Happiness,  Special Topics

Valentine, Beekeepers and Benefits

The most wonderful thing just showed up on one of my social media feeds. According to the photo, St. Valentine was the patron saint of beekeepers. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to this patron saint thing, but I love the idea of St. Valentine looking over the bees and the beekeepers, today and every day. Oddly enough, I had started this post before reading that and, one of the first things on my list? Beekeepers. Hearts and flowers don’t happen without those who nurture and protect our precious pollinators.

[bctt tweet=”I love the idea of St. Valentine looking out for bees and their keepers.” username=”AndreaPatten”]

I’m feeling a lot of extra love for emergency responders who gently and efficiently delivered one of my closest friends to the ER just last week. Once there, her path was crossed by a neurologist who pointed the emergency room doctor toward the zebra (aka rare condition) that could have cost her life. And while today we are focused on gratitude?  Friends, first responders, and zebras are pretty high on my list most days.

While I’m thinking of thankless jobs, let’s all send a little love to domestic violence, sexual assault, and child protection advocates. Do you know many of them are in as much danger from the systems in which they work than the violence they face when walking into strangers’ homes? Our politicians talk a lot about valuing children and families but the people who do this important work are poorly paid, often with few or no benefits. You would also be surprised at the number of supervisors (and high-ranking officials) who insist these workers make visits to the homes of people who have threatened their lives.  I’m sure most people aren’t aware. I need to believe you wouldn’t tolerate this sort of treatment of those who intervene on behalf of our most vulnerable. It’s past time to hold our elected officials accountable for creating and maintaining a system that doesn’t work.

[bctt tweet=”#Politicians talk about valuing children and families; it’s past time to hold them accountable for creating and maintaining systems that don’t work.” username=”AndreaPatten”]

Oops. I’m getting a bit too soap-boxy here so how about a loving shoutout to the friends who help me laugh at myself when I do stupid things? (I keep them busy. You’re welcome.) And the people in the neighborhood who have come up with unusual and beautiful color schemes for their houses? And the ones who pick up after their dogs?

Favorite Husband and I are not people who perform romance on demand. Frankly, neither of us cares much for anything “on demand.” With 364 other days of the year to declare our undying love, we have consciously stepped away from gag-inducing commercialism, over-priced flowers, and impossible dinner reservations. And if any of those are meaningful to you? Wonderful. Enjoy. We’ve got something fun planned with friends a little later in the day — after I get to put in some time working with a wonderful teammate on a favorite project. Writing this paragraph gives me a glow reminiscent of ET’s heart light. Perfect days often do.

[bctt tweet=”We have consciously stepped away from gag-inducing commercialism, over-priced flowers, and impossible dinner reservations.” username=”AndreaPatten”]

I shamelessly adore teachers and librarians but probably none more so than those in Philadelphia who stopped waiting for city officials to address the opioid crisis and took it upon themselves to learn how to save lives with Narcan. Remember The 5 Love Languages? I think these folks define love in action.

Artists. All of them– especially my college roommate who celebrates Gal-entine’s Day. That’s a tradition I think I’d like to adopt. Let’s not forget the writers ranging from old-school journalists who tirelessly chase down leads to bring important stories to our attention, those who take time from their own work to read others’ work, and those who pretend not to pull out their hair while organizing multi-authored projects. (And the one who remembers to bring the goodies to help turn even mundane meetings into some sort of celebration.)

And without a lot of explanation, I’m going to ask you to send some love to the people in supermarket parking lots who leave their grocery carts *beside* the cart corral. They’re probably thoughtless and inconsiderate in other parts of their lives and might need our love lights most of all.





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