Happiness

I’ve been seeing a lot of people on my Facebook news feed with “100 Days of Happiness” (one friend went all out & decided to do 365!). I didn’t do it because I annoy enough people with my blog pluggery & Fitspo posts. But I love the idea of someone taking 100 days to remind them why life is beautiful. My friend the Psych Major said I remind her of Uni-Kitty from the Lego Movie because I’m always upbeat & positive & oh so happy! It’s not a state of mind; it’s a choice I make every second of my life to be happy, even when the world is a shit show. I do this because more gets accomplished when you’re happy than when you give into the shit show.

Anywho, with that being said, I’m going to post a list of 100 things that make me happy.

***Before someone points it out in some snide comment; my daughters, friends & cats are not things. They are people***

1. My bliggity bloggity. I need to write to feel happiness. I write more when I’m unhappy or stressed as writing is pretty much my everything. But it’s the only way I know how to express myself properly. So, my blog makes me happy as creating ideas makes me happy.
2. Birthday Cake Donuts. I have to run 5k every day to earn the bastards, but they’re so good. Mmmmm.
3. Yoga.
4. My house. I’ll love it more once I paint it.
5. I’m taking the Overlord to see her first IMAX movie on Sunday. She’s going to face her fear of loud noises to see Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m excited for her.
6. The fact that my manager doesn’t object to the amount of casual swearing I do at work.
7. Listening to the Fray in sweater weather.
8. My phone’s autocorrect because it’s funny as Hell.
9. My Ed Sheeran tickets & no, I still won’t sell them to my manager.
10. Getting to play with the new cell phones at work.
11. Pop culture as I’ll be making my livings thanks to celebrity obsession again.
12. Seth Rollins because he is really hot. Celebrity crush FTW.

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13. My hair is finally a colour. Well, two colours. But I don’t need colour correction anymore. Yay! (Check it out in the About Me section)
14. I saw Queen two weeks ago & it was the best concert ever.
15. The song “Explosions” by Ellie Goulding because I swear it sounds like it was ripped out of my journal. I would like royalties Ellie, because you stole my thoughts.
16. Every single thing Taylor Swift does and says. Always.
17. Red freezies. The superior freezie.
18. I have finally mastered winged eyeliner so I no longer resemble a panda in public.

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19. My one on one dates with my girls. I love that I’ve mastered time management enough to give them the attention they need while working to support us.
20. Pikachu
21. Oscar Wilde
22. The fact that Trish Stratus & the Imagine Dragons follow me on Twitter
23. My neighbour. He’s rad.

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24. Somersby. I don’t drink often but when I do, that’s it.
25. Katy Perry. The sometimes angry teen is so excited about our trip to see her.
26. The fact that my 4yo daughter is perfectly capable of saying l’s & r’s but chooses not to because she thinks it’ll get her out of stuff.
27. Reese’s peanut butter everything
28. Clouds that look like stuff
29. Pancakes. All the time. Everyday
30. Post exercise soreness. That means I did it right.
31. My 7yo’s determination to grow her hair as long as Rapunzel’s.
32. My amazing box of stuff.
33. Adam Levine.

