How I Ended Up This Way's Blog

{October 14, 2014}   The Next Chapter

Hi everyone! Thank you for visiting my blog. My name is AJ. I originally began writing this blog in an attempt to work through some personal issues deriving from my divorce some five years prior. Not only did this blog provide a safe place for me to put words to the feelings I was dealing with, I believe this blog sometimes served as a life boat for me. When I felt helpless, hurt, angry, alone, confused and exhausted, I would turn to my blog and just write letting it all out. I immediately felt better emotionally, but I also felt mentally centered, if that makes sense.

It was also my hope, I would be able to reach out to those who may be feeling some of the same feelings I was dealing with. If I could help just one person know she/he was not alone . . . as I often felt, I knew it would be worth opening myself up this way. By the way, opening up, being so exposed, is not easy for me.

I wanted to find when and where I lost the woman I once was. The woman I loved. The one I had self confidence in. The woman I was before the end of my husband of 20 years walked out on me and our three kids deciding he “no longer wanted to be married”. I wanted to find the woman I knew was still somewhere deep inside of the woman I had become. I’m not proud of that woman. She was bitter, in so much pain, each day was a struggle, and she had given up on love completely. Hence the name of this blog. How I Ended Up This Way. It didn’t happen overnight and wouldn’t be fixed overnight. However, I knew it was within me to dig deep and rediscover the woman who believed in love and saw the world as a place to enjoy and experience life instead of something I would have to endure day after day.

As it turned out, from the very first blog post… I received so many stories from my readers saying “I’m in tears… this could have been written about me” or “I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I truly felt alone in the world”. Hearing these words, my pain fell to the wayside. I had a new mission. It was to do whatever I could, using my experiences, to reach out to help these lovely people not feel so alone.

Once my mission became clear, I was like falling back into my old self. By telling my story and some wacky stories along the way, I found the woman I had been searching for all along. To my readers and those who shared your stories via comments … I am so grateful to you.

As I make my way through the next chapter of my life, I hope you will continue to read my blogs and take this journey with me wherever it may lead me. We’ll share some laughs, maybe a few tears, but definitely encouragement that you are not alone in this!

Be sure to follow my facebook (and like my Author page for updates on my novel Rightfully Mine)

And twitter:

Until next time…


Hello Everyone. Welcome!

I am sure, if you are a regular reader of my blog, that you knew this blog was due. You probably have wondered whether or not, this is would be the holiday I would not blog about feeling that ping of guilt at having to “share” my children. Well, I’m sad to say, this is not that holiday!

As Christmas is creeping up on us, I am doing basically the same things I have done each and every year. Buying gifts, wrapping both mine and my mother’s gifts for the children as well as anyone else she may have bought a gift for. I have wrapped the gifts for my mom since I was about thirteen years old, including my own. That’s the “thing” I do every year with my mom. Dad, I’m sorry to have to break that bit of information to you this way.

My dad, well, that’s where I get my love for cheesy Christmas movies. Each year, I have to watch all the same Christmas movies the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime Channel continue to show. That is the one thing my dad and I have shared ever since I can remember. It is also the one thing that we love to drive the rest of the house nuts with! And yes, we do watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” each Christmas Eve and end our merriment by watching “A Christmas Story”. How can you not watch “A Christmas Story” when it’s played for a full 24 hours every Christmas Day?

I continue to do all these things and I continue to enjoy them. Yet, this is the third year in which I have had to spend part of the holiday without my children. It’s as if a part of me, has . . . vanished, during the time they are not here celebrating with me, and I just feel as if I’m always a finger tip short of grasping what I am missing. Does that make sense?

Yes, I know divorce happens to many people. Yes, I know people learn to deal with split custody. And yes, I know people do not have children anticipating that, one day, splitting holidays will become normal. I also know, even though my ex takes the children to his mom’s for their Christmas celebration, even though I include him in our Christmas Day celebration every year so that the kids will have us both, one day, this to shall end. One day, this little bit of “family semi-normalcy” we share on Christmas morning will come to an end.

