Where Have All the Blog Posts Gone? Part 3


I started writing, occasionally, about my personal life on this blog to explain the large gaps of time between blog posts.  To stay with the theme of an annual update, here is part three of the series I began to write in 2011.

(In case you missed them, here are the links to parts one and two:  Where Have All the Blog Posts Gone? Part 1 & Where Have All the Blog Posts Gone? Part 2.)

So, what happened to our heroine in 2012?  Since I followed a theme touching on every main aspect of one’s life; wealth, health and love, let me do the same here.  I’ll begin by saying I sure didn’t envision 2013 starting as it would: unemployed, stressed out and still married. money money money

At the beginning of 2012 I was working at Global Financial.  It was a maternity leave contract that was to end in June.  Since it had taken me 20 months to find that role, I thought it would be prudent to begin seeking my next opportunity at the beginning of the year.  Three months later a colleague sent me a job posting for a part-time six-month contract at MacLaren McCann as a Contest Manager.  I had to apply.  How could I not?!  I got the job.  Even though it cut my salary in half, I wanted the experience of working for a large advertising agency.  I had hoped, once in the role, I could parlay the job into a full-time permanent position.  It was not to be.  Last summer I began to seek the next marketing opportunity.  I am still looking.  I would be grateful if you can help me in any way.  (My resume.)

The bankruptcy forced us to delay the divorce process.  We were finally able to move forward, or so I thought, at the beginning of 2012.  I retained legal counsel.  So did he.  Then the back-and-forth paperwork began.  After months and months we were no further ahead.   This week we finally started mediation.  As I refused to move out until our separation was final, we are still living together.  I hope to be moving into my own home this spring, however, I need income to move forward.

The stress of the divorce finally took it’s toll and in a three month period I gain 30 pounds.  In the summer I got back on my yoga mat on a daily basis after an eighteen month hiatus.  When my savings dried up at the beginning of December, I began to work out at home every morning.  My weight didn’t shift, but at least I was moving.  This month I began to shift my diet.  I believe I will be completely back to optimal health and my ideal weight at some point this year specifically, when my stress levels are reduced.  (My ideal healthy body pictured above.  Yes, that is me in the fall of 2010.)

Last fall we discovered out daughter Nicole had scoliosis and she began wearing a brace in January.  Over the course of the year her back got a tiny bit worse.  Last month she got a new brace.  She will probably be wearing one until she is 14, so we have a few more years of many visits to Sick Kids.  That said, I am grateful her health problems are easily manageable as the hosiptal to far too large and much too full of very ill children.

Since the separation and divorce didn’t happen in 2012, as either of us thought, legally we were still married on January 1st 2013.  At this point the marriage is only on paper.  Craig has been in a long-distance relationship for almost two years and I have been dating off and on, more off than on.  I am enjoying the adventures and the people I am meeting.  I do know, when the timing is right, I will be in a long-term committed partnership.

I wanted to add a section on the hobby for two reasons: 1) because many of us use the hobby as a wonderful distraction from the daily grind and 2) I did something I never thought I would do.

I stopped entering contests on a daily basis for six months.  From June 2011 until January 2012 I might have entered a grand total of 10 giveaways.  I didn’t have the time, but more importantly, my heart wasn’t in it.  (Why I didn’t write about this last year, I have no idea.)  I knew the hobby would always be there when I was ready to start entering again.  I also knew I would know when the time was right.  Last January a Kindle arrived unannounced in the mail, from one of the handful of contests I did enter.  As I did a happy dance around the kitchen I was saying to myself, “I’m back!!”

I began again slowly.  Entering one time only contests.  Then added in a few dailies with prizes I really wanted to win.  Over the next several months I kept adding more and more sweepstakes until I had my full Online Contest Entry System up and running.

The prizes began to trickle in.  I didn’t track my wins for the first time since 2004, so I have no idea how much I did win in 2012, but my biggest prize was a Toshiba tablet. WOOT!


Life’s path never seems to take the direction we think it should, but just like the hobby, that’s the adventure.  You never know what’s around the next bend or what your next win will be.  Isn’t that the joy of life, or entering?  I wonder what 2013 will hold?!

2013-01-06T18:09:38+00:00January 6th, 2013|General|14 Comments

About the Author:

Carolyn Wilman (aka @ContestQueen) is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Sweepstakes Specialist. Carolyn teaches others how to Find, Organize, Enter and Win giveaways along with working with companies to create, and viral market, winning promotions maximizing ROI and loyal customers.


  1. Sheri Kaye Hoff January 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences- I am sure many can relate- and be inspired:)

  2. Lori Griffith January 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Keep plugging along! Love Ya 🙂

  3. Diane @ Me, Him And The Cats January 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Im a contest enterer too! I really need to start keeping track of what I win each year!

  4. Rachel Flower January 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    I love your everyday wisdom. Very refreshing. This blog challenge is fun isn’t it! Thanks for sharing your passion.

  5. Tish Times January 6, 2013 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    I think it is interesting how you touch on various parts of life. Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Nicole January 6, 2013 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Carolyn, you’ve been through a lot and you have to remember that we have so many lessons to learn and sometimes they aren’t always wanted nor expected. Good luck and I hope it all works out for you.

  7. Pat Drouillard January 7, 2013 at 12:31 am - Reply

    I hope the best for you ….

  8. Rita Sheppard January 7, 2013 at 5:03 am - Reply

    Having met you, I know you’re a go-getter with a lot of energy so I’m sure that will come out on top. After losing my job last year I know that it’s a lot of hard work to bounce back and find another one. It’s takes a lot of time and energy which doesn’t leave much for sweeping but those little wins that show up sure help your morale.

  9. Aaron January 7, 2013 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Keep your head up you never know when the next big cash contest win will happen.

  10. Teresa Young January 7, 2013 at 8:56 am - Reply

    There is a Yiddish saying that roughly translates as “Man plans, God laughs”…..I remind myself of this when my plans don’t turn out as expected. Hang in there!

    • carolyn
      carolyn January 7, 2013 at 9:56 am - Reply

      Don’t the Yiddish have the best words and the best sayings? It’s so true!!

  11. Christina Zawadiwsky January 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    “Life’s path never seems to take the direction we think it should” is quite a quote, and certainly oh so true. However, how wonderful to be taken somewhere, in some direction, whatever it may be, and learning and emoting along the way. I’m sorry about your daughter’s illness but am so glad that she might only have to wear the brace until she’s 14. I too, when extremely stressed (like in the past year), didn’t enter many contests. But of course you came back, you’re The Contest Queen, entering contests is part of YOU!

  12. JILL KATHAN March 13, 2013 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    I find you strong and amazing! It will get better. Prayers sent to you and your daughter – it seems like when it rains, it pours. I wish you a better yr…..Thx for sharing!

  13. Cathy Thompson May 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    You do inspire us all! I was single after my divorce for many years. I did eventually meet a great man and got married again. You will too!

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