the strength of a woman

Women can be intimidating. Women can be soft. Women can be hard. Women can be strong. Women can be funny. Women can be the center of a family. Women can be emotional. Women can be the breadwinner. Women can be the reason that no one forgets lunch and has clean clothes. Women can be the CEO of a company. Women can be the CEO of a household. Women are the backbone of the family. Women are the center of the world.

That’s at least what I think.

Without Us…With Us…

Without us, there’s no future. We create life. We create hope. We create generations that will create more life and more memories and more leaders and more mothers and more fathers and more teachers and more laborers and more garbage truck drivers and more hockey players and more inventors and more scientists…and so much more than that. We create memories. We create history.

All because we are women. We run this world.

Just quieter then men, yet stronger than men, sometimes.

And believe it or not, there are a lot of men that are afraid of us…afraid that we might ‘take their glory’ or ‘take their spotlight’…and because they are afraid of us, they try to take us down and hit us where they think it will hurt the most – our hearts, because ours are larger (emotionally) than theirs, sometimes.

My Thoughts.

If you disagree with me, just know that I feel the way that I feel because I’m a little jaded thanks to the two men that I have been married to.

My first husband was really into politics, specifically republican politics, and when I was at an event with him, I wanted to share my thoughts on females in politics and he shushed me. Can you believe it?? I was shushed! (among other things in our marriage)

Then my second husband told me that he was so excited that I was leaving work because he wanted to be the breadwinner…he wanted to support us…that he was looking forward to having that pressure on his shoulders. Well, you want to know what happened when that pressure landed there – he bolted…he couldn’t handle it. He couldn’t handle that pressure for even a year and yet I had been the breadwinner for at least 14 years knowing that if I left work that my family wouldn’t have insurance, including, at the time, my uninsurable 1st husband because of a pre-existing condition. And yet my Irish Idiot couldn’t last 12 months…he barely lasted 10 months while I was still paying a majority of the bills with my savings.

Sometimes I feel like an idiot for being the one that was stable, that was responsible, that was successful…but I wouldn’t have done it any other way then how my career happened. (I would, though, redo my relationships differently, but that’s a different story.) I have a story, I have experience…I just need to figure out what to do with all of the knowledge I’ve learned…and thankfully, I think I’ve figured it out. I’ll let you know if I have, in the future.

One thing that I’ve fallen in love with when I blog, is when I positively affect people that I’ve never met or spoken to but they’ve read something that I’ve written and had some sort of inspiration from it. To me, it means that the struggles that I’ve endured are paying off in some way, shape or form. It has inspired me to keep going, keep writing, keep sharing my real life with whoever will listen. I just want to make a difference for someone, somewhere.

Strength.

A couple of weeks ago someone asked me how I’ve been so strong, and in all honesty, I don’t view myself that way at all. I only remember every time that I’ve been snippy with my ex’s or cried because I was overwhelmed. So to the person that called me ‘strong’, you made my whole day.

There have been soo many women, mothers, friends, wives, female strangers, sisters, cousins, female leaders, female business owners, female anything…that have inspired me in life. And I think that’s key. We can be so hard on ourselves – always thinking that we’re not good enough (mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, employees, etc. and etc.) that if we can find mentors or just someone to model our lives after, we will keep the faith alive.

It gives us strength and passion to be like our mentors or create our own self identity based with the inspiration of someone special. It keeps us going…because our mentor keeps going. And that’s a great thing because you know what?? That will inspire the next generation because the same habits will be repeated. Someone will look at you and me and think, “I want to be like them one day”, and we need to realize that we aren’t only making an impact for ourselves but for future generations.

Something as small as getting a mammogram done every year can encourage self awareness and self care or something like running a marathon to raise money for a well deserved organization, or something like donating your spare time to a local women’s shelter…these things drive home our importance and our impact to the world. We are needed…we are important…we set the tone…we run the world.

