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The start of 2010 hasn’t been very rosy. Granted, it is better than last year when my professional life was in the toilet. Now that it is under control, it’s time to focus on my personal life and get happy — really, truly, deep down happy. While I can laugh and have fun moments, sadness isn’t far from the surface. This is the year to change that. Here’s how I plan to do it. I think I’ll stick it on the fridge, my bathroom mirror, and my computer monitor so that I don’t forget. Feel free to do the same.

Live in the moment: I need to stop worrying about the past and what might be coming down the road. For when I do that, I neglect the people around me and I withdraw from life. I need to enjoy every moment.

Treasure family and friends: When I’m with them I need to give them my full attention and all my love and care. I cannot take them for granted. I might be in the grumpiest of moods, but I cannot neglect or be mean to the people I love.

Do what is right for me: I cannot do things to please others. I must do things that are right for me and my daughter.

Get happy: I need to discover what makes me happy and do those things. And enjoy them fully.

Be strong: I need to develop the strength to do what is right for me — and hold on to it. I can’t let others’ feelings, words, or actions weaken me.

When you think about lies and people being untruthful, you might picture mean manipulative people — like the stereotypical sales person trying to get you to buy something, the guy you meet in a bar with his 101 pick-up lines, or politicians saying what people want to hear in order to get elected. But in reality, a lot of good people who generally live honest lives tell lies — myself included. They tell them not because they’re looking to gain from a situation, but because they want to others to feel good or to feel better about a situation.

Sometimes it's OK to lie (Photo by Leo Reynolds)

Sometimes it's OK to lie (Photo by Leo Reynolds)

Think about it: Humans created the idea of heaven to ease the fear of dying. Parents tell their children about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to make Christmas and Easter more fun. Husbands and boyfriends tell the women in their lives their butts don’t look fat in those jeans. Women smile and say thank you, when their boyfriends or husbands buy them a slinky negligee for their birthday when what they really wanted was a pair of comfy sweatpants.

I am not always able to tell those white lies. If I don’t like a gift, it shows on my face. If someone asks me if they look good in an outfit, and they don’t look good, I tell them so. Ask me my opinion on a situation, and I’ll tell you exactly how I feel. You might think it’s good to be so honest, but my actions have hurt people’s feelings. When dinner is made for me as a surprise, I should say thank you and eat it — or some of it — regardless. I should not throw a fit like I did with the infamous Sloppy Joe supper made by my boyfriend years ago.

As a parent, however, lying is part of the game. “Mom, can I have some candy?” “Let me think about it.” “Mom, can we go to the mall?” “Maybe.” “Mom, can I go to Horror Nights with Amanda?” “We’ll see.”

The true answer to all of those questions was “No.” Why didn’t I just say no? Because I didn’t want the battle. While our kids are young, we can get away with those responses. Soon, however, they figure it out — “No, maybe! Maybe means no! Why caaaaaan’t I!” Read the rest of this entry »

I may not be too old for celebrity crushes, but I’ve discovered things that I am too old for. Most of these I’m able to avoid, some I still think I can still do but later regret, and some I’ll probably have to deal with until I get much older. Regardless, they’re all things I think I’m too old to for.

Pimples! — Why, at age 41, do I still get these?! They were supposed to have stopped by now. Ugh! I got my first pimple when I was 10. I remember it vividly because it reared its ugly head right before my first day of fifth grade. Not only was it the first day of school, but it was the first day at a new school. Super! That one eventually went away, but later came puberty and the accompanying pimple problem. We’re told that the pimples and acne will go away when we get older. But that didn’t happen for me. Here I am still dealing with this problem.

I'm too old to drink a lot of wine (Supplied by FreeFoto.com)

I'm too old for the hangovers that come with drinking a lot of wine (Supplied by FreeFoto.com)

Drinking too much alcohol — In college and even high school, my social life involved many parties and drinking lots of alcohol. I could chug beer and do shots of tequila throughout the night and shake off a hangover the next day with a couple of Tylenol and glass of orange juice. Those days are gone. The problem is, sometimes I forget that. Every few months I enjoy my drinks too much and end up paying the price the next day. Now my recovery involves sleeping away most of the day until the pounding headache and nausea finally passes. It’s an incredible waste of a day, and I always hate myself for doing that.

Unplanned sleep-overs at a friend’s house — It used to be that if I were too tired or too drunk to drive home from a friend’s house that I would simply sleep there. A sleepover! Not anymore. You will NOT catch me sleeping on someone’s couch, in a chair, or on the floor ever again. I need my bed, my toothbrush, my contact lens case, my pajamas — my own stuff. If I sleep anywhere but at my own house, I make sure I’m well prepared.

Worrying about getting pregnant — For most sexually active women, there’s only one small time in their lives when they don’t worry that they might get pregnant. And that’s when they’re trying to get pregnant. Other than that small window of time, they hope and pray that Aunt Flow visits every month. Read the rest of this entry »

I admit it. I have a crush on Keith Urban, the country-singing hottie from New Zealand who is married to Nicole Kidman. I also have crushes on Rick Springfield, John Rzeznik (of the Goo Goo Dolls), George Clooney, Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt. And I have an on-again/off-again flirtation with Prince. But right now Keith is my man. I’m a member of his fan club so that I can buy tickets to his concerts before they go on sale to the public. I bought tickets to one of this summer’s shows during the first five minutes tickets were available. And I purchased his new album the day it was released.

Keith Urban

Keith Urban

My celebrity crushes started young. When I was in elementary school I fell in love with Donny Osmond and his purple socks. Every Friday night I’d plop myself in front of the TV for The Donny and Marie Show. I then moved to Shaun Cassidy, former Hardy Boy and pop singer. “Da Do Run Run” and “Hey Deanie” constantly played on my record player, and every other Sunday I tuned in to watch the Hardy Boys solve mysteries (they alternated with Nancy Drew). I, of course, also had posters of Shaun all over my bedroom walls.

In 1981 the object of my desire became Rick Springfield aka Dr. Noah Drake from General Hospital. Every weekday afternoon I could watch Rick save lives and romance nurse Bobbie Spencer and in the mean time listen to him sing “Jesse’s Girl” and “I’ve Done Everything For You” over and over again.

While I dreamed of seeing Rick in concert when I was a tween and teen, I didn’t get the chance until I was 38. Once at the concert, I suddenly felt like I was a teenager all over again. The lights went down, Rick came out, and I (and hundreds of other women) ran for the front of the stage. I got a spot front and center. New to the Rick Springfield concert experience, I didn’t know what to expect. But I was quickly schooled by the women around me who had been to many shows — how he takes the bouquets of flowers women throw on stage and thrashes his guitar with them, how he comes out into the audience so that women can touch him, and how he allows one woman to jump the barricade and be on stage with him for a song — with his arms around her while he plays guitar. Rick knows his fans and how to work them.

I was not the one who jumped the barricade to get on stage, because I thought I would be escorted out and would miss the rest of the concert. (I’d be damned if I was going to miss “Jessie’s Girl”!) The woman next to me did that, and I helped her. She asked me to give her a boost, and I thought she was crazy. But next thing I knew she was up on stage, Rick’s arms around her with his guitar in front. Doh! Read the rest of this entry »

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