This past November I noticed a push for “daily thankfuls” on Facebook and other social media. A lot of the same things have come up: health, family, food, running water, etc. Some might call these things essentials, while reminding themselves not to take them for granted. As Thanksgiving has come and gone, the spirit of thankfulness can last through the winter season, or all year if you try. There are so many little things (and big things) to be thankful for, but I challenge you to find one thing that you may take for granted that someone right now does not have. Even better, think of something that you have that someone needs.
by Imei Hsu, BSN-RN, MAC-LMHC, Artist
It’s July, and yet summer weather has not quite made a committed appearance in Seattle. My Twitter feed and Facebook updates are full of potshots and comments about the sun’s absence from the Pacific Northwest during a time when the rest of the country is experiencing a heat wave. Still, summer is the time when people think about rest and relaxation, summer vacations, family time, travel, and — of course! — summer love and romance. Relationships are what make our lives feel full and rich, and in spite of our efforts to be busy and active, the absence of meaningful relationships and connected sex makes those efforts feel lonely and empty. In honor of summer and relationships, this short blog post includes a few items to chew on about fanning the flames of relationship, improving your love life, and getting it on in bed: a Relationship 2.0 guide for my readers.
RELATIONSHIP 2.0: Modern Love
Why call it Relationship 2.0? Aren’t good old fashioned relationship skills and romance cutting it anymore? Relationship 2.0 is what I’m calling the addition of an undeniable feature of the modern landscape of relationships: the Digital World. We already know that technology affects the way we relate to one another. For all the devices we have, access to the Internet, and demand to use the technology to connect more often, we share more data but communicate meaningfully far less. While the world obsesses over the latest viral video about Henri the French cat going to the vet, the amount of face-to-face conversation decreases. If we are to experience the benefits of the digital age on communication, we must understand what is gained and what is lost.
When we think about Valentine’s Day, the concept of sustainability is not what one usually conjures in one’s head. The other day, I passed by a couple playing tonsil hockey in the middle of the day on the commercial business level of my office building. Snuggled deeply into a comfy couch in front of a gas fireplace cozily encased in brick, they mashed each other’s faces happily without a care in the world. Ah, love! It’s what makes the world go round. This image is what we think of for V-day.
It also makes marketers go ape sh!t when Valentine’s Day season comes to a head. As one person whined, one cannot open the circulars of a newspaper without being assaulted by messages that one should be enjoying a waterfall of bling, chocolates, champagne, and romantic getaways, or else there is something wrong. Specifically, that something wrong is with you. It makes single people want to trash the paper. It’s enough to cause those initiating or maintaining committed relationships of all kinds to groan in either frustration or anxiety concerning the overwhelming social pressures and expectations of how you mark, celebrate, or otherwise define the importance of your main squeeze.