Roads Untravelled

I’ve found the key to packing before a big move; THROW IT ALL OUT.

I’m not even kidding. I’m throwing it all out.

So far, the only things I’m packing from my living room are my television (which is really only used to play workout DVD’s and watch Frozen. If I ask you if you want to build a snowman, I apologize) and the Overlord’s piano. All three of my daughters are getting new beds. I’ve packed up bags of clothes, and brought the toys down to two bins. Almost every knicknack has been tossed out.

Isn't it cute?

Isn’t it cute?

I’m a sentimental person; things hold meaning for me and part of preventing the nostalgic feeling while packing has been to throw it all out. That “date night” shirt that I specifically bought because my date said I looked good in that colour? Throw it out. The wooden box that a former friend painted for me? Throw it out. Unless it is something I absolutely cannot part with, I’m throwing it out. It’s rather therapeutic, getting rid of stuff that I don’t need so my new house and my new future is going to be a complete fresh start.

I’m in the middle of this awesome change right now, where I’m sort of reinventing who I am by becoming some kind of hybrid of who I was in high school (adorably cocky bitch) and who I am now (overly sympathetic and compassionate) and it’s been nice. I’m working on my body (down 22.5lbs), changed my hair to the brighter ombre and continue to focus on making this new chapter the most positive chapter it can be. I like that I’m finally making steps to make my life what I want. Too often, I hear people make excuses for why their situation never changes & I don’t want to be that person. I had to take some steps back to step forward, but that’s okay, I’m on the right path to a great future.

I just really like my hair in this picture.

I just really like my hair in this picture.

But back to the sentimental stuff. Apparently my daughters have picked up on this too and it’s both a positive and a negative thing. It also helped me learn that I have to learn to keep some of that sappy stuff in check. While packing their toys and downsizing, I went through each toy and asked them if they actually played with it and if they said no, then off it went. The Pirate Princess held on to a stuffed bunny that she doesn’t play with often, but she fought me tooth and nail, citing that her Uncle Drew bought it for her for her birthday as a baby (how the eff she remembers that I’ll never know) and she needed to keep it because she wuvs him. The Overlord did the same thing with a stuffed…uh…thing (it’s a weird little creature). She couldn’t let it go because Blank gave it to her for her birthday and he even wrapped it and he never wraps gifts and it was special and she needed to hold onto it. She’s slept with it ever since. I probably should have tossed em, as they weren’t toys that they played with much and I’m trying to downsize, but I decided to pick my battles and let them keep those sentimental toys. After all, I’ve kept a necklace that I’m allergic to but wore every day & a copy of Edgar Allen Poe’s complete works buried in a box in my room because they were gifts from these people. Why can’t they keep these small mementos?

But part of moving forward is getting rid of some of the stuff that no longer serves you, or that will hold you back. I don’t need my hoard of stuff to keep memories, I have them locked away. Aside from baby pictures, concert ticket stubs and a handful of other mementos, there’s not a whole lot of stuff in this life I need to hold onto as cherished stuff. All of that stuff is in my amazing box of stuff and packed away. There’s no sense in moving that stuff from place to place, as it’s unnecessary and bogs you down. So, I’ll just keep purging so I can focus on moving forward and making my new house as clutter free and warm and positive as possible. Also, it’ll be a lot cheaper to move as Ikea will be delivering most of it six days after I move in, so there’s that too. But there’s still the matter of moving that piano up a flight of stairs, so I should probably do some burpees. With weighted gloves. Until I puke.

Posted in Current Events, Dear Blank, Fitnesslicious, Life, Mommydom, MusicIsLifeIsMusicIsLife, My New Life As Me, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 30: Five Good Things

It’s the last day of this challenge!

While nothing overly earth shattering has happened to me over 30 days, great things happen every day! So, here are five of the most awesome things that happened this month.

1. My transfer was approved, all official-like. I signed all the papers, paid the deposit on my house & it’s all mine! I’m outta here Windsor! Peace out!

2. I’ve lost a total of 20lbs in 8 weeks! Quelle success!

3. Ronan Farrow favourited my tweet, which means he knows I’m alive. That’s step one towards our wedding in the Hamptons & us becoming a journalist power couple.

