another I love you (if you find the right balance). Allowing yourself o be vulnerable is perhaps one of the biggest I love you’s of all.

There are many ways to say I love you.

But sometimes people just want to hear the words. That’s important, too. Never assume someone knows. Tell them. If you truly feel it, you’ll never regret saying it.

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear reader.

heart-of-hearts

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Cautious? Me?

She found it really hard to imagine that anyone could be more cautious than I am.

During my wedding ceremony, one of the things I said to my husband-to-be was, “You’re the more cautious one.” Afterward, a friend came up to me and expressed her total shock about that. In a nice way. She’s a pure delight. But the implication was that she found it really hard to imagine that anyone could be more cautious than I am.

That, to me, is really fascinating.

Okay, standing beside that friend, I’m sure I come off as shy and retiring. She’s amazing. She’s colorful. She’s larger than life. Total strangers will stop her on the street to talk to her. (Which is wonderful, unless you’re with her and happen to be in a hurry.) She lights up every room that she enters. She’s got that indescribable “it” factor. Rock on, my friend!

But my being quiet, thoughtful, and ever-so-slightly slower moving does not necessarily equate with caution. Let’s review:

I’ve been to 19 countries.

I lived in Mexico, all alone, when I was 19.

I spent a summer away from home, doing construction work on an Air Force Base, when I was 16.

I used to camp deep in the forests of Appalachia, a week at a time, with only my dogs for company.

I survived a childhood of sexual abuse.

I have met several friends face to face that I had previously only known on line.

I worked graveyard shift, in total isolation, for 13 years.

I sold my house and moved three hours south, where I knew no one, to go back to college.

I started over, yet again, moving 3100 miles from Florida to Seattle, at age 49. It was a place where I had never been, and where I knew no one.

I managed not to have children despite intense societal pressure.

I got married for the first time at age 53.

Have poured my heart and soul out in this daily blog since 2012, revealing things about myself that many people wouldn’t even have told their best friends.

I’ve published a book.

None of this sounds particularly cautious to me.

I may not be flamboyant or loud or outgoing, but does that mean I’m cautious? Hell to the no!

Brave Cat