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34. An old, beat up copy of Julius Caesar I bought for someone & never got to give to them. Now it’s mine & I like to keep it around to inspire me to achieve my goals. Something something One Tree Hill. ( I watched the show once. It sucked. But I do love the show’s version of “When the Stars Go Blue” better than the Corrs version I heard originally).
35. The song Timber. Suck it, it’s good.
36. Chicken wings from a Windsor pub called Hurricane’s. There are none better.
37. Terrible movies. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus is a fantastic one. I’ve been told Sharknado is worse. I may need to check it out.
38. The number of times that I will stare at my phone after I’ve unlocked it with the fingerprint sensor as if I expect it to continue to do stuff.
39. Skipping in lieu of walking. It’s more fun to skip. Try it, it’s really fun.
40. Stars. I have a really deep & intense reasoning but I’ll save that for later. But I love them more than life, have four tattooed on my wrist & want a crap ton more.
41. My tattoos. I’m proud of them & can’t wait for the next one.
42. People who quote the Simpsons in their everyday speech.
43. Brown eyes. They’re sexy.
44. The book Flowers in the Attic. It’s so bad it’s good.
45. The colour electric blue.
46. Disney movies
47. Pixar
48. Cat gifs.
49. The number of people who pick up my mannerisms. It makes me feel influential.
50. Old people celebrating their 40th or more wedding anniversary.
51. The fact that years later, people still choose my parents’ wedding song for their first dance @ their own wedding.
52. Jillian Michaels. She’s so great.
53. Any story the Psych Major tells me about her son.
54. Everything about my future.
55. My friend’s new writing project that I may be a part of.
56. The creek in front of my condo
57. Cilantro, only because the Overlord will always correctly identify when the dishes on the cooking shows need it.
58. All of the dishes I’ve created with Red Bull as an ingredient.
59. Red Bull.
60. My iPhone.
61. Soccer hooligans.
62. Skateboarders that fall down.
63. Slapstick comedies
64. Unicorns. Shut up, they’re amazing & you’re wrong to suggest otherwise.
65. The genius who thought to put cookie dough in ice cream. My hat’s off to you sir.
66. My teen daughter’s obsession with the DIY network.
67. The knowledge that I do not have a Pinterest & have no desire to get one.
68. Sitting down after my shift.
69. The knowledge that I’m immature enough to laugh hysterically right now.
70. The fact that I’m in my 30’s & I still don’t get dirty jokes.
71. The fact that my 4yo asked for “All the Things” for her birthday.
72. Lumpy Space Princess
73. Archer. It’s so funny.
74. Moustaches
75. Pickles
76. Stuffing things into cookies (ie s’more stuffed cookies)
77. Pictures of Yorkies dressed up as Harry Potter
78. Cats with people names
79. My dimmer light switch for my chandelier
80. My Instagram account
81. My fireplace
82. Any time my friend Amanda throws a fit & demands chocolate like she’s a small child
83. Sleeping
84. Squats
85. Camping
86. People who say they like my writing.
87. Laughing until I cry
88. Dressing up my cat Peachy for Halloween
89. Football, but only The New Orleans Saints & only when my 4yo explains the rules.
90. The knowledge that I’m going to enter a fantasy football league, let my preschooler draft all of our players & when we win, tell the wannabe jocks that they lost to a child in kindergarten.
91. Hockey.
92. My Little Pony
93. Texting The Texan screencaps of morons who message me on online dating.
94. Maroon 5’s new album V
95. The Fault in our Stars. If you read it & didn’t bawl, you have no soul.
96. Punny puns.
97. The alarms I set to remind me to exercise.
98. My teen daughter’s exaggerations.
99. Toblerone.
100. French bulldogs.

That’s my list! I hope you got a good laugh & maybe some of these make you happy too! But the joy of life is that stupid little things can make you happy every single day, even this list.

48 To Go

As I continue to work towards my fitness goals (down 40.5lbs), I’m learning how much money I waste on…well, crap food.

A little progression pic. See my 40lbs loss...and my various phones.
A little progression pic. See my 40lbs loss…and my various phones.

Between my Tim Horton’s Tea and my Starbucks chai tea and my restaurant lunches on paydays, I’m not eating as well as I should be, especially if I want to lose the last of the weight. I’m over halfway to my goal and I’ve dropped two sizes and plan to drop two more, as well as get stronger. Eating that crap is not going to help me. Not to mention it’s pricey and with summer coming, I want to be able to take the girls on a much needed and well earned family vacay to the zoo, as the overlord has been waiting since she was two years old to see hopping kangaroos. Not to mention that in the next three months, I will be attending a WWE Live event and “Queen” Katy Perry with the littles, as well as Queen and Ed Sheeran with friends (still accepting offers for someone to accompany me to see Ed Sheeran. You get to spend my birthday with me and go to Ed Sheeran for free, as my friends are all “I don’t like him, he’s a hobbit.” Jerks), so having the extra cash would be nice.

In order to finally kicking the junk food habit, I’m imposing my #29DaysJunkFoodFree. From June 1 – 30/14, with the only exception being the soon to be teen’s birthday, I’m going to cut out all junk food, fast food, caffeine, and alcohol. I’m going to put the money I would have spent in a jar to see how much money I waste on junk food. Obviously I’ll need to find some workarounds, as my coworkers are planning a team outing (so I’ll have to order salads and drink water), but I will not eat fast food, or chicken wings, or drink, or have any caffeine. I’ll see how much of a difference it makes on my weight loss goals as well as on my wallet. I’m going to hopefully lose more weight while fattening up my wallet.

This just cracks me up...and will help me kick cupcakes.
This just cracks me up…and will help me kick cupcakes.

Part of trying to live better is taking accountability for what I eat. Cutting out junk food and caffeine and restaurant foods will help me live longer by cutting out excessive fats and unhealthy foods, but it’s going to put money back into my pocket, which will help me support my family. I have friends trying it with me, with each picking one exception day and we’re all going to go #29DaysJunkFoodFree. I hope to see awesome results and get one step closer to living healthy and well and teaching my kids to teach them healthy eating habits too.

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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.

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.

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.

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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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 “fianc√©’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.

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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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.

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.