Never say never when youíre living in the present

ďHereís to today, slowing down, suspending judgement, and breast strokes through chaos.Ē

Poet Buddy Wakefield wrote that in something he titled ďGrowing Up Slowly.Ē

Itís rather applicable to my life these past couple weeks.

One, you might notice the name change on the masthead at the bottom of this page. Go ahead and call me a hypocrite. Iíve written that Iíd never marry the government, and I did. I provided the City of Norwich with $40 dollars to marry the state.

But you know what, I am happy. Iím no happier now that Iím married than I was before. Iím no more in love than I was before. I changed my name, and I wear a ring. Thatís all thatís changed.

In typical Ashley fashion, the ceremony began at 7:07 p.m., and was officiated by a good friend (coincidentally, the two of us became ordained together two years ago).

My husband wrote his part, I wrote mine. It was unique and totally ďus.Ē

There were literally less than 10 people at the ceremony. Iím not a fan of limelight, and most certainly not a fan of weddings.

This brings me to refer quickly back to April 16, 2011 when my sister married her husband. I was her maid of honor. I was petrified. I developed some horrible cough the night before the wedding (where hundreds were in attendance), and had a coughing fit during the ďI doĒ part that was so bad, the officiant had to repeat it. I decided then that weddings make me physically ill.

Back to the present, I have had the worst cough/allergy/cold (or something) that I have had in years since this past Friday night. Despite that, itís been great now being a wife.

Not only did I get married Friday, we recently bought our first home together.

Moving is stressful. Friends are helpful. Ashley is disorganized.

Tying the knot Ö that took three minutes, and I nearly passed out.

Work is about to get crazier. Not only are we short-staffed, but we have a murder trial on tap to cover that is slated to begin jury selection Sept. 2. Night-time board meetings as school is gearing up to start, and taking on whatever I can handle.

The rest, well, thatíll figure itself out I suppose.

Not only is there no time for a honeymoon, we had no desire for anything of the sort. He spent the following day at the Brandi Estelow Golf Tournament, where the money is put in a scholarship fund for those at Oxford Academy Central School interested in pursing nursing. Estelow lost her life to cancer at the age of 23.

I had intended to spend my Saturday at a benefit for one of my best friendís aunt, who is battling cancer. While things came up and I wasnít able to personally attend, I sent in a donation to help her out.

This brings me back to how I started this. Live in the present. Be conscious of every moment and cognizant of how you react to situations. Breathe. Slowly.

You never know what the person behind the counter when you buy your coffee is going through.

This additionally makes me think of a friend who works at a coffee chain as a barista. She has a tattoo that says "courage." Based on company policy, she has to cover the tattoo. ... I'd like to think some people need a splash of courage with their coffee.

You may not know that the person who didnít hold the door open for you at the post office just had to mail out a get well card to his dying mother because he canít afford to fly out to where sheís located. Suspend judgement.

So, thereís that. Iím happily, happily married. And extremely busy.

And just as a reminder to myself: the chaos isnít going to end, get ready to swim.

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