Thank U, Next.

I didn’t want to go to the gym today.

I was tired. My shift at work was long. I slept like crap. I’ve been stressed out about money, work, Xmas, etc. I wanted to go home, brew up a David’s Tea, and lay on my couch & do nothing. I definitely did not want to go to the gym. I had a headache and I didn’t want to get sweaty and more tired. I wanted to go to bed early, not go to the gym.

Nope, I did not. I sat in my car after work for five minutes, psyching myself up to go to the gym. I did not want to go to the gym. I got to the gym and finished the song I was listening to, trying to mentally prepare to go to the gym. Finally, I made it in and did the WOD and worked on my snatches and did the thing. As I drove home, I was so glad that I went to the gym. I felt better than I had in days; refreshed, rejuvenated, and much more optimistic. I felt like my normal MHC self. So when I got home & realized that I should clean the living room, I didn’t just whine and procrastinate. I just did it.

Sometimes you get bogged down by life and you don’t want to do anything but lay in bed and mope around and be a big lame. Maybe your anxiety or your own brain tries to convince you that it’s not worth it and just give up and be miserable. That’s how I get sometimes and sometimes I let that feeling win. But, other times, like today, I did the thing that was necessary to help me feel better, both inside and out. I’m a happier person when I go to the gym. I’m less anxious, I’m more motivated. I smile more. So, even though today I didn’t want to go to the gym, some part of me knew I had to go to the gym, so I kicked my own ass to get there. Sometimes, the things that will make us better are the things we know are good for us, but we don’t want to do it because it’s hard or we don’t want to be accountable for our actions or we’re tired and hangry. But you still have to get up and do the damn thing because you’ll be better for it in the long run.

Next time I get stuck in a rut, I’ll have to remind myself how much better I felt after I got up off of my ass and went to the gym even though I was tired and didn’t want to go. Or when I cleaned my house even though I really wanted to watch Haunting of Hill House & eat leftover Halloween candy (the latter of which I did y’all. No regrets). However, the only way your life gets better is when you like yourself. I don’t like myself when I’m not exercising. So, I gotta make the time, even when I feel like shit. My body will thank me, because your body is like your car; it performs better when you take care of it. Take care of the body, and the spirit will take care of itself.

Next time you feel yourself wanting to be lazy and like you’re forcing yourself to work out or get to work or even something as simple as get out of bed and shower, focus on how much better you feel when you do these things & keep pushing forward. Your mental health will thank you. After all, the only thing that can quiet a negative mind is when a positive attitude chooses to push forward.

Day Four: Parenting

The actual topic is my relationship with my parents, but my father has long passed away & my relationship with my mother is both complex & interesting & very hard to explain. Also, my mother regularly reads my blog (waves to my mother), so I’d rather not say anything good or bad, as I’d just rather not.

However, my relationship with my children is different. It’s a source of pride for me. As their only stable caregiver (as their dad has his own issues and anger management problems & is more concerned with other things than being a dad, which is why he doesn’t pay child support or like schedules or routines or anything constructive), it’s important to me to be the role model. I went through a period last year when I wasn’t the role model, so now it’s even more important to me to be the role model. I need to go to work every day & not miss a single day. I need to work hard. I need to think of my career & how continuing to work at building a portfolio helps me show them to work towards their goals. I have to be careful who I date, as that person will the be the person they build their standards around. This is something that comes up a lot with my tween and her penchant for liking bad boys on TV. She says love will fix them, sadly, it doesn’t.

Maybe I take this too seriously, but I feel like it’s my job to teach them the right way. It’s my job to teach them how to become strong young women & I need to live that example. So, each day I need to model myself as the type of woman I want them to grow up to be. That means live healthy, be healthy. Focus on being emotionally strong & confident in myself & that I’m setting the right example. This is important to me. This is my job as a mother.

Fortunately, I’ve been lucky to have been given three smart, beautiful & compassionate girls to raise. They care about others, they’re helpful & kind. They all get good grades in school & are talented musicians & love to read. They’re all growing into young women & I want them to become strong & proud women who reach for the stars, focus on their goals & know they can do everything. Society will try to pigeon-hole them into vapid morons who have to be barefoot & pregnant while also maintaining a bikini bod & live to serve their husband. The media will make them think they should want a career & a husband while maligning both. Other women will teach them to tear down other women. That’s why I need to live the example I want to set for them. If I want them to feel they can have a career & don’t need a man to complete them, then that’s how I must feel. If I want them to respect their bodies, then I mustn’t go out & have one night stands or whatever (no disrespect to moms who do. Everyone’s thoughts are different). If I want them to choose a partner that will cherish & respect them, then this is the partner I must choose. I must walk my walk every day so my good, wonderful girls do not turn towards influences that will only tear them down. So, yes, maybe I take it too seriously, but that’s okay. I’d rather be “too focused” on being a role model than not at all & when my children are struggling, wonder where it went wrong, knowing they emulated my poor choices & the example I set for them.


I’ve always been a highly motivated person.

I think that’s why I love journalism so much; there’s always something new & amazeballs to do. New deadlines, new challenges. Always new projects.

Part of the reason I was such a sad sack throughout 2013 was my lack of goals. My entire life was my career & I wasn’t working in my field. I had nothing to work towards, no goals to work for. That was one of the reasons the Texan & I started our parenting blog, The ASH life. We wanted a goal to work towards.

A big part of my growing as a person is taking my journalism motivation & applying it to the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I can’t always work in journalism & living a complacent life with no goals or aspirations is just boring as crap. I can’t imagine being just a Charlie punch clock & then going home to my kids & living the most mundane life. How do I teach my girls to reach for the stars if I’ve stopped? I need to create! To succeed!

So, I’ve been focusing on the move. No, the timetable isn’t what I wanted, but I’m focusing on my new home. New home, new designs & colour schemes. New couch, putting the chore charts & routines into practice so we can continue to try & keep the old house spotless & the angriest tween is currently designing her AJ Lee themed bedroom. The angriest tween is training for next year’s colour run which means Mommy is jogging. My friends & I are doing a squat challenge. The Psych Major & her hubby are designing me a workout routine on top of my daily workout routine. I’m overachieving again & I’m so stupid happy. I love having so many projects to work towards, with friends working together & supporting each other & all of these projects will make my life better, more organized, & I’ll be healthier.

That's right, my kid is designing a bedroom completely around this pillow.
That’s right, my kid is designing a bedroom completely around this pillow.

Eventually, I’ll have a media gig again and I’ll have a million deadlines & interviews to strive for. But until then, I’m going to work towards all of my personal projects and goals & continue to fulfill my need to overachieve that way, and I’ll be happy. So very happy.

I'll be happy and chill and just hanging in my blanket fort.
I’ll be happy and chill and just hanging in my blanket fort.