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Valentines for your gal pals
Is there a special woman in your life you need to forgive? Let that old baggage go and tell her so.

by Kathy Magnuson


Who ever gets enough hugs? A running group I was in had a group hug at the end of each run to start the day right. A partner referred to us as "The Huggers."

And why can't Valentine's Day be like that? There are all kinds of holidays, but none to celebrate the special women in our lives. Whatever your romantic partnership status, how about co-opting some of that chocolate, flowers and jewelry mass-marketing energy and directing it toward fun and celebration of your women friends?

Here are some suggestions to celebrate women in your life:

Send flowers to the day-care provider who loves your kids and makes it possible for you to go to work. Send flowers to that special friend who helped you through a tough patch or the fun neighbor who always gets you to laugh.

Schedule a mammogram party and go as a group of friends the week of Valentine's Day. Or donate blood together.

Invite all of your favorite women friends over for dinner.

Buy a box of valentines and give them out to all your friends like you did when you were in first grade. Pop some in the mail to friends who are far away.

Hand write a message of love and appreciation to the women who represent you in elected office. Better yet, enclose a check for their next re-election campaign.

Call someone with whom you find it easy to say "I love you." Make her day by saying the words out loud. Then try it out with someone with whom it is not as easy. Keep going with the tough stuff. Is there a special woman in your life you need to forgive? Let that old baggage go and tell her so.

Schedule a volunteer experience with your special friends in February-indeed, working for justice in the world is love.

And honestly, share the love with yourself. Take yourself out for dinner or cook a special dinner just for you. You ARE pretty good company, after all. Go to a yoga class. Get a massage. Spend two hours journaling. Take an afternoon off to paint, take a mosaic class, scrapbook or just sing out loud. If you can't love yourself, how will you love anyone else?

Where do you see women connecting and making change in your world? Send me your story, magnuson@womenspress.com

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