I can’t end this post without telling you about a few of my mentors (and in reality I have a TON). I’ve told you about my hero (my mom), my best friend that is incredible (my runner and stability), my friend that hired me and helped me find my career, my new friend and sister-in-law, and a friend that is helping me stay accountable in health but I have soo many others that have affected me in such positive and amazing ways. (and if you’re not listed here, I promise in the future you are probably getting a spotlight 🙂 .)

Some of my mentors:

In case you didn’t know that you had made an impact, thank you to:

1. My cousin

Strength is giving birth to your first child the day before your father’s birthday, god rest his soul.

My cousin had the most amazing father and she lost him in her early teenage years. My uncle had a big personality and I gravitated to him from an early age. I loved him dearly and looked forward to every minute that I was able to spend with him and I also knew that I held a special place in his heart. When he passed away, the world lost a man with a big smile and large laugh, and one of my favorite people. My cousins lost their dad and my Aunt lost her husband.

My cousin was just becoming a teenager, the most difficult age for many girls, when her dad passed away. Not that my Aunt couldn’t raise her on her own, but it’s hard to be both dad and mom to a teenager. I can only imagine trying to give all of the advice that both parents would give via one person is very difficult and some key things are bound to get challenging.

I don’t think that my cousin will ever know how much she meant to her father because she was so young when he passed away, but she was the apple of his eye. I know she misses him so much but I think that a little bit of my Uncle now lives in my cousins little girl…plus she can make some of the same facial expressions that he used to. There are actually a lot of things that my daughter and my cousin’s daughter do that remind me of my Uncle.

So even though my cousin didn’t get to grow up with her father she’ll still get to see a little bit of his spark in her daughter every day.

I can’t even begin to imagine what it means to have lost your father at age 13. She’s strong and raising a daughter with his personality. 🙂 Memories can fade but instinct can help you remember the small things. #heintroducedmetocandycorn #hissmilewasamazing #christywashisangel

2. Shortly before I got pregnant with my #2 little man, I was out running errands and I received a phone call letting me know that a friend of mine had lost her little boy when she was 27 weeks pregnant. It shook me to my core. Thinking through what she and her husband and son went through emotionally and physically, to me, is unimaginable. My heart was broken into a thousand pieces for them – I could only imagine what they were experiencing.

I look now at where they are and am inspired at how their strength has grown their lives, their marriage and their careers. They now have a second beautiful little one that they adopted. And she’s adorable and beautiful and I want to have an arranged marriage for her and my #2 little man. 🙂

The most inspiring part is that she is now a NICU nurse. I will never forget that she told me that the nurses that were in the hospital when everything happened with her son, were amazing. She went back to school, graduated faster than expected, and went to work in the same hospital where she experienced some of her toughest moments in life and made a difference in many, many lives, including cuddling my nephew when he was in the NICU.

I look up to this woman. She has inspired me and encouraged me without even doing anything more than accomplishing ‘amazing feats’ in her own life. The strength that she has found in order to accomplish these amazing things is astounding.

If she can do what she’s been able to do, I can do anything. Love you E!

3. My girl…my researcher…my intelligent Mama. This woman is one of the smartest women that I’ve ever met.

I’ve known her for soo many years but the two things that I can depend on from her are:

1. She will research the heck out of a topic and by the time that she’s done you’ll know that even the FBI couldn’t disagree with her.

2. She will forever stand up for the people in her life that she believes in.

With that said, I should be saying thank you to her over and over, each week. She inspires me to push myself to limits that make me uncomfortable. She challenges me without even realizing that she’s challenging me. She sees
‘Staci’ for who I really am…or at least who I was when I was 17…and sometimes, those young ages really show our likes, dislikes, missions in life, and etc.

She remembers me from way back when and she reminds me.

Also, she’s shown me how to be strong when you have every right and every ability to say ‘I told you so’ or ‘I knew this would backfire’, when it comes to dealing with kids.

She’s shown me how to bite my lip and how biting my lip will encourage a better relationship with my son’s father. She tells me that she knows it’s not easy but has shown me the reason that it is a necessity.