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For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Farrow, he’s a journalist who served as the Special Adviser for Humanitarian and NGO Affairs in the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan under the Obama Administration. He recently got his own show on MSNBC thanks to his background & being a smart ass on Twitter. He also loves Zelda. If there was ever a human being designed for me, there it is. Also, he looks like this:

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I may dislike matrimony, but my wedding to Ronan Farrow, which exists entirely in my imagination (and I then get a job @ the New Yorker) is quite lovely…& will feature Taylor Swift.

4. I made a friend. It was awful.

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Okay, so Grumpy is actually the Overlord’s friend, a gift for her seventh birthday, which was minion themed. We’ve been calling her Grumpy Cat for a year because she glared in our Easter photos last year & someone said that’s what she looked like. She even placed third in a Grumpy Cat lookalike contest (she was robbed). But I like to think Grumpy enjoys my company too, probably not. He’s Grumpy for a reason.

5. I finally made an appointment to make my hair a colour & not just 19 shades of whatever.

Sure, they’re not exciting things, but it’s fun & life is meant to be fun. So, I like to focus on the positive & fun things that make me & the people I love smile. I feel like that’s where I fit in this world; journalist & mom who makes people smile.

I hope this made you smile.

Posted in ASH Blog Projects, Celebrity Fluff, Current Events, Dorkdom, Fitnesslicious, Just Fun, Life, Mommydom, My New Life As Me, Political Fluff | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 29: People Who Inspire Me

I’ve already talked at length about my Fangirl love for Trish Stratus & Amanda Marshall, so let’s continue on.

When I was little, I wanted to be just like April O’ Neil. Chasing stories, breaking scoops, so awesome. Yes, April O’ Neil inspired my career path. I even had an April O’ Neil doll! I don’t jump into fires or hang out with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which sucks), but it’s still the right path for me, so clearly eight year old me chose wisely.

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Next would be Katy Perry. I relate to her music so much & wish I could rock the pinup girl look as well. I think she’s beautiful & talented & funny & I’m sad that she got her heart stomped on by John Mayer…again. Katy’s songs have gotten me through a divorce, a breakup, and some big housecleaning days & I can’t wait to go see her in August with the angriest tween, who also loves Ms. Perry. It’ll be a cool mother/daughter memory for us & we will sing along with every song.

From: Katy Perry Official site

From: Katy Perry Official site

I don’t care how old I am; I love Taylor Swift. Yes, she writes about her exes, but oh well, we bloggers write about ours. Men shade theirs on FB. Whatever. Taylor is raw & honest & beautiful. Her album Red was the story of my life when it came out in 2012, as she wrote about meeting & losing the man she felt was the love of her life (widely speculated to be Jake Gylenhaal…how could you do it Jake?! hahaha). But her refreshing sweetness, honest lyrics & eternal optimism make me love her so much. The tween calls her the Queen & was even on #TeamTaylor over her crush Harry Styles. I love that my kid can listen to an entire Taylor Swift album and I don’t have to worry about suggestive lyrics or cussing & I can love “Queen Taylor” without feeling like a loser.

From: Muchmusic

From: Muchmusic

My non-Stratus fitness idol is WWE Diva Nikki Bella. Yes, wrestling is fake & the world of Total Divas may be scripted “reality” but one thing that isn’t scripted is Ms. Bella’s commitment to being in shape, becoming strong & working to the top of her division. She’s gone from delicate ingenue to being called fat by detractors to a strong & powerful Diva. Between crossfit, strength training & the Change Time program (created by beau John Cena), Nikki looks amazing, & is far more athletic in the ring. Detractors will say what they will but to me, Nikki’s amazing abs & rocking curves look phenomenal & she’s making strong the new sexy.

Courtesy: Nikki Bella Instagram (@baciamibella)

Courtesy: Nikki Bella Instagram (@baciamibella)

Finally, the non famous person who inspires me is my friend The Gleason Table’s lovely wife. She is a sweet & earthy young woman who raises two beautiful children while teaching them healthy living, kindness & a passion for art. She shares her ideas on her awesome blog Charcoal & Crayons & you can’t help but get excited to try the crafts & recipes she shares with her family. She’s an artist, a wife, a mom & still runs marathons. She’s just a cool person & it was her amazing performance @ a marathon this Christmas that helped give me that last nudge to get up off of my butt & make health changes. You should definitely read her blog to get some great ideas.

