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  • Writer's pictureMegan Papageorge

14 Things I Currently Love more than Box Candy and Red Roses

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today is the day to exchange little cards with sweet puppy faces, gorge on boxed chocolates, overpay for red roses and write a corny message on about your person on social media. Although I love all those ways to celebrate, I think it's also an opportunity to dig deeper. To really evaluate those people and things you are grateful to have in your life.

At the end of 2020 we took a leap of faith and moved almost 3,000 miles after buying a house we had never seen in person. These were big risks but also a really exciting journey. This new lifestyle, new town and new opportunity has allowed me to fall back in love with some of life's more mundane but beautiful details. I thought it would be fun to share with y'all 14 things I really love in honor of the day of love...

Non-Romantic Valentines - The mushy gushy romance is always a go to on Valentine's Day but since I was a small child my mom was my Valentine. She would send me flowers at school, make a handmade card in the shape of a heart, cook a "fancy" dinner. I enjoy celebrating the love I have with her, the special gals in my life, my pups in addition to my beau.

Crock pot - Why did it take me 34 years to realize how amazing it is to put some ingredients in a pot, come back five hours later and have dinner?

Old Buildings - When I walk in a city I go where the oldest building are and just explore around for hours noticing the doors, windows, stoops, flower boxes, mail slots. I imagining all the people that have walked by, the clothes they wore, their conversations, modes of transportation. I think this is why I've always been drawn back to the cobblestone streets of Charleston. I can spend a whole day just daydreaming around the streets imagining women in petticoats whispering of the Suffrage Movement, while horses click clack by with brand new shoes from the blacksmith, children in high socks fly kites and smells of oysters and chimney fires mingle in the air. It almost feels like the buildings are time travelers and have seen so many eras they have stories in their walls and secrets in their gardens.

Unplugging - As much as I just talked up taking that photo, I equally love being off the grid. Isn't it cool to watch movies from the 80's where they are just simply walking down the street enjoying the day and not worried their phone is low on battery, someone tagged them in a photo or a text message needs to be answered?

Butter Pecan Creamer - If you haven't tried this flavor you are missing out. (Please don't come at me with your low fat / low sugar options, your girl likes a good sugary caffeine smack to the face in her mug)

Lists - I love brain dumping everything I want to do, all my desired accomplishments onto a paper list.

Throw Pillows - Honestly my favorite thing in my home at all times is my throw pillow. They are like the nails of the living room. You can change the color, the shape and add a pop if you're feeling feisty. I have a core 8 pillows and then switch out the covers throughout the year depending on the season and my mood.

Diversity - The fact we have a female Black & Southeast Asian Vice President that is the daughter of immigrants and married to a Jewish man is exciting to me. I was one of those little girls that remembers asking my Grandma Rosie why the place mat of Presidents only has boys. It blew my mind. Every adult I loved in my life was a woman, yet none were represented there. I know there is still a long way to go before everyone has equal representation or even a seat at the table at all, but Kamala Harris represented to me that diversity was beginning to swing the right direction.

Water Aerobics - In a class of twenty I'm easily forty years younger than all the other participants but the music is rocking and I smile like a circus clown the whole time. Not all work outs have to be to improve your appearance, some things can just work out stress and give you a giggle. Plus, the teacher is a really good DJ, like the tunes she chooses hit hard when you're doing those water jumping jacks.

Neighborhood Bunnies - Our neighbor across the way has three rabbits, one white, one gray and one baby that is white and rust brown. They spend late nights and some afternoons nibbling around in our yard and it makes me so happy!

Making my bed - So lame, I know but man it makes me feel good right away every morning. My beagle refuses to move, so most days I make it with him still in it and then I get a good giggle when he finally pops his head out and realizes he's been folded in again.

Mental Health Openness - The last few months I have been devoting a lot of time to a family member that is struggling with mental health. She is suicidal and severely depressed and it's honestly scary. It's frightening to see how the grind of hiding your pain and pouring yourself into work can snowball into a years later breakdown. Almost every person I share this experience with privately suddenly shares their own pain. I had no idea so many of my friends and colleagues struggle with anxiety, depression, have attempted self harm or found help through therapy and medication. I am honored and love when people share these things with me and in turn have decided to be more open with my family mental health journeys. I really believe the more we openly talk about this the more it will become mainstream taking care of yourself.

My home - I LOVE my home. I love that it has a parking space just for me, that I can wash clothes in my very own laundry room, that the walls are the colors I dreamed up, that I feel safe and inspired here.

Those are some things I'm currently loving. Do you share any of these loves? What are you currently swooning over, getting giddy for? What is creating joy in your life? I truly want to know, comment below or shoot me a message. I'd love to (re)connect...

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