She stands up for injustices when it’s not cool; when it’s controversial; when her daughter needs her to. She’s shown me how to support a teenager when you completely disagree but need to agree so that your daughter isn’t the only one standing alone. Love you S!

4. There is a woman in my life that is just stinking happy all of the darn time!! And it’s legit. She really is. (You’re awesome D!)

And she has THREE boys…plus a husband that (god love him), is kind of a fourth child. And I’m only saying that because I think that he would agree with this.

She leapt into her own business and went balls-to-the-wall (forgive the phrase D) but seriously, there was no stopping her. She owned it, tried it, loved it, sold it and has varied since then, but she exposed herself on social media, in a way that unless you’ve done it, you’ll never understand. And she was great at it!

She actually has inspired me to start a new section of my blog – the new adventures of ME! I’ve never focused on me like I have recently and one of the ways is being open to everything, including pampering my face and skin.

A friend contacted me a few weeks ago and she wanted to send me a few samples of her facial products to test and host a virtual party. I keep putting her off because, well…life, but I can honestly say that I love sooo much of what she sent to me. I’m hosting an online party soon – click here to get more info (all you have to do is log on) but I have to tell you that my two favorite things are the mascara (which is key)and the moisturizer. Click here to join the party! It’s worth it!! (Plus it supports a mompreneur.)

D – I’m proud of you for doing it and going all in. It takes guts and you have lots! Thanks for your inspiration!

5. Strength is any mother that tells another mother that they are awesome!

I was at the hockey rink the other day and a mom walked up to me and told me how wonderful she thought my boys were. I didn’t know what to say so of course I responded with the traditional, “well, if you were at my house, you wouldn’t think the same thing” quote…but what I should have said was simply, “Thank you”!

Women are so competitive. Especially when it comes to who is the better mother. Big time! So when another mom walks up just to tell you that you’re doing a good job, unfortunately, not all of us know how to act.

It should be natural to simply say, “Thank you” and not wonder what hidden agenda that mother has, but that’s what today’s society has taught us. That we’re never good enough and other’s need to be put down in order for us to be made to feel better.

But this woman that came up to me to say this was only looking for one response, “Thank you”. Her kids are also wonderful and super polite and I complimented her on this in return for her compliment and she had a weird look on her face as if saying, “ok, but I hope you know that I really think you’re doing a great job as a mom.”

That takes courage in today’s environment of over-commitment and pushing kids to excel in order to prove our worthiness as parents.

Acknowledging that we’re all just trying to figure this thing called parenthood and life out and that by the time we all figure it out, it’s probably too late, is reality.

BUT, when women pat each other on the back for no other reason than ‘just because’, that’s strength, that’s confidence, that’s wonderful. There have been more times that I’ve found strength from other women than even from my own family. When it comes from a stranger, or from someone that ‘isn’t supposed to give us support’ (aka family and close friends) it means A LOT!

So dish it out…if you see someone doing something simple but great as a mom, tell them…if they keep their cool with their unruly child in the middle of a grocery store then tell them how impressed you are…if they were early to practice with three other kids in tow and you don’t know how they do it then tell them that you think that they are amazing….tell them.

You’d be amazed at how a few words can make an impact on another person’s life. What is it going to hurt – nothing but boost someone else’s ego…and that’s a great thing!

(And L, you made my weekend a lot less tough that weekend – thank you for acknowledging my parenting!)

Be strong Mama’s – let’s be strong together!

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it (the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website)(I do not get commissions from sites where you donate money or things). Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend items that I feel are amazing because I’ve used and tried them. Thank you for your trust and viewership!
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toxic mil’s

Think you’re alone in having an anxiety attack before your MIL arrives to town?? You’re not. There’s thousands of us out there and, I swear to you with everything that I have, I refuse to become that person when my boys marry.

Right in front of your face.

Why is it so hard to face facts when it comes to emotional connections? Why does the heart tell you different things than what your brain says?