These are the people who inspire me, whether it’s through music, health, walking their walk or because they hung out with ninja turtles. Either way, they help me see what kind of person I want to be & learn from their shining examples.

Posted in ASH Blog Projects, Celebrity Fluff, Current Events, Fitnesslicious, Life, Mommydom, MusicIsLifeIsMusicIsLife, My New Life As Me, Relationships, Social Media, Television, WWE Wrasslin' | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 28: What Stresses Me Out

There was a time when everything in life stressed me out.

During my marriage, I walked on eggshells. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t do anything. After the marriage, I was walking on different eggshells. I was so afraid to be alone that I didn’t want to make anyone mad at me. That way, they would love me.

Now, I focus on things by breaking them up as I need to. Cleaning my basement? We’ll do it in four days. Budgeting? We’ll plan it at the start of each month. Chores through the chore hat. Instead of procrastinating and letting things build up in my mind, I handle them as they come. I meditate each night. Yoga helps me detstress. I keep a list of goals I’ve accomplished. All of these things help me keep focused and almost sane. Then, of course, there is my writing, which always helps me, no matter how stressed I am. When I was in school, I often wrote about inane garbage because the subject matter sucked so hard that I couldn’t focus. My writing helped me focus on what needed to be done to get through. Same with the rest of my life; writing helps me find my balance.

The other thing is that I no longer feel dependent on others. I have realized that no matter who comes and goes in my life, I have my children and I will survive. It might sting, but that’s okay; because as the singer Jojo says “Disaster strikes and I’m alright because my love’s on his way.” Whether that’s a friend, a lover, a relative I’m reconnecting with, there will always be someone who loves me in this life and I will cherish those people. However, sometimes, their time in my life has an expiration date. That may sting, but it’ll be alright because I have myself, my daughters, my faith and my determination to make all of our dreams come true will get me through.

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Also, if that doesn’t work and life throws me for a loop, I’ll simply spend an hour doing yoga and between that and chivasana, my mind will be cleared enough to write, which always helps me find my way. Or there’s wine. There’s always wine.

Posted in ASH Blog Projects, Crazy Talk, Douchers, Fitnesslicious, Life, Mommydom, MusicIsLifeIsMusicIsLife, My New Life As Me, Quotable Quotes and Potpourri, Relationships, Seriously WTF?, When Things Suck Hard | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 27: My City

My current hometown isn’t known for it’s picturesque settings (nor am I known for my photography skills) but I took this photo before an Amanda Marshall concert & I’m pretty proud of it.

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Of course, this won’t be home much longer as I’m packing up & out of here in 63 days. While I’ll miss my friends here, I’m looking forward to escaping the dark cloud of negativity that seems to hang over Windsor. Most people who have left seem happier to be out of here & there’s just something exciting about moving forward, starting over, making everything bright & beautiful again. However, I must admit, that this view will always remind me of home.

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Posted in ASH Blog Projects, ASH Photography, Current Events, Life, My New Life As Me, support Windsor! | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 26: My Dream Wedding

I hate weddings.

Like, a lot.

I hate planning weddings.with the exception of the psych major’s wedding and my friend Sarah’s upcoming nups, I don’t really like attending weddings. I’m not big on standing up in weddings. I hate every little thing about weddings almost as much as I have no desire to ever remarry. I wasn’t terribly keen on it the first time & found my vow renewal to be a pain in the ass. The absolute WORST assignment I’ve ever been given was to go to a wedding show & review it by planning a wedding. My photographer was dying of laughter when the florist said “you look like you’d rather be shot.” Yup. I probably would have preferred it.

