I have started a love affair.
I've been married for 38 years, have raised four children and am enjoying watching the grandchildren - seven to date - arrive and grow. But lately, there's been something missing. Something quite fundamental that I've felt so keenly it's made me sad. I've developed a yearning for something else, something more, and now, finally, I've acted on it.
I'm falling in love again. The object of my affections? Well, that would be me.
You see, back in the day, I fell for the old rallying cry that we can have it all. Motherhood, love, career, being active in the community, looking after ailing parents.
That of course, is a load of old toot. We can't "have it all", we can only have bits of everything, because there are only 24 hours in any day and we, as human beings, only have so much bandwidth.
I wanted to be a "good" mother, so that was my focus. I did my best to work freelance, but mostly had to do that in the wee small hours, staring at a computer screen...
Whether you believe in a Higher Power, God, the connectedness of all things or nothing at all, your relationship with yourself is inevitably going to be the most enduring human relationship of your life! If we can't find love and compassion for the flawed yet vulnerable essence of ourselves, what hope do we have of loving others... or being happy?
This Valentine's Day my Facebook feed is filled with posts about
But what does that mean, exactly? (Don't be rude, you at the back!)
First of all, what is "Valentine's Day"? Let's have a quick look at all the elements that make up this annual festival of love and misery: St Valentine, Cupid, roses, hearts and cards.