Saturday, March 07, 2009

Work at Home Mom: Birthday Tribute to the Love of my Life

March 26 is the 49th birthday of my real-life romance hero, my hubby B.

Last month, I was commissioned to do a Valentine article for Sense & Style Magazine, Philippines. It couldn't be helped that it became all about my husband. After all, he's my year-round Valentine.

Below is the article.

Beyond Chocolates and Roses

What’s the best thing my husband ever did for me on Valentine’s Day? Treat it just like any day of the year, that’s what. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In lieu of one day with fancy chocolates and expensive roses, a candle-lit dinner and perhaps some sparkly gift, I get day after day of spontaneous hugs and kisses, solicitous checks on whether I’ve already eaten and whether I’ve had my requisite coffee, gallant chauffeur service (which means I’m sleeping with my driver, hmmm…), neck rubs and back rubs that somehow make the scent of mentholated oils seem sensuous, unlimited talk time at all hours anywhere and everywhere (we never seem to run out of things to talk about), a never-ending supply of corny jokes, and lots and lots of giggles and guffaws.

Not that I begrudge other couples that elaborate Valentine’s celebration – there’s nothing wrong with going through the works, as long as all the other days of the year are covered, as well. We’ve just never focused on that one day of the year as very different from all the others. We did try once or twice to go out and have dinner on that night – with all three kids, of course – and the horrible traffic and crowded restaurants reminded us that we were having more fun when pigging out in the comfort of our home. (Yes, this is a family that loves to eat.)

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against romance. In fact, I live and breathe romance and have even been writing romance novels since 1991. Great romance for me, though, is not about grand gestures but, rather, the faithful accumulation of loving moments. It’s in the nitty-gritty of being in love and growing in that love while living each and every day together.

Romance novels usually focus on the early stages of falling in love because that is often believed to be the best part of romance. They say it’s the most thrilling and the most passionate. Publishers believe that readers may not be very much interested in romance novels about long-term relationships that have somehow settled into a comfortable rhythm. But does long-term love really mean the death of romance? Do you lose the thrill and the passion when you commit yourselves to the long haul? It doesn’t have to be so.

Keeping the fire of passion burning doesn’t have to be an effort, either. It all depends on what lit that fire in the first place. If it was just lust based on looks or seduced by success, the waning of the point of attraction may, indeed, trigger the cooling of ardor, as well. Then the great plod begins in the name of commitment. On the other hand, passion that stems from a deep love that, in turn, grew from genuine friendship can only burn brighter and stronger with time. It can never get bored because it always nurtures continuous growth and a deeper knowing of each other. It sees sexy in a potbelly, in each added line and wrinkle, in every inch gained or lost. It binds a couple even closer in times of adversity, giving comfort and strength.

So it’s really all about love. Good old fashioned true love. Maybe the problem is that many people mistake lust for love; or awe for love; or mutual satisfaction for love. Actually, I think friendship is the closest thing to love there is. True friendship, like true love, accepts the entirety of the person while nurturing positive growth and transformation. True friendship, like true love, stays and grows stronger through good times and bad. True friendship, like true love, is unselfish and unconditional. Both offer voluntary commitment effortlessly. True love, I believe, can exist only with a foundation of true friendship. The only difference is a deep passion exclusive to each other. True love never loses passion and romance.

But my man is not romantic, some women say. I know he loves me but he knows nothing about romance, they complain. I ask: what does romance mean to you? What do you see as romantic? Perhaps you expect flowers and gifts and don’t recognize the seemingly ordinary little things he does just for you? Or maybe he just needs a nudge in the right direction – show him the way by giving him unexpected hugs and kisses during the day, or sending him sweet sexy text messages, but don’t expect the exact same gestures back if it’s just not his thing. Allow him his own expressions of love for you. Everything done with love becomes romantic. How does he love you? Try to count the ways. Recognize and appreciate them. Savor them.

High romance for me is every hearty laugh my husband and I share with each other and with our three kids. High romance for me was having my husband at my side in the most difficult times of my life, when my parents got very sick and passed away within a year of each other in 2006 and 2007. High romance for me was having the courage to face the raw pain safe in his arms.

You’ll know you truly love a person when he or she is the one you want to be with in both the happiest times and the most painful times of your life. When happiness doesn’t seem to be complete unless shared with him or her. When just being with him or her gives you the most comfort in moments of crisis. And in between those extremes you’ll find that every single day becomes extraordinary when you are with that person.

When you truly love a person, the initial thrill and passion doesn’t wane at all. In fact, as time passes it is heightened even more by your shared experiences. Each day validates your relationship. As love deepens, your desire for each other grows. This is why we still see senior citizens happily holding hands while walking through the mall, or gazing lovingly at each other’s eyes over decaf coffee and sugar-free dessert. I, myself, still sigh and swoon over my husband of 23 years. Our kids and friends can attest to this. And I can attest to the fact that I can still put a naughty twinkle in his eye. Love, passion and romance has no expiration date.

Valentine’s Day honors love. So go on, if you must, have that elegant dinner date, give that special gift. Remember, though, that what deserves celebration is true love that is ageless and timeless, and let it be celebrated with no less fervor each and every day of the year.

Work at Home Mom: Online Earning Opportunity for Writers at Bukisa

I intend to try writing for Bukisa where articles can continue to earn passive income indefinitely based on the number of views it gets.

My target is to try to write and upload as many articles as I can and allow them to build up to a nice income stream.

Why don't you give it a try as well? Go see how Bukisa works.

While Bukisa pays writers from around the world, is a similar site only for US-based writers. If you happen to be a US resident, it could be an additional income-earning site for you, as well. Learn the ropes from the ebook How to Earn Passive Income at
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