A photo from the wedding show...this is right before I texted people asking for help

A photo from the wedding show…this is right before I texted people asking for help

The most wedding planning I’ve ever done was a file on my computer while I Skyped a friend & mocked her Pinterest account & picked some wedding dresses and bridesmaids crap & some flowers for my future wedding (as it was planned I would be announcing my engagement on my birthday & we had half seriously picked a wedding date) & nearly puked. Then, some kind hearted person booked an appointment for me (on my birthday) with the dress @ a bridal shoppe with all of those details; my tentative wedding date, my “fiancĂ©’s” info, the dress I had picked, the bridesmaids dresses, all ready to go. My relationship ended 18 days before. I have never cried harder than after that phone call where the wedding store associate was excitedly congratulating me on my engagement, and ON MY BIRTHDAY and why didn’t I come in to try on the dresses?! The Gleason Table called to wish me a happy birthday only to hear my heartbroken sobs. To that person, you are mean & you suck. But even then, when I was happy about wanting to spend my life with a person, the idea of a wedding made me kind of want to barf. Personally, as I said to the guy when he brought up marriage the first time (Because he brought it up often & even spent one night picking tentative wedding dates) if a man could be content with us being engaged forever, I’d be thrilled. It’s not the commitment that scares me, or the life (well, it would now); it’s the idea of being MARRIED. Getting married AGAIN so people can quietly judge me from their seats. I tried being married and it failed and I’m afraid to do it again. Having people cluck their tongues while saying “oh, you’re getting married…again?” and worried about them disapproving. I felt self conscious that people would wonder how I thought this marriage would work when the first one didn’t. I worried my lack of enthusiasm would dampen his desire for the big party. I’d have to plan a wedding where everyone fights and bridesmaids feel entitled and all of the guests make demands and you spend a bunch of money that you could have used to buy a house and by the end you just want it all to go away. It’s not about the couple or the commitment, it’s all “Ew. Why those colours? Why that bridesmaid? Why that dress?” While I buy food & drink for relatives I never see & don’t terribly like. Blah.

But I digress.

My dream wedding sucks. There is no dress. There is no party. There is no engagement. There is nothing. There is me & my partner & some chapel that specializes in elopement. There is no one we know, except maybe my daughters. There is just us, the celebrant, and the witnesses they provide. We’ll tell people when we’re ready; or on Facebook with a status update. Whatever.

I think a marriage is two people. I get sharing that moment, but from years of over sharing when I’m happy or confiding in the wrong people, I’ve learned to be more cautious…as I write on my blog for strangers to read & people I know to dissect. But, even when I’m in a relationship, I keep my relationship posts high level or I comment on why they’re great, etc. I will share with my besties but I’m still a girl. I guess I want to keep that moment between us, our moment. A friend of mine reminded me that even my high school dream wedding was to elope. I remember when my marriage was failing, all of my family and friends mentioned they were at my wedding and therefore, they had the best advice for me. I learned from going to people for advice when my last relationship was ending that people can not always be trusted. I would confide in them and they would turn right around and I learned later that there was no confidence, my private feelings were being exploited & twisted like telephone. The judgey people when planning the wedding. The nosy in laws. I would think about what part of all of my past relationships made me happiest, and it was when it was just the two of us. If I did choose to get married again, I would want to be comfortable. I wouldn’t be comfortable @ a big party. I would want it to be just us, so I could get through my jumbled nerves, and spit out what I would want to say in my vows without a million people boring holes in me, placing bets on how long it would last. I would want my partner beside me, and that’s it, because the only person who needs to know what kind of wife I intend to be is him.

I’ll never be Bridezilla; I don’t want to be a fairy princess. I want the man I’m committing my life to by my side while we promise to be partners for life. No one else needs to be there to make that promise any less meaningful.

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Day 25: What I’m Looking Foward To

My new house!

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I am so excited to start my life over in my shiny new house. I’ve been working on becoming a neater, more organized person & I intend to keep my new house immaculate. My whole life right now is parenting, work, picking out new furniture, paint swatches, & packing! 64 days will just fly by!

Someone help me pick a couch. I'm stuck

Someone help me pick a couch. I’m stuck

The girls & I need this. We should have done it post divorce. We need a clean break with this city. I need media opportunities. They need a better neighbourhood with better friends & fewer bad influences. All of these things are going to happen for us & I see nothing but positive changes on the horizon. So, I’m going to continue to work towards this goal & I can’t wait to finish painting & moving in (another exercise motivator: getting my piano up those stairs!) & settling in to my new place, picked out by me, painted in colours I picked & enjoying my home.

