Encouraging people to evolve and create new opportunities at any age.

Get Ready for Valentine's Day 2018!

Valentine’s Day 2017 has just passed.  I hope yours was a happy one.  Thanks to smart merchandising and the power of advertisements, it would be pretty hard to ignore the displays of cards, flowers and candy - handy to purchase just in time to remind that special someone of fidelity and love.  
For many of my clients, unfortunately, these displays serve as reminders of dreams that didn’t come true:  that special someONE who was always going to be there, providing  happiness forever after. In some cases, there was a loved someONE, but he (or she) is no longer around – either because of death or divorce.  In other cases, there is someONE present but the relationship is not loving or supportive.  Often, I’m told that truthfully, the relationship was never romantic – sometimes even verging on abusive.  However, the spouses have stuck it out through child-rearing and all the tasks and goals of the first half of life.  Now retired, the spouses find the someONE they see across the breakfast table, is not someone to be counted on for joy or support.  They have no desire to either give or receive Valentines.
So, guess what? It’s time to work on next year’s Valentines Day! What?  I’m not  suggesting that you begin an intense search for the RIGHT someONE or that you begin shopping early for cards and gifts!  Instead, that you start – right now – enhancing relationships with OTHER special people in your life.  
The concept that someONE person will appear and that this person will be all that is needed forever – comes right out of fairy tales.  Believing in the fairy tale is what gets the unwary dreamer in trouble.  In reality, we all need many people in our lives if we want to have a generous supply of energy, love, and joy available for us.  It takes real effort to form the right support network.  It’s so much easier to just “wish on a star” for the prince to come.  The Eavesdropping Pages had a good time discussing this subject and you can find more about it in the chapter “Building a Village.”
I’m recommending “Valentine Events” scattered all through the year – special time with those who matter to you or to people you’ve just met who might be fun.  These events don’t need to be expensive and they don’t even have to take a lot of time:  meeting a friend for breakfast, taking flowers to a relative, sharing ice cream with grandkids!  
What is required for a Valentine Event is simply dedicated time, away from television, cell phones, or discussions about problems. Your presence is the present that is necessary.

These Valentine Events connect us to others.  This echoes the theme from last month (see suggestions from Crowley and Lodge, authors of the Younger Next Year books and seminars).  

And here's a great example of Valentine Events and connecting to others from our readers: 
The Walking Book Club at Gail Borden Public Library District in Elgin Illinois is so much more than a book club! We have been meeting every Wednesday night at 7pm for 8 years! By meeting weekly to exercise and discuss our current selection, we connect to our books and each other in deeper ways than a typical monthly book club. We have shared meals, holidays, hobbies, outings, movies, escape rooms, career promotions, births, weddings, and losses. Reading, walking and sharing has bonded us in friendship and helped us become stronger and smarter woman. Our lives have been enriched by each other and by the nearly 100 books we have read together. The WBC has changed the way we read and changed these chapters of our lives.
Nancy Haggard is the Manager of Volunteer Services at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, Il. She is also the co-founder and one of the original members of the group.
Click here to read a recent article about the group from the Daily Herald.
You, too, can make new connections and build on them by joining a group like the Walking Book Club, a church service club, or volunteer at an area organization.  You will meet people with whom you share similar interest and find new connections.
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In January, Kendra presented her Hypertufa workshop at McKee Gardens. 
I was delighted when asked to donate a hypertufa pot to ERAF (The Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation) to be auctioned at an upcoming fundraiser.
ERAF has a dedicated professional staff, volunteers and supporters.  Their corporation is devoted to the rescue, retraining and rehabilitation of abused, slaughter-bound, abandoned and neglected horses in South Florida and the Treasure Coast. 
In close association with Sheriffs' Departments and Animal Care and Control Departments, they identify endangered horses, remove them from potentially lethal environments and work to rehabilitate and care for them.  Ultimately, they hope to find permanent homes for the horses, where they will be loved and cared for. 
Here is a link to their website.  It's so wonderful to see such a worthy cause being so successful.  Congratulations to you guys at ERAF!
Click here: horse rescue saving horses, Equine Rescue & Adoption Foundation Palm City, FL Organization
Join the conversation….

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Future Events

The Dr. is in…the Garden:
Hypertufa Workshops at various locations including McKee and Heathcote Botanical Gardens 

Visit the website for details about future events:  

We’d love for you to attend. Events Page
Copyright © 2017 Kendra Brown, Ph.D, All rights reserved.

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