My heart and my brain play this tug of war every day and some days one wins and I’m not an emotional mess and some days the other wins and I keep asking myself, “Why me?”. It’s tough. I’m just thankful that my brain is usually the one that wins out and my heart has been winning less often lately.

Then there’s days like August 21…his birthday.

My Irish Idiot’s birthday.

It stung so much that we weren’t celebrating together. I had a huge party in the planning stages before I found out that he cheated on me. I missed him so much, even though my brain told me that he doesn’t deserve even one tear. But my heart won on this day.

I’m not quite sure why I am in the place that I’m in, considering that I’ve done nothing to deserve being deserted, cheated on and lied to, and more, by my Irish Idiot and his sad family, especially considering I took a cheating husband back after I found out what he had done and wanted to move toward repairing our marriage.

It’s right in front of my face that I should shut these toxic people out of my life immediately, yet in my heart of hearts, I just want my husband back. The husband that was here before his toxic family came to town. It’s a battle between my heart and my brain, continually, and probably will be until I start to see some justice for what he’s done to me and the kids.

All about ‘ME’.

My soon-to-be-ex continues to not take responsibility for his actions and none of his family has shown one ounce of care toward the situation that their son/brother has put me in. All they care about is how this will affect them…how often they will see MY daughter…how much my Irish Idiot will have to pay me (aka his mother because they can’t stand on their own two feet). No one can look at this from a place of clear perspective to really reflect upon what’s happened and who’s been hurt by them, including innocent children.

Reality…unfortunately.

But…I guess that’s who they are. That’s who his mom raised…must be the morals that she has because they all act in the same manner toward women and she was the parent that was the main influence in their lives. Her kids, that have been so reckless with their lives (excluding the one that wants nothing to do with the older three) that they have destroyed others emotionally, financially and otherwise, and they don’t care. They show no remorse. They treat me as though I shouldn’t be upset. And if anyone has a right to be upset right now, it’s me.

But I’m treated as though I should be as emotionless as they are. That I should be able to walk away from the love of my life with ease. Sorry – YOU (In-Laws), you are the ones that are not normal. It’s not normal to rip someone’s life apart and then blame them for it.

It’s sad what this woman has done to these men that are now almost all in their 40’s (or darn close to it). If I had three children that couldn’t take care of themselves and couldn’t hold steady relationships or jobs, I would cry myself to sleep and question what I had done wrong.

But not my special MIL.

Nope…she has only said sorry to me once for her sons actions and it’s because she knows how much he messed up that night and she didn’t want to lose the second relationship (out of two) with a grandchild, because her sons are emotionally destructive to themselves and others.

And now, instead of doing what anyone else would consider as ‘the right thing’ to do, by trying to avoid destroying a woman, that has already been destroyed enough by her own son, that did so much for her son, she’s chosen a dark path…the unjust path. The path to help her son get what she thinks he deserves…only what SHE wants. She’s just as selfish as the boys she has raised. And just as big of a bully because she thinks she can bully her way into her granddaughters life by paying enough to an attorney to try to shut her own granddaughters mother out.

What you should have done, if you cared enough about your granddaughter, was to shake your son into his right mind, kick him out of your house, make him stand on his own two feet, force him to realize that when a man marries a woman, the new wife is more important than the mother, and tell him that he needs to fix what he’s done wrong. Because it’s the right thing to do. Because that’s what the little redhead needs. Refuse to allow a third son to become another ’emotional-support-child’ to help you through life.

But then again…not my special MIL.

None of that was ever done. Nope – she told me in the middle of my drama that they don’t talk about things. No one discusses issues. Heartfelt, deep, meaningful, conversations are never had. So why do I think that things would be different for my situation?? Because I thought she cared. Because she told me that she loved me, cared about me…all empty statements. Because I thought that she loved her granddaughter enough to step outside of herself and tell her son that he needed to fix this, for her granddaughter.