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I’m enjoying the decision making that goes with moving; choosing paint, colour schemes, and even my cable provider. I’m so excited to be making these choices for my family and the thought of making new friends, meeting new coworkers, (although I’ll miss my Target team) and the joy of welcoming friends into my new home. Not to mention the excitement of applying to new magazines! I can’t wait for a byline again! I’m just so excited and I cannot wait.

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Posted in ASH Blog Projects, Fitnesslicious, Mommydom, My New Life As Me | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 24: What I’ve Learned About Life

Through my life I’ve learned many lessons, but here are the ones that are most important.

Disclaimer: I am a moron. You probably shouldn’t take anything I say seriously pretty much ever.

1. Relationships are about give & take. I used to give too much & end up broken. Then I took too much & felt abandoned. It’s about balance, communication, telling people when you appreciate them & being upfront when they’re pissing you off.

2. Love isn’t enough to keep someone with you. They have to want to work at it & so do you. But there’s no sense in beating yourself up when you tried your best. If you didn’t try your best & you wrecked someone, the most humane thing you can do is let them heal & not continue to torture them so you get closure. You don’t get to “feel better” about what you’ve done to hurt someone; that’s your cross to bear. Leave them alone. Let them be okay.

3. Honesty may not be how you see things, but it may be what is. Respect someone’s truth & that their side of the story has pieces you don’t know & that the full story may not be like either of you see it. Respect others interpretations of life.

4. The only thing people will remember is how you treated them on your worst day; make sure it matches your best day.

5. The most important love affair you’ll have is the one you’ll have with yourself. No one can love you until you love yourself. No one can be your partner until you no longer fear being alone. Be your own best friend & do things that make you happy; whether it’s fitness, arts, or teaching lizards to dance, you will never be happy with someone until you are happy on your own.

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6. You do not have to tolerate passive-aggressive, emotionally abusive, catty & toxic behaviour because someone is your friend/partner. It’s okay to tell someone that you are not happy with them. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to tell someone that you are hurt. Bottling it up or ignoring it only makes it fester. Tell people how you feel.

7. You are not perfect; you can be a giant, raging Doucheface. Own those actions, apologize for them & change them. Even still, you’ll probably be a raging Doucheface 100 more times before you die.

8. There is one person in this world that I could forgive everything, literally everything they’ve ever done and said. You will have one too. We all have that person that we love so unconditionally that we just want them to be happy & we could forgive & forget anything. That’s okay. But you also have to remember that they need to learn from it & want to treat you well too.

So, those are my life lessons & they’re helping me grow every day until I’m the best MHC I know.

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Day 23: My Thoughts on Television & How It Affects Our Lives

Confession time: I am an entertainment reporter who rarely watches TV.

I have had some friends recommend Dr. Who for me, as well as Supernatural and Reign. I’ve given the latter a try and haven’t been able to get into them. Even Law & Order: SVU is hit or miss for me without Stabler. I’m just not a big TV person, I get too bored or annoyed and quit watching. The only show I almost watched to the end was Dawson’s Creek and even then, I gave up after season six.

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I pretty much only watch TV two days a week, which is Monday and Thursdays, when I watch Monday Night Raw with my daughters and The Vampire Diaries with the sometimes angry Tween.

courtesy wwe.com

courtesy wwe.com

I used to love WWE as a kid and as a grown up it became my favourite soap opera. All of the camp of real soap operas, but much better looking men! However, the storylines are getting lame (or I’m growing up) and the only thing that interests me are the Divas, who get very little love from the WWE writers. However, watching my children laugh and get invested in their campy characters (the overlord has long joined Daniel Bryan’s Yes Movement and the angriest tween of course idolizes AJ Lee) and get happy or angry with it, knowing it’s fake all the while.

courtesy the CW

courtesy the CW

The Vampire Diaries was my favourite book series as a tween. I remember sitting on my couch sobbing as (SPOILER ALERT) Elena died @ the end of the Fury (and later was resurrected in Dark Reunion). However, the show (which was a staple for seasons 1-3) has strayed so far from the novels that I loved as a young girl that I can’t seem to get into it anymore. But I must admit that the chemistry between Paul Wesley’s Stefan and Nina Dobrev’s Elena sucks me back in periodically. I sometimes wish I could enjoy the show again, as I used to love it so much and there is still one scene in the season three opener that gets me every time.

