Valentine’s Day Memories: I (Heart) My Kids

appy Valentine’s Day!

I heard a great little phrase the other day, in (of all places) a radio ad: “Valentine’s Day isn’t about saying ‘I Love You,’ it’s about saying ‘I Love Us.'”

I think that’s a nice thought. It’s great to say you love your sweetheart, but you should appivapp probably be doing that every day, in many ways. But are you also in love with the relationship you have? And are you in love with ALL your personal relationships?

I used to have four kids, but they all grew up. When they were little, I insisted on making Valentine’s Day a special celebration not just of the romantic relationship I had with their mother, but of the loving relationship we all enjoyed as a family. I worked for a newspaper, so I got a nice discount on Valentine classified ads, and I bought one for each of my kids, each year. (I still wonder to this day if any of them ever read those ads.) And each year, Daddy took February 14 off, we all dressed up in our best clothes, and we went to dinner someplace fancy (usually up in the mountains – super special).

Mommy got a big box of chocolates, which she always opened in front of the kids. And each kid got a little box of chocolates. My hope, of course, was to celebrate our love as a family, and also to teach my kids about love, a little at a time.

These days, about once a month, we have a “family dinner” at our home in Colorado. The “kids” who live close enough make the drive down, and we have a nice home meal and a fun evening. They stay over, and we go to breakfast the next morning. This month’s family dinner was this past Saturday, and it was great! And because of the proximity to Valentine’s Day, of course, presents were handed around at breakfast the next morning. And it made us feel a little nostalgic, thinking about those other Valentine’s dinners, many years ago.

I wish you health, wealth, and inspiration… and I hope you are living your whole life with as much emphasis on love as possible. In your personal life, start some traditions that celebrate love and teach it to your kids. I highly recommend it. Maybe my Valentine’s Day tradition doesn’t feel right to you – I can understand wanting to reserve the holiday for romance – but there must be something you can do to bring focus and emphasis to love and relationships within your home.

(If my family’s tradition does sound good to you, feel free to steal it!)

And in your professional life, corny as it sounds, bring love to your work! This is one of the greatest recommendations I can make to my clients who want to be inspirational leaders. There are two kinds of people out there – “Victims” and “Entrepreneurs” – and only when we are operating as Entrepreneurs do we have the spirit to be leaders. And the truly inspirational leaders do what they do because they, like all Entrepreneurs, have a mission to contribute to others. To be inspiring, they have to start by being inspired… and working from a place of love is a great fast-track to inspiration.

It’s a sad world out there, and we’re troubled by everything from global economic chaos to fast-paced multi-tasking lives that seem to leave us with little time each day for the things that are most important. Let Valentine’s Day be a reminder that we must not let the best parts of our lives slip away from us while we’re distracted by things like work. Take personal responsibility to invest in inspiration. Make an investment in love, and in the important relationships you enjoy with the people in your life.

Michael Hume is a speaker, writer, and consultant specializing in helping people maximize their potential and enjoy inspiring lives. As part of his inspirational leadership mission, he coaches executives and leaders in growing their personal sense of well-being through wealth creation and management, along with personal vitality.

Michael and his wife, Kathryn, divide their time between homes in California and Colorado. They are very proud of their offspring, who grew up to include a homemaker, a rock star, a service talent, and a television expert. Two grandchildren also warm their hearts! Visit Michael’s web site



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