History has a way of repeating itself though. I don’t know a ton of details because they always glossed over everything (and that should have been a big clue to me) but they were the ‘victims’ of losing the first granddaughter apparently. According to them, the relationship is strained because of every reason that the other ex-wife has done. Not them. They’ve done nothing wrong, if you ask them. Nothing. I can only imagine that will be the same story that they tell about me in 10 years. “Poor, poor Erik. Staci’s so horrible.”

Never willing to take responsibility for their actions. It’s really sad.

Word to the wise to whoever the next McDonnell wife is…good luck. You’re truly on your own. They change afterward. They’ll give you a month, maybe two. Then they expect you to become their mom…someone who is emotionless, someone that knows that he treats women with disrespect but is expected to suck it up ‘like mom did’, and someone that will always take a backseat to the MIL…you’ll always be second.

If I knew what I now know, I honestly don’t think that I would have lasted six months into the dating relationship.

…AND there…

…you have read the emotions behind a divorce, just a small snapshot of what one feels on a daily, sometimes less, basis. It’s draining. It’s not fun. This is what you do in your spare time (9:00 pm – bedtime) thinking about because you’re raising little ones in the meantime.

I’m just thankful that this is the first that I’ve felt this emotion in weeks. It just means that I’m realizing who I was married to, who the family is, who they really are, and who I’m now embarrassed to say that I share a last name with.

I’ve started to accept that I was married to a man that I was deeply in love with but that he was more deeply in love with himself and his mother than me. I know this sounds sick but I’m really not trying to turn this in that direction. It’s just that it’s a weird…really weird…situation. Someone that leans on his own mother at 39 years old more than his own wife…that is weird…and all she did was encourage this behavior.

This stuff called ‘extended family’ is tough. If you can honestly say ‘I love her like my own mother’, please understand that you have a special relationship with your mother-in-law. From two marriages, I’ve learned that boys have a hard time leaving their mothers. And I think that this is caused, this feeling of guilt (or whatever it is), is drilled into them from birth. I have yet to have a man in my life, (other than my father and brother in law) that has truly ‘left’ the umbilical cord at home and can stand on their own two feet. When I do, that’s when I’ll truly know that I’ve found a man instead of a boy.

At this point, I can only use what I’ve experienced to enrich my sons lives, the good and bad. I’ll help them to grow to be good men, with great ethics and outstanding morals.

so…i went to dinner by myself

One evening recently, I had the opportunity to go to dinner by myself. A few things fell through and I had someone looking after the kids so I took advantage of it.

Going to dinner by yourself is weird. BUT I am a bit used to it because I used to travel frequently for work and when you do that, you get accustomed to going to dinner by yourself. And in all honesty, I enjoy it. I can read whatever I want to on my phone. I can watch whatever I want on TV (if I’m in a sports bar) and I can order whatever food or drink I want without fearing the ping of remorse (aka – I order more to drink than my guest does) or the guilt of too many calories (until I put on my pants the next morning).

So I found recently that I had the opportunity to go to dinner by myself and I took advantage of it. And it was glorious.

Before I go further, I want to clarify a few more truths about traveling for work. When we’re traveling, we pack our days full so that we can get home as soon as possible. So when we sit down on a plane, it’s usually our first time to actually sit for more than 30 minutes without having to be lectured at, sold to or listened to. We enjoy silence. Why do you think that BOSE and Sony have sold so many ‘noise canceling’ headphones? This is our downtime, sometimes our only downtime before we get home to a house that needs to be cleaned in addition to our work and in addition to the lunches that have to be made and clothes that have to be laundered and folded before 7 am after a midnight arrival flight. That’s a small picture into a travelers’ life.

That’s what I’ve been used to for YEARS. And I’ve been okay with it. I actually miss it. Because it was quiet. And I don’t have quiet now.

I have mixed emotions about not having quiet now. Quiet to me, now, means being an adult…not having to be responsible for anyone but me. And choosing whether or not to be quiet or loud…having the choice to be quiet because I usually don’t have the choice.

