13 Feb 2017

Will You Be My Valentine?

Will You Be My Valentine on vickiarcher.com featuring Tim Walker

Will you be my Valentine? What does that mean?
I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, we never have.

It is not because I don’t whole-heartedly believe in love and all the angst that goes with it, I do. Valentine’s Day was simply not the deal it is today. There were the occasional “secret” cards but by the time I was well and truly in love, it wasn’t our thing.

The question of Valentine and Cupid and all that, does give me pause to ponder. If nothing else Valentine’s Day and the celebration of it makes me think about love; my love and all kinds of love. Valentine’s Day is a focus for couples and a day to mark the union of love; love for me is a 24/7 and 365 days a year deal. It is also a moment when I reflect and try to focus on self.

I don’t like the expression, “self-love”; there is something not quite right sounding in the combination of those two words. I do believe healthy, happy and profound relationships with others come about when we understand ourselves and accept ourselves. Spending time working on our self is as important as the emphasis that goes into our lives as a couple or a family.


I don’t think I understood this in my early years; it was all or nothing.

Love had to go around and love was in high demand. There was romance and children and friendships and home making and careers; time spent on the self was non-existent or minimal at best. It is only now, with a more mature head and a few decades of loving that I see the importance of this.

Can you see where I am headed? I thought so. This year, I am my own Valentine.

This year, I want to focus not only on my true love but also on myself. I will try and concentrate on the small and insignificant that matter to me and on the bigger, to ensure a future with long lasting and more meaningful relationships.

The small focuses are the hardest; habits of a lifetime are ingrained and the practised excuses part of our history. Changing those will be a challenge; I am up for it but it does means forgiveness must be forthcoming and in abundance. No more blame; acceptance and responsibility, yes. Guilt is last year’s word and forgiveness is on top of the list.

Love and forgiveness so often go hand in hand.

And who is always the most difficult to forgive? Ourselves. But how can we change and be more loving, if we don’t forgive and wipe the slate clean? Many of us are our own worst critics.

That’s okay as long as criticism is in balance with an affirming pat on the back.

My own experience would tell me it is not an easy balancing act. There are copious quantities of, I wish I, I should have, why didn’t I, if only and imagine if, in my vocabulary. These nasty little nags are so familiar to be almost invisible. Danger lies here and ‘wishful thinking’ becomes negative. This is where forgiveness and a dose of Cupid need to take over.

My Valentine AKA me is focusing on me.

She will try and be exclusive and not lose focus. (That’s my biggest hurdle and the greatest struggle; go first and the rest will take care of itself. I know I have a solid groundwork and all my “other” loves are perfectly capable. I simply need to remember.)

She will be more forgiving and accepting; she will definitely be more rewarding. Note to self, order those little Valentine surprises ;) Actually, not kidding ;) 

She won’t criticise or become despondent if the habits of a lifetime don’t change overnight, but she will give it her best shot and be happy with this.

Cupid, you will be busy this year. xv

From My Valentine: Current Mood

some hepburn honey  //  more le volume  //  definitely lace  //  can’t have too much jewellery

image tim walker for alexander mcqueen

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Mimi Gregor

I found myself nodding at your sentiments. Paul and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day in any way. We call it a “Hallmark Holiday” — a day specifically set up to part people from their money by buying loved one’s useless trinkets in order to avoid hurt feelings. We also refer to it as “amateur night”; what these couples do once a year, we do on a regular basis. And with no prompting from advertisers. We have a date night once a week, and go out to dinner. We buy gifts for each other, not on specific days, but when we see something the other might like and the mood prompts us. We tell each other “I love you” frequently throughout the day. And what’s more, we show it. Love is not so much what you say, but what you do. And not just once a year, but every day.


Absolutely Mimi… I am with you in these sentiments … Every day is a day to focus on love.. whether our friends, our families, our partners or ourselves :)


Unlike Mothers Day etc, Valentines is actually an old holiday , being a Pagan holiday around the 5th or 6th century. Hallmark made it schmaltzy.


