As I mentioned before, we don't celebrate Valentine's Day at all. We never really have. We're not very romantic. Well, not into romantic gestures or gifts which 'show' our love. I know how much I love my husband, I tell him all the time. I don't see why we need a special day to do this, or to have to buy a card and flowers to 'prove' how much we love one another. I understand that some people are romantic, but we're not and never have been. In all honesty, I find the concept of romance a bit odd! (yes, yes, clearly it's me who's odd).
As such, this Valentine's Day, it is mildly surprising that I have a date. It's a different kind of date though. It involves fifteen minutes of my time, a needle, a cup of tea and a biscuit.
Tonight I am giving blood. So, whilst romance may be dead in our household, I may well be saving someone else's life just by the simple action of giving blood.
If you haven't ever given blood before, it really is simple. It doesn't hurt. It is sometimes mildly uncomfortable but, ultimately, it doesn't hurt. If you are relaxed, you generally don't even get a bruise. The reality is though, that by giving blood, you are giving someone else a chance at life that they otherwise might not have.
My children's childminder said to me the other day that she needed four pints of blood when she had her daughter because her labour was filled with unforeseen circumstances. She had no doubt that she wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for the fact that she was given blood.
It's strange, but I also see the half hour it will take me to get there and back and give blood as 'me time'. I will be alone. I can read a book or relax or just think of nothing at all. Peace for half an hour. To me this is incredibly valuable!
If it's something you haven't done, then think about it. It's easier than you think and you really could be a lifesaver.