But the lack of ‘quiet’ also means that my kids aren’t there and they bring me such joy. My little redhead thinks that the louder she is, the more she’ll get, (and she’s kind of correct because the boys hate to hear her ‘upset’ cries) and the boys are just loud, and honestly, even when I try to whisper, I’m loud, so they get it naturally.

It’s sometimes hard to find a balance between ‘full-house’ loud and ’empty-house’ quiet. But I’m trying so darn hard.

Back to my ‘alone’ date.

I was flirted with. And it felt darn good, even though I ignored the flirting after smiling about it.

Then after sitting at the bar for a little while and enjoying my quiet, a little old man sat next to me.

I was trying to find my ‘quiet’ and this man kept trying to strike up a conversation so I went with it. I talked and talked and talked after he talked and talked and talked. I was once again reminded about how perspective was really the key to dealing with any situation.

God was trying to remind me that my issues are small in comparison to others. And I think that God was reminding me of this because he knows how I am ‘wired’ and that will help pull me out of the ‘down’ mood that I could potentially be in, considering I found out today that my soon-to-be-ex-husband is STILL playing hockey with the ugly-soul that he cheated on me with.

This man, at dinner, (a man older than my father) opened up and shared with me that his wife of 42 years passed away about 18 months ago from breast cancer. Which is exactly what my mom beat, twice. He shared that he was so lonely on his acreage of land and missed his wife so much, that he was having a hard time coping with the silence. So he would drive to the restaurant once or twice a day to have dinner and talk with strangers just to avoid the silence. The one thing that I wanted and craved. And after his talk, I didn’t crave it so much.

I still have a hard time going to bed alone, even though the lack of ‘ridge‘ is making it easier to cope. 🙂 But I would much rather know that I have the opportunity to make a better life for my three kids and myself than to deal with an Irish Idiot that just wants to be single and date ugly, soul-less people…and that I have YEARS to do this, rather than being almost eighty years old coping with the loss of love.

This man went on and on about his wife and how marriage is difficult but when you work through the difficult stuff the good times seem so much better. And that when you’re working through the difficult times, the issues seem SO much bigger than they really are but once you commit to toughing it out, you realize it really wasn’t that bad.

I wish my husband could talk to this man. But I doubt it would have changed anything. His mom raised him to think that he could drop and run to her if life got tough for him because she would lie for him, cover up his mistakes, even to her husband (my husband’s father), and fix everything for him and his three brothers. When that has been instilled in you year after year for a lifetime, it’s hard to want to actually be an adult and work through problems.

Back to my story.

I was feeling so bad for this little old man, and then…a ‘woman-friend’ and her daughter came in, clearly an unexpected arrival, and they stole him away…and good for him. He was looking for companionship and he got it. I hope to be that open to things one day. Not looking for anything more…not looking for more relationship…not looking for more than someone to talk to…someone to give attention. Good for him. It was awesome watching someone be so open to possibilities in life.

And it gave me hope and made me smile about the reality of life.

Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you are going to get.

my kids are a little nutty – mid-week motivation

All I can do is laugh

I’ve said it before so forgive me for repeating myself but I love to laugh! This is the last week before school starts which means that by this point in the summer I’m driving my boys nuts and my boys are driving me nuts and my little redhead has entered the terrible two’s early. So at this point, all I can do is laugh because I’m an ugly crier so I try to choose to laugh.

Lately it seems like every time I turn around the kids are doing something that makes me question my sanity or laugh. The choices that they’ve made this week have me wondering if I’ve taught them anything or if they just decided to turn their ears off all summer.

So I thought that I would put my week to meme’s to give you a chance to laugh. Your kids may have been able to top these but I thought I that I would share so that you could commiserate with me or laugh with or at me. This stuff really happens…unfortunately on a regular basis, in my household.

The last 7 days with my kids…in meme’s

sleeping in the middle of the bed

Last night I did something that I’ve never done before…or at least in the last 13 years. I slept in the middle of my bed. That may not sound like a big deal to some but to a girl getting ready to go through a divorce that she doesn’t want…it was a big deal because I enjoyed every second of it and it was something that only I was able to enjoy.