While we always talked about Valentines as being a Hallmark Holiday, I always got flowers and sometimes candy. My husband gave me gifts for No Reason and for every holiday that he liked ..
I hit the jackpot on Husbands who give gifts :)

Lidy@FrenchGardenHouse Antiques

While I can agree with you and Mimi, Vicki, I did ( and do) celebrate the day. When our children were young, it started with a special breakfast, a Valentine’s tea when they came home, and a special ( more about the setting than the meal) family dinner where we all shared affirmations around the table and said something “nice” about each one. At times, this was a stretch for our girls, who had their spats as girls growing up together do. But I think it modeled saying encouraging things to people you love to them at an early age. After dinner, we would look at our wedding album, and tell the story of how we met and married.

Now, for 20 years or so, my husband and I get together with another couple. It began as a way for us girls, then business partners, to thank our men for their support of our business adventures. It was always a home cooked meal, and lots of laughter around the table as we shared a bottle of wine, and told of our “crazy things” the guys put up with in our quest to create home decor and accessories for a shop nearby. Great fun! With the emphasis on gratefulness, not ” that one day”…… Xo


It sounds like a wonderful tradition you have started Lidy which is about so much more than Valentine’s Day, or one day :)


I totally agree that love (in any context) should be celebrated everyday! I do remember my two boys coming home with their carefully made St-Valentin offerings. Red, pink and white construction paper confections decorated with sparkles and doilies, no Hallmark card could possibly compete! On the 14th we would have a little family party at home to celebrate our love for each other..I wanted my children to be aware that this was an occasion to celebrate love of all kinds NOT just romantic love. My husband (who has always been generous in the gift department and has, bless his romantic French heart, has always been a flowers for no reason type) would also move away from the romantic hype to celebrate his beloved family. This past Sunday we connected by phone with our elderly parents and those conversations always end with I love you. Tomorrow our boys (now men) will gather round our family table for a fondue feast and chocolate. Later I will make birthday cupcakes for a dear friend celebrating her 80th the next day. She has, I am sad to report, little love in her life so a gathering of ‘girl’ friends on Wednesday will remind her of how special she is to us….sharing some light, love and laughter is what Valentine’s Day means to me.
Forget the half dead roses! Wouldn’t you rather have TULIPS this time of year?


Hello Vicki,
Love that you are your own Valentine. It is so important to have a loving and healthy relationship with one’s self. I am happy that you include forgiveness in the things you are gifting to yourself for Valentine’s Day. I think that is easier said than done…so hard to get the negative self talk out of our own heads…the shoulda, coulda, wouldas, if you will.
You inspire me to do the same. It will be a challenge, but I have to believe that once we forgive ourselves and really love ourselves and know our worth, we can truly be happy!
Cheers to your great, and as always timely post.

Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

Beautiful post, Vicki. I recently read your book My French Life and can see that your life is one that is full of love and romance, and not just with people but in everyday experiences.

For me, Valentine’s Day is just another excuse to bust out a fine bottle of wine, make a nice meal, and gather with loved ones. This kind of thing happens every week in my house, but I might throw in a chocolate heart or two on the 14th out of habit from my school days! ;)

Kathy Kelada

I love the idea of a “personal” Valentine’s Day! I believe we should consider ourselves as a cup full of love but only give from the overflow! That way, we are able to sustain ourselves which makes us more willing and able to give. Thanks for reminding us that we count too! XXOO


Dear Vicky, love the simple description if your resolution. It’s seems mine too. As we love our self we are conscious to apprecciate Us more and to give Will be a pleassure.
Love it! ❤️ May you have long valentine’s year!

Anita Rivera

Dearest Vicki, good evening! Wow, am I ever late to this one! For us, it’s our 37th year of meeting, on Valentine’s Day, but we never make a big deal of it. Why? Because every day and every moment we can, we celebrate each other. I wrote him a poem last year for our 34th wedding anniversary and it was about the “EVERYDAYS” in our love. Those are not so romantic, they are ordinary, but they are OUR days together. So whether it’s a celebration of self, a couple, a friendship, the everydays sum up to an immeasurable joy.

Esther George

Hi Vicki, beautifully said, the simple things are for me the most delightful, it’s Valentine’s Day when my husband is tending the garden and comes in with freshly picked flowers which he has been lovingly nurturing (not easy with our dry climate) or the chocolates he brings home (I can be a chocoholic) I guess we must be doing something right, this year it’s our 39th wedding anniversary. Thank you for sharing beauty. Till next time, regards Esther from Sydney. PS thank you for sharing your beautiful holiday photographs.


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