Originally Published on 2/14/19
My husfriend and I used to make each other things for Valentine’s Day. I thought it was the most perfect way to celebrate the hallmark holiday – put a little time and effort into a small homemade or thoughtful gift. Sometimes it was food and one year he made me origami flowers, which I still have and will always display proudly. He also gave me one on our first date – a man who brings a gift on a first date? Hell yes. Keeper.
The the year after we got married, he didn't do anything for Valentine's Day. I guess he felt like he didn't have to anymore, and I was like....uhhhh, false. Wrong answer. After that, Valentine's Day became comically over the top from him. All I wanted was for him to acknowledge the holiday, but the following year he gave me a diamond wedding ring (since we didn't wear rings after we got married). "I WIN VALENTINE'S DAY" - I can still hear him saying that with his Texas accent - "AH WEEIN VALENTAHN'S DAY". The following year he gave me this Japanese cold brew coffee maker:
It's just so rad and mesmerizing. And that's my handsome husfriend standing as the backdrop to block our sink full of dishes when I took this video. His idea - so thoughtful.
Not only is today Valentine's Day, but it's also smack in the middle of heart month. My husband died suddenly last year from heart disease - we had no idea it was creeping up on him and we certainly had no reason to think his heart wasn't healthy. He exercised regularly and we ate pretty healthy. All of my best healthy recipes were initially concocted by him. So I'm here to tell you something.
Get your annual checkups! It's almost always completely covered by insurance (meaning you pay $0), and if you don't have insurance, doctors usually offer self-pay discounts. Insurance companies want you to get your checkups done, because it's cheaper for them if you maintain your health as opposed to paying to fight a costly illness or hospital stay.
Your annual exam gives you a snapshot of your current health so you can make changes if needed - before it's too late.
Pun intended. Check your blood pressure regularly using the free cuff at the pharmacy in the grocery store. If it's high, go get a more in depth check at the doctor so you can make lifestyle changes if you need to.
I get my annual well-woman exam every year. I don't dread it. I don't hate it. I approach it as a necessary step to ensure my body is healthy, just like eating vegetables. It's just something we do to stay healthy.
I am so grateful that Jason and I lived. Yes, our life was crazy with 5 kids and jobs and just life stuff. But we went on little trips and we had random date nights and we enjoyed our life together. What if we hadn't done that and we always put it off? I wouldn't have those memories to smile back on, and I would probably have a lot of regret about the things we didn't do.
To that end, I have scheduled my well-woman exam for next month and I booked a short getaway for myself, just because. The last time I checked my blood pressure - last Fall - it was a perfect 120/80. When is the last time you checked yours? When is the last time you got a checkup at the doctor? When is the last time you got away for a weekend?
Here is your challenge for heart month and Valentine's day:
Schedule your wellness exam and do something for you - whether that''s booking a trip, getting a pedicure or buying yourself a Yama Glass Coffee Tower so you and I can enjoy our cold brew together. I already scheduled my wellness exam for this year, booked a short getaway, and today I think I'll make some cold brew coffee to enjoy later in honor of my husfriend's memory.
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