My Bed

I have an incredible bed – it’s very cozy and the duvet makes it that much more luxurious to climb into each night. My husband and I picked the bed out about 18 months ago and I can say it’s one of my favorite purchases that I’ve ever made.

When two people sleep in a bed, night after night, there are natural indentations that occur over time, which started to happen shortly before my husband moved out. And my OCD self gets annoyed at the ‘ridge’ that has started to form in the center. Maybe I’m too detail oriented but it annoys the heck out of me so last night I decided to start sleeping in the middle of the bed to even it out.

Sleeping in the middle of the bed last night was also after I took a few hours yesterday to pack up all of the Irish Idiot’s stuff that was in our bedroom. I TOOK BACK MY ROOM! It made crawling into my amazing bed that much more glorious.

My Sanctuary

And maybe some of you will understand this and some won’t but I don’t even let the kids in bed with me…because my bed is a sanctuary to me. I love them, but their beds are sufficient, I share everything else I have with them including food off of my plate and bathroom trips (because they can’t wait a minute to ask a question) so keeping my bed to myself is my one way to enjoy peace and solitude…even if that’s just when I’m asleep.

The Irish Idiot’s actions have caused a ripple effect and I’m having a hard time trusting people that make promises to me. Lately, I tend to doubt that promises will be fulfilled and that people will actually step up to the plate. The silver lining is that when people do fulfill their promises, I get even more excited and happy than I would have six months ago. With that said, I know very well that it will be a long time before I want to even think about relationships and marriage and having a husband in that bed; I want to enjoy every penny that I spent on that bed. So I want to even it out and make it ‘mine’, all mine. Because it’s okay to focus on what I, alone, want sometimes, and I’m learning how to do it again.

So when I walked into my bedroom yesterday afternoon, I forced myself to look at the room through different lenses…lenses that focused on my new life. I’m going to make this bed all about me and all about what I want and no one else gets to have an opinion. I get to sleep in the middle of my bed without having to share it with anyone. I get to enjoy the solitude and luxury ALL.ON.MY.OWN. And when I looked at it that way, I was excited to go to bed last night.

For the first time in weeks, I didn’t go to bed with my laptop in bed with me. For the first time in weeks, I didn’t have clothes that I needed to fold, laying on the Irish Idiot’s side of the bed. For the first time in weeks the Irish Idiot’s side of the bed was reclaimed as mine…and no one else’s. This is MY bed. MY life. MY future.

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My New View

Ever since my life spiraled out of control a couple of months ago when I found out I had been cheated on, I’ve been looking at things in my home, heard our favorite songs, drove past restaurants that we went to, remembered places that we enjoyed going to, as tortuous. Things that I will never have again with the one person that I loved with everything that I have. And because he’s gone, I had begun to focus on those great experiences never being in my life again. It’s painful not just because the love of my life is gone but also because I didn’t want it to be gone and I have to come to grips with it and it’s been hard to want to do that.

Last night, though, I made a choice to accept what was gone and look forward to what is coming because I know that it’s going to be great. And I no longer have to share my ‘greatness’ with a selfish idiot that took me for granted.

I get to choose who is in my life, my children’s lives…my ‘bed’, and I don’t have to share any of it with anyone unless I make that choice. That’s a pretty big concept to digest but also a pretty freeing concept to enjoy.

So last night I got to sleep in the middle of my bed. My king-sized bed. All by myself. And I was able to spread out, toss and turn, take all of the covers…all by myself.

It was simply amazing.

I encourage all of you to enjoy doing something today, even something small, for no other reason than YOU want to enjoy it. Whether it’s downloading your favorite song from 1996 and forcing your kids to listen to it in the car simply so you can relive the best summer of your life, or it’s watching an entire Gator football game in a few weeks because that’s your favorite team to cheer on, or putting the kids to bed 15 minutes early so that you can read…do it.

Just do it.