Treat Yourself and Buy Your Own Valentine's Day or Birthday Gift in 2016

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A passport nestles in blue tissue paper accented by a white ribbon to reflect the elegant choice of travel as an enabling and rewarding gift for any occasion;It’s Valentines Day again...or maybe your birthday is around the corner, both being a special day in most years. Except this year, since you’re not in a serious relationship or you and your husband are on the outs, there will be no one coming through the door with presents.

Wait! There’s someone who’s always here — YOU.

What would happen if you gave yourself a present?

It's not the same thing, you argue. No, it’s not. So don’t make it the same thing. Don’t go for flowers or chocolate or sparkly earrings. Any normal present may feel like a weak carbon copy of one you might receive from someone else — because you’ll know you gave it to yourself. But what if it’s better than something you might be given from someone else? Wouldn’t that be something that would make you smile for a long time?

Let’s step up your gift-giving game. What’s something stunning that no one else would think to give you? What will make you happy even a week or a month after your special day?

Want a hint? For my 50th birthday, I gave myself swimming lessons. Raised in Chicago to poor parents, I never had a chance to learn to swim. Sure, it was different being the only adult in a group of kids, but I learned I was a natural swimmer. And now, when I’m near the ocean, all I can think is, “Go, girl, go!”

What about you? Have you always wanted to learn to sing? What about art lessons? Wouldn’t it be great if you learned to make pottery on the wheel?

Your gift doesn’t have to be expensive. It could be the decision to take a 30-minute walk every day or to work out at least three days a week at the gym. Take a class about something new — have you always wanted to learn fiction writing? You can find some great online classes or check out the opportunities at local businesses and community colleges.

Here’s an idea to help you brainstorm: For my upcoming 65th birthday, I’m giving myself an AdventureWomen hiking tour of the Amalfi Coast. Now that’s a gift.

Got the idea? Enjoy finding — and gifting yourself — something you really love. You deserve it. Happy Valentine's Day. Happy Birthday.

© 2016 Dr. Lynne Curry, author of Beating the Workplace Bully and Solutions

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