Mustaches, Conversation Hearts and Valentines

My household has a bit of an obsession with mustaches at the moment. Thick ones, waxed ones, pencil thin ones, even ones that look like a walrus landed on your face. You name it and my daughter has either drawn it, has a t-shirt of it or wears earrings with one embellished on them almost every day. I’m not really sure where the whole mustache fad came from — and I’ll lay big money it is not a trend — but for the moment, we’re going a little hairy over facial hair.Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 6.02.37 AM

We found ourselves the other night making Valentines Day cards and, of course, the mission this year was to incorporate the ‘stache into the theme. I must admit that with a little creativity, some artful fonts and a quick trip to the craft store for stickers, we turned out a pretty good effort. I guess we’ll have to wait and see the verdict next week rendered by a jury of fourth-graders.

But in the process of thinking about the abandon with which children freely express their sentiment toward each other at most any holiday, and especially at Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t help but wonder how much better adults would be if we, too, took the time to more openly express our feelings and emotions toward each other.

What if we gave each other Conversation Hearts and Valentine’s?

I do keep a stack of thank you cards in my desk drawer at work. Just simple monogrammed cards with my company logo and my name that I picked up a Vista Print. I use the cards — not as often as I should — to send a quick note to employees and clients to acknowledge good deeds and simple wins. I prefer the art of a hand-written note versus an email, as I just think the effort means more to the recipient. I know I make a slightly greater effort when I pen my words, taking care to ensure my penmanship and my sentiment convey my true emotion. I hope it means something to the recipient and they tuck it away, like a Valentine, to find later and remember they are special.

But it would also be fun to have a bowl of candy hearts that could also remind people how we feel. “Good Job.” “You Matter.” “Keep it Up!” “Try Again!” “Thanks!” “Great Win!” I know that the New England Candy Company, which has been making candy hearts since 1902, now offers a custom service for those who really want to ensure their candy hearts get the message just right. It is too late to order for this year’s Valentine’s Day, but good to know, nonetheless. I think I’d like a bowl of my own little pearls of candy wisdom to encourage others.

Whether you want to say “I love you,” “I appreciate you,” or simply need to remind a friend, colleague or client that they are valued in your life, don’t put off the importance of a simple gesture of appreciation. Watching the excitement and enthusiasm of a nine-year-old opening her construction paper mailbox, stuffed full of envelopes festooned with hearts and ribbons, is a gentle reminder that we all need to know we are special and that someone one else in our world has taken notice.

I might not leave my boss a big red heart in his office next week, but I do think I have a few more note cards to write to some very valued people in my world.

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