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Week in Review: In Defense of Valentine’s Day

I’d like to speak up in defense of Valentine’s day.

Yeah, it’s cheesy, and the ways we celebrate the holiday tend to value romantic/erotic love over other kinds of love, which potentially invalidates other kinds of relationships which are equally or more important to our well-being, especially when read in the context of a culture which systematically does the same thing.

Joyce, you’re speaking grad school again.

Yeah, I speak grad school sometimes.

But seriously, though, Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be that way. It’s the only holiday (that I can think of) that primarily celebrates the blessings of human relationships (as opposed to relationships between self-and-God, self-and-country, etc.), and I think that’s kind of awesome. Why can’t Valentine’s be about all kinds of love? I’d be cool with that.


So reflecting on this Valentine’s week, I’m celebrating the many relationships that make my life awesome.❤️ And to do that, I’m participated in Meghan’s awesome Week in Review linkup!

CaptureHere’s what I did this week:

  • Started off Monday with spin class. Group fitness instructors are A-MAZING. The money’s usually not so hot, so the folks I know who do it do it because they love it and they love the people they do it for. At the CSU Rec, they’re students themselves, meaning they spend a ton of time on top of their school work learning releases, developing playlists and planning workouts…not even to mention the time it takes to teach the class itself! They alone are a great blessing in my life.
  • My students had a paper due this week, which meant that, while my lesson planning was relatively light, I got to hang out with a few of them in my office and talk about their writing. I actually really love conferencing with students. I found it super-intimidating when I first started working at my undergraduate school’s writing center, but now that I’ve been doing it for a while, and (usually) know what I’m doing, it’s actually really fulfilling to ask the right questions and help coach students to that “ah ha!” moment. I really love teaching. It’s the students that make it worth it.DSCN0465I put this poster from my brother up in my office. Which might be kind of cruel. But if you look closely…DSCN0466
  • On Tuesday, we workshopped one of my pieces in class. I’m so blessed by the amazing professors and colleagues in the creative nonfiction program here at CSU–we are all so supportive of one another’s work.
  • Also on Tuesday, my roommate, who’s been dealing with illness for several weeks now, got extremely sick in class. There’s a lot of folks in our program going through tough times–the friend with the car who could get her home also was recovering from an injury and had to be on crutches. So I helped them both out to the car, holding doors, walking slowly, just trying to make sure we got there. On Wednesday I went and bought my roommate a bouquet of flowers–she’s such a wonderful, caring person who works hard at what she does, and I’ve been very blessed to have found her as a roommate. I only wish she’d feel better–if anyone deserves to feel healthy and able to do what needs to get done, she does. DSCN0490
  • On Thursday, I went with a bunch of my awesome swing dance friends to Denver to go dancing at the Mercury Cafe. It was Great Gatsby themed, which meant I had an excuse to wear my flapper dress I’ve had since high school. Not only do I love the dancing, but…this is getting really repetitive…my swing dance friends are also a wonderful blessing! Swing dance is my favorite way to meet people outside my program, and I’ve always found it to be a very accepting community…if a little goofy sometimes.12716100_953186728091646_6893861945636560389_o
  • I added two posts to the blog: How to Be a Friend to a Friend in Need and this recipe for Low-FODMAP Potato Corn Chowder. I’ve mentioned this before, but the blogging world was an amazing resource for me when I was recovering from my eating disorder. Those who told their own stories inspired me to heal, and I only hope that someone else may find a little comfort in my blog someday. ❤️ you guys, fellow bloggers!DSCN0452
  • My sweetie’s birthday was on Saturday, and when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he said, “Well…I really like pie…” So I spent Saturday making no less than three beautiful pies–that actually weren’t all that pretty, but boy did they turn out delicious! Cranberry raspberry, coconut cream, and Kentucky derby (which is pecan pie with chocolate chunks and bourbon.) I also helped him clean up the house before and after the party. So that was my Valentine’s day–cleaning house and eating leftover pie. And it was awesome–because I like him a lot, and I like spending time with him. I’ve been blessed to have that additional relationship in my life lately.

DSCN0498 DSCN0500DSCN0496 (2) DSCN0501So that’s it!

Actually, I feel like that’s only a tiny fraction of all that I’ve done this week. This is the first time I’ve done a Week in Review post, and boy, it really adds up when you start listing. Kinda cool, all in all.

What are the most supportive relationships in your life? What relationships would you like to celebrate that sometimes get ignored because of our culture’s focus on romantic love?


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  1. That cranberry // raspberry pie looks delicious! And glad I’m not the only one who loves Derby Pie. I grew up in KY, but so many people have never heard of it.

    Honestly. Though it’s a romantic relationship, my BF is SO supportive. I’m not big into mushy gestures though, but he really should be celebrated. It’s easier to show my love through pie, so perhaps a pie is in his future.

    1. Joyce says:

      Thanks, Jessie! Pie = an excellent way to show love!

  2. I think Valentine’s Day should be all about love, regardless of who or what it’s for, like those super sweet kitties.

    Your pies look awesome, and I’m digging the sound of that Potato Corn Chowder.

    I like the Week in Review because it makes me realize and appreciate all I do on those weeks where I feel like I didn’t get much crossed off the To Do list. Some days I consider bathing and feeding myself along with going to work a huge accomplishment.

    Happy Monday and thanks for linking up.

    1. Joyce says:

      Thanks, Meghan! As a grad student, I feel like I’m constantly feeling guilty for all I’m not doing–but when you start listing, it really adds up.

  3. Ellie says:

    I don’t like pie, but I would DEMOLISH the Kentucky Derby one! I think it’s the fruit ones I don’t care for. But thinking now I would eat strawberry pie…and I love blueberry peach pie. Ok, maybe I do like pie. Thanks for convincing me 🙂
    You are so smart! I couldn’t imagine having my own work and then also teaching! I tutored in college and that was simple, but not at your level. Have a great week Joyce!

    1. Joyce says:

      I understand, Ellie! I used to think I didn’t like pie. Hard for me to imagine now, though. : ) Thanks for the encouraging words–I do love teaching. Hope you have a great week, as well!

  4. Cora says:

    You are such a beacon of kindness! Everything about this, and you, is beautiful. The people in your life are no doubt incredibly grateful to have you. It’s a two way street :).
    I love hearing about your writing and teaching. Is creative writing your major?
    And those pies! I am way too impressed. Holy smokes the boy is lucky.
    Hope this week has been a good one for you as well.

    1. Joyce says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Cora. Yes, I’m a graduate student in creative nonfiction. It’s been great to have you back in the blogging world!

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