Until that time, I will take comfort in the words spoken by a man I have come to truly admire and strive to take his words to heart.


“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message,

that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is

they should be part of our daily lives.”         Dalai Lama


Until next time……Peace


{October 25, 2010}   “A.J.’s Rules”

Hi Everyone! Welcome back!

I absolutely love the show NCIS on CBS. Sean Murray shines in his portrayal of the tech-geek, McGee, while somehow maintaining the charm we have learned to love. DiNozzo, played by the adorable Michael Weatherly, is a mixture of jock, attraction, cocky and a goof-ball personality that leaves me shaking my head and laughing at him (my type completely!). It’s hard to remember this is the same DiNozzo that put his heart on his sleeve only to have it shoved back by the beautiful Jeanne Benoit. Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) is the heart of the team. She’s like the “Energizer Bunny” just give her a ‘Caff-Pow’ and she recharges and comes back for more.

Then there’s Ziva David. She is the most “wickedly awesome” female on CBS Network! I thought, Sasha Alexander (ex Agent Todd) was the perfect fit for this NCIS team, however, since Ziva had to step in due to Agent Todd’s death Ziva has certainly cemented her place on this wacky team It is hard not to love her. It’s not because I’m scared of her or anything, so what if she worked for the Mossad as an interrogator. Shhhhh, hold on, let me check and make sure the doors are locked. Ok, we’re good.

I tell you all of the above so that I can tell you this. Agent Gibbs, played by the wonderfully talented Mark Harman (give me a second while I gush over his strikingly handsome features), is very hard to define. At first, he appears to be a cold, I don’t care, it’s my way period sort of guy. Well, he is. However, he is much more once you scratch the surface. He is the most honorable, caring and trustworthy man we all hope for one day. Now, the most important thing with Gibbs are his rules. He has 51 rules you must know. You are not given a list of these rules. You have to learn the hard way. However, each one is as important as the next. Such as Rule #7, Always be specific when you lie (love that one). And Rule #23, Never mess with a Marine’s coffee if you want to live. Then there is my personal favorite Rule # 18 It’s better to seek forgiveness than ask for permission.

I was thinking this morning, “what would it be like to have a set of rules that I strive to achieve on a daily bases?”. Now, I know my rules would be vastly different than Gibb’s rules, after all, I don’t interrogate people. I don’t deal with suspects. And I don’t hunt down terrorist. However, the principal remains the same.

So, here are my rules, AJ’s Rules if you will. They are not in any specific order, just have some fun and go with me on this.

         1. ALWAYS be thankful even when you’re going through a rough patch.

                       Someone else is having a much harder time than you.

       2. Never, ever let your anger get the best of you.

       3.  When dealing with someone who seems to just want to argue or fight

                   with you, react with your head and not your emotions. Act rationally not


       4. Protect your friends and family as best you can. Good friends are

                 difficult to find and family well, they are your family and thereby

                 deserve your protection and respect.

      5.  Children first . . . ALWAYS.

      6.   Don’t lash out just because you are in a bad mood. Better to keep your

                 mouth shut than say something you will never be able to take back.

      7.  Don’t judge people. You don’t know what that person is dealing with and

            you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. More importantly,

            you do not have the authority to judge, that is reserved for God alone.

     8.  Going with #7; never jump to conclusions about people. You may be

            passing up a great friend because you think that nose rings means

            this person is trouble.          

     9.  Reach out to people. Say hello when you pass a stranger on the street or

           give them a warm smile….they just may need it.

  10. God made us all in His image, however, we are all different. We have

          differing opinions. That is what makes us who we are. Respect others

          decisions whether you agree or not. Even if they do not respect your opinions.

         You can’t do anything about their reactions, however, you CAN do right by

         how YOU hand it. STAY FIRM IN WHO YOU ARE!!

   11. Don’t believe everything you hear. Just because you try to be honest does

            not mean everyone is as honest. There are at least two sides to each

            story. You are ONLY going to hear what this person wants you to

            believe. Especially, if you have not first hand knowledge of the

            situation. Then….it’s just gossip.

