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Jun 7, 2010

I Used to Wish I Were a Princess

When I was little, the paper dolls and trading cards I played with were all ballerinas and princesses. It surely looked like everything was perfect in their pristine, prettily-dressed lives. And, given that this was the 50’s, there was little else to aspire to.

Now a full-grown woman and business owner, I had the opportunity to see a princess’s life played out on national television last week. Sarah Ferguson appeared on Oprah to discuss the recent sting operation that put her back in the headlines. I found it terribly sad, but also riveting, that someone who ‘had it all’ could fall so far from that idyllic lifestyle. I had also watched a taped episode (also on Oprah) involving child bride’s of a religious fanatic who all lived on a compound in Arkansas. What these two shows had in common were women who had been sorely deprived of reality. One captive of the religious community, upon leaving, asked, “How do you know which side of the road to drive on?” Similarly, Fergie seems equally baffled by how money works.

After watching these shows I made a gratitude list thanking my lucky stars that I am not a princess and have had to slog it out in the real world and learn the lessons that help us stay out of sting operations. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. I’m grateful that although I am ‘out there’ in the public eye, I am not that famous.
  2. I am debt-free.
  3. I trust my instincts and act on that intuition. Sarah said she knew the offer was from a journalist and didn’t honor her gut feeling.
  4. I know exactly where I stand financially–what the balances are in each of my accounts.
  5. I live within my means.

It must have been super-cool to live in Buckingham Palace and be married to a prince, but I’m feeling very fortunate today that my life is uncomplicated and I have everything I need.

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4 Comments

  1. Ruth Olbrych

    Ah….”real” life…ain’t it grand?
    Not royalty but have only recently reached the place you so proudly are Jane….knowing where you stand financially on all fronts. Although I do trust my instincts, I’m learning to act on them more freely, and although far from debt free, feel confident in my ability to find my way out, as, with understanding (ie, head out of the sand) I can make choices that make sense for my future and contribute accordingly.
    No, the life of the “rich and famous” isn’t all peaches and cream is it?
    Thanks for this.
    Ruth

    Reply
  2. wendy wrzos

    Loved what you wrote, Jane. I actually saw both of those shows too. Although I have to say I felt guilty watching the one on Fergie. As someone who grew up in England, I always admired her forthright behavior, and her ability to remain so connected to the Royal Family.
    Watching her seemed to leave more questions than answers. I know we all create lives in out heads to cope with difficult situations, but I didn’t feel that she had stepped out of that life, nor that she was being totally honest…
    It was so sad to watch.

    Reply
  3. janepollak

    @Wendy
    You nailed it! I felt like I was watching a train wreck and didn’t feel good about that voyeuristic sensation. Thanks for validating what I couldn’t articulate

    @Ruth
    Nice to be on this track. Welcome aboard!

    Reply
  4. Michelle Hazlewood

    Hi Jane! Great point in being grateful for not getting some of the stuff we thought we wanted “once upon a time”! While I know what you mean from the prospective you’d envisioned it…..there are many kinds of princesses. This one lives without much physical belongings but across the street from the beach! I honor the princess that is still within you 😉
    Love ~ Michelle

    Reply

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