Are you happy at the moment?
I am happy, honestly. Minus the sleep-deprivation of small children and the constant state of my unclean home, mixed with piles of laundry and the extra ten fifteen pounds I would like to lose, I believe that this is happiness. Or I have convinced myself that it is.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
It sounds like such a cliché, I realize, but I would tell my 16-year-old self to be more confident in actually being herself. Oh, and all that “stuff” you just had to have because it was cool, tell your parents to keep the money and give you a check at age 35, because you will need it a lot more then!
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
The most important thing I have learned over the last year is exactly who I can count on in my life and what roles they serve for me. It sounds more selfish than I mean it to, I realize, but I think I have really learned that not everyone can be everything to you and that is actually okay.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I would really like to continue to grow my blog and fuel my writing passion into more actual income for my family. I remember hearing a long time ago that when you find something you love to do you need to find a way to get paid for it. I love writing, so naturally I would love to make money doing it.
What’s your secret to happiness?
Is there a secret other than simply deciding to be happy? What is the alternative, really? I surround myself with people who are real and are not afraid to “go there” with me, which allows me to be my authentic self. Being real makes me happy.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
This is where I should be totally worthy of this post and say something like yoga or meditation, right? Honestly, though, just between you and me, it is probably my TiVo. Being able to completely escape into good TV relaxes me.
What’s your biggest regret?
I wish I had told my father that I needed him to be with my sister and me when our mother died, because although my parents were technically not together at that point, I still needed my dad. I think it ultimately permanently altered our relationship and for that I have deep regret. I think the subconscious fear of him saying no kept me from asking.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
I believe that I am teaching my daughters to be honest about what life is really about. As women, especially, I want for them the ability to tell it like it is…like it really is, as I think that we do ourselves a huge disservice when we attempt to hide behind the truth that marriage and motherhood are difficult, which is not to say that they are also not completely rewarding, too.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
I would really like to exercise more and eat less candy. I feel like I do it mindlessly, and it is doing my body and my mind no good at all.
Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
I am genuinely proud of the relationships I have cultivated with my good girlfriends. I believe that those relationships have given me the confidence to use my voice as a way to validate women in a larger context.
When were you happiest?
We did not find out the sex of either of our children, so their births were almost magical for me. Honestly, though, nothing beats holding a new baby in the dark of night knowing all is right with your world. That being said, I really feel like I have found happiness at every stage of my life…or tried to anyway!
What ten words best describe you?
Mother, Wife, Friend, Blogger, Confident, Outgoing, Honest, Real, Opinionated, Compassionate
Ashley is a stay-at-home mom of two daughters, Emma (8) and Abby (4). She is an occasional nurse and married to Robert (41). Ashley continues to “tell it like it is” on her blog The Dose Of Reality. Follow her on Twitter @ashleytaylor76