I think I struggle with this show because season four & five have Elena spurning her compassionate & gentle suitor Stefan in favour of “taming the bad boy” in brother Damon. Sometimes, the angry tween will tell me that love can fix the broody bad boy, BUT IN THE REAL WORLD, IT DOESN’T. I’ve learned after my last few relationships, all with broody, emotionally stunted bad boys & want to be players, love does not turn a bad boy good. A bad boy has to want to be a good man & he has to want to do it for himself. Too often, a TV shows teach girls that love tames the bad boy. Carrie converted Mr. Big. We all swooned over Jordan Catalano (I still do. Jared Leto. Sigh) & Joey Potter abandoned nice guy Dawson Leary to reform Pacey Witter. Maybe the reason we women spend so much time crying into our Ben & Jerry’s is because we’re conditioned through these love stories that we can love a man into wanting to grow up & be a good husband & father. In reality, it’s up to him to look @ the people he claims to love, look @ his children & look in the mirror & if he wouldn’t want his son to be just like him or his daughter to date someone like him, he needs to become that person. But he has to love himself first. A man will never love a woman enough to better himself for her; he has to love himself enough to be the good man that lives in every bad boy.

Women need to stop being so simpering (especially me) & realize that the bad boys aren’t good for us. We need to find the Stefan, not the Damon that will chew us up & spit us out, strangle the life from us & leave us for dead the minute it gets too hard. We need to marry the Aidan, not Mr. Big. It may not be as thrilling, but at least we won’t be abused & neglected & crying in our ice cream or driving our friends nuts wondering why we weren’t enough to tame the bad boy. Because TV is TV & reality is much uglier. We are good enough. We are all good enough to be loved by the right person. But we’ve got to also recognize that love isn’t enough to make someone want to treat you better. You’ve got to love yourself enough to sit back & wait for the right person & not let the fact that the bad boy didn’t see the good in you ruin that. This is a lesson every woman learns the hard way at least once.

So ladies (& guys), let’s stop letting the romance novels & TV shows sway us into believing that we were put on this Earth to reform a bad boy & our love is powerful enough to make him a good man. It’s not. Instead, let’s accept that our self love is enough to make us good people & the rest will be better than any passionate & stormy TV romance on Earth.

Posted in ASH Blog Projects, Celebrity Fluff, Just Fun, Social Media, Television, Vampire Diaries, WWE Wrasslin' | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 22: What My Future Will Be Like

In the words of my future husband Adam Levine, “I’m not a fortune teller, I won’t be bringing news of what tomorrow brings.”

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I always had a clear career path, I’m going to be a reporter, even if I just freelance on the side and I was going to be a Mommy. But the rest, I never really planned out. When I was married, I let my husband sort of control our future. The one thing I wanted was to live here in Windsor so I could work for my magazine. After the divorce, I had a picture in my mind of my future. I knew who would be my husband and what our house would look like and I’d work in a law firm and as a reporter and he’d work in management and the kids would attend music lessons and we’d hire a cleaning lady because I’m not exactly Suzy Homemaker. I got so caught up in this idealistic future this person & I spun that when I lost it, I struggled with finding a new plan.

So, I decided that I had no plan.

Nope, no plan.

Besides my job, my plans to find a new magazine to call home and to raise my girls, I quite literally have none plans. I fully intend to just live life from day to day and enjoy them. If my true love magically appears in my life; great! If not, oh well. If I interview 50 more celebrities, fantastic! If not, I’ll still be the princess of telecommunications and that’s fantastic too. Obviously I’ll plan for my daughters college funds and my retirement savings, but financial planning is just smart. But aside from that, I’ll let the universe help me find my path. I know what I want for my life and that it’ll all work out when the time is right.

This is the best way for me, because there is no pressure, no timelines, no nothing. Just me and my girls and my friends enjoying my life the best way that I can.

Posted in ASH Blog Projects, Celebrity Fluff, Current Events, Dear Blank, Dorkdom, Life, MH vs Dating, Mommydom, My New Life As Me, Quotable Quotes and Potpourri | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment