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note to self: go outside

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." —  Henry David Thoreau credit My phone died recently. Not like died because of its charge — permanently died. I'm not the only one whom this has happened to, I'm sure, and this isn't a complaint. Rather, it's an observation on how different the landscape of my life has been without it. I've been reading more, watching more TV, doing less doomscrolling. I found that I've missed my phone a lot less and simultaneously a lot more than I expected. And I've been noticing a difference in my mental state. My mental health is, apparently, linked in part to the device I hold in my hand 99% of the time. Who knew? However, it's still been challenging lately, for more reasons than just my phone, and my sister invited me to go outside with her. Th

Valentine's Day Facts

Originally posted on my HSB blog, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day is often linked with cards, chocolate, and generally showing love to one another. But what is the true meaning?

Valentine's Day comes from a feast celebrated by the Romans. The feast took place on February 14th and honored two men named St. Valentine. It's not certain which one was associated with romance, or how the holiday got that meaning, but they were both Christian martyrs.

There's not much known about either of the two men, but one legend says that Valentine (we don't know which one), a priest, disobeyed the emperor Claudius II's decree that young men were not to be married. Valentine didn't agree with the law, and so performed marriages in secret. Unfortunately, Claudius II found out, and had Valentine thrown in jail. On the night before he was executed, he wrote a note addressed to his "Beloved" and signed it "Your Valentine". We don't know exactly who his "Beloved" was, but it may have been the jailer's daughter, whom he befriended and prayed for.

Another legend says that people wrote notes to Valentine while he was in prison, and hid them between rocks and cracks in the cell walls. He would then read the notes and pray for the people who wrote them.

St. Valentine's note is very likely where the concept for sending Valentine's Day cards to one another came from. Take time this month to pray for those you love or surprise them with some hidden notes or special words of encouragement.

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