Winter Heart

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

Is it just me, or has everyone been sick pretty much since Thanksgiving?

Stomach flus, Flu-flus, colds, oh-my.

My family has experienced what I’ve also observed in others around me—we’re just playing “sick” tag—tag, YOU’RE it! … one after the other after the next. So each of us just gets a brief period of healthy respite before WHAM! we’re down once more.

I just want to go some place tropical and soak up a week’s worth of Vitamin D. But in sweats, of course, because I’ve also padded myself in my winter hibernation “cushion.”

It’s sooooo cold. It’s just soooooooooooooooo cold. Here in Indiana we haven’t had a ton of snow this season but we’ve had plenty of ice…. And bitter, bitter cold.

And according to stinkin Punxsutawney Phil, we’re not getting out of this anytime soon.

Winter! I shake my fists up at you like some kind of grumpy old lady longing for the snowbird beaches of Florida.

Yes, you could say I’ve got a Winter Heart. Frozen. Brittle. Just wanting to snack and sleep the days away. Thin Mints, anyone?

Ah, but the calendar reminds me that it’s Valentine’s Day this week. Valentine’s Day!

I wrote about this a few years ago, and am thinking this is a good year to remember it—Valentine’s Day, while way over-commercialized as a holiday, is actually just an opportunity to share and spread love, plain and simple. And this time of year? I think we could all use a bit of that.

So…who are you feeling love for? Your partner? Your child? Your friend? Your parent? Your sibling? Your mailman? Your aunt? Your coffee shop barista? Your neighbor? Your dog? Your long-lost high school friend? Your boss? Your colleague? Your student? Your pizza delivery person? Your mayor? Your local newscaster? Your grandparent? Your teacher?

There are many ways to feel love…. And there are many ways to spread it, too. Wednesday simply puts it on the calendar for us—a pretty fun “to-do” if you think of it that way.

And what does spreading love do? Well… I think it might help thaw our Winter hearts, even if just a little.

So how can you thaw out your Winter heart on Wednesday? A phone call? A text? A private message through your favorite social media channel? A surprise bouquet of flowers? A breakfast? A quick hug? A handshake? A post-it note? A gift? A “chore” helped with? A smile? A simple “hello”?

I’m not sure about this, but I think the more of those love gestures we spread, the warmer our hearts will feel, despite the cold that’s raging outside for so many of us right now.

So, Happy Valentine’s Day, my Winter friends. Spring’s coming; it is. In the meantime, I’m sending you love…

How can you spread your love this week?

Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.