 And isn’t gossip one of the worst things we can do to someone as well as ourselves? Imagine how we look to others when we are seen gossiping.

Well, there you go, my blog family. My first set of 11 in the A.J.’s Rule book. I hope you had fun reading them. I’m sure I’ll come up with more!

If you are interesting in reading Gibb’s rules here is the link:

 Til next time……Peace


{October 4, 2010}   My 15 Minutes of Fame

Hi everyone! Welcome….Come in, have a seat! My week was incredibly awesome! You know when you just have a great week? Nothing extraordinary happened, it was just a great week. Don’t you just love those days?

One unusual thing did happen though. I have been a Days of Our Lives fan for almost 30 years. Yep, since I was about 11 years old. Back when Marlana was fighting her increasing feelings for Roman….the first go round. So when my smart phone emailed me to tell me I had a new twitter follower, I knew the name right away. After all, his storyline has had him playing the villain, the good guy fighting not to be like his devilish (the one we love to hate) father and the tortured soul that earned him the love and respect of Days fans worldwide. And of course, those of us with a romantic soul couldn’t help but fall in love with his character as he was falling in love with the one and only love of his life, Anna.

That’s right folks, Thaao Penghlis also known by his Days’ character, Tony (and at one time, Tony’s EVIL cousin, Andre….but we’ll save that for another time).

As I looked at my phone and did a double take to confirm it was indeed Thaao’s name, I became so excited!! I’ve always loved his character and Thaao’s acting as well. And HE chose to follow ME! Wow. I have a few celebrities that follow my twitter and blog, so I just figured maybe he just saw me on one of the Days twitter pages, thought I was someone else and added me. Maybe he had heard about my blog from the couple of actors that read it regularly. I really didn’t care the how or why, he was following me! And I loved it!

Within a few minutes, I went straight to my computer to verify what I actually was reading on my phone. I was still shocked that the man I had admired and the heart of the “DiMera” family would pick me to follow! Seriously guys, I have really liked Thaao since I was just a kid. I hadn’t asked him to follow me, in fact, I didn’t even know he was on twitter.

Alas, it was not meant to be. By the time I got on my laptop, he was no longer following me. So apparently he didn’t know about my blog (shucks). Or, he found out quickly, that I was not someone he knew. I was indeed disappointed. Thaao dumped me. I was being dumped by a twitter celebrity, a long time favorite of mine twitter celebrity.

That was the end of my, well, lets say five minutes, of fame. However, I have to say how cool it was, that for just a few minutes someone I felt like I grew up knowing, noticed me! Well, ok, maybe he didn’t notice me. But he did follow me……for about five minutes! And that is good enough for me

Until next time….Peace


Hello everyone, welcome.

As I sit here and type this blog, I can’t help but feel a bit melancholy.  After three and a half years, one would think I would have become accustomed to having my children spending time at my ex’s (Guy) home.  However, they have been gone for three days and I just can’t shake this feeling as if something is missing. I guess that is something you never completely get rid of.

Of course, my day doesn’t end because my children are not home.  And, yes, it’s a lot quieter, which is nice ….for a while.  However, the 15 minutes I have to enjoy the quiet, is comparable to 20 hours of just having this feeling of loss when the kids are not here.

I have always been close with my children. I was able to, for the most part, be a stay at home mother. I always had very simple desires. To marry, raise my kids and grow old with the same man I married so long ago. It is still hard at times, to realize our lives have changed so much…and how they can change so quickly. Enjoy what you have, cherish the ones you love and show the people you care about how much they mean to you daily. Because your life can change in an instant…..mine did.

I want to end this blog with a favorite quote of mine, if I may be so honored to share it with you:

“Well, we have a whole new year ahead of us. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other and a little more loving, have a little more empathy, and maybe – next year at this time – we’d like each other a little more.”

                                                Judy Garland

 Til next time……Peace


et cetera