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Yes, we know it’s Valentine’s Day and you may have expected us to be writing about the word of the day. Love. And not, we hasten to add, the sentimental “pink” version that’s been appearing everywhere for the last few days (!). Accompanied by all those less than realistic expectations that seem to appear in its wake, with all too predictable results. Think Christmas in February… 
However, with it also having more baggage than a Samonsite store – to borrow a description we heard recently, although in that case it was about another equally baggage laden word that we’re not even going to mention (!) – we decided, instead, it was time for a gentle reality check. Both for this expectation laden day in particular and life in general. 
Then here we go: 
It’s never about the “stuff”. Roses. Chocolates. Champagne. Expensive meals. Experiences and people are what really matter. 
Stuff, by its very nature, is transient. Acquiring the latest “must have” or gizmo may be enjoyable, but how long does the happiness last? 
Probably until the novelty has worn off. Or the latest fashion has quickly become outdated and forgotten. And then it’s back to the chase, on a never ending quest. 
Talk to people and you’ll quickly notice what holds your attention. Makes the conversation memorable. It’s not about stuff. It’s the stories they tell about their experiences, even the most mundane ones. 
No one is perfect, not even you (!). Everyone is doing the best they can in any moment. 
It doesn’t matter how it looks to anyone else or whether they – or you – would have done it differently on that or another occasion. We’re each doing the best we can right now. 
Which brings us neatly on to how a little kindness, appreciation and acceptance (!) goes a long way in helping life to flow a little more easily. 
And, finally, the most important one. 
Happiness is an inside job. It’s no one else’s job to make us happy, it’s down to each of us to do it for ourselves. And that, we appreciate, can seem a rather bitter – but liberating – pill to swallow… 
As always, the choice is yours. 
Picture by unknown author 
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