USA TODAY - Maria Shriver has been moving on with her life ever since she split from husband Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2011 (even though their divorce is not final). But for someone who loves big families, it's not easy to contemplate being alone.
Shriver, 58, tells AARP The Magazine's December/January issue about her life, her work - she plans to return full time to journalism once son Christopher, 16, goes off to college - and finding love again.
On being self-reliant after Arnold:
"That's certainly been a struggle for me ... [In 2011], I was trying to reimagine my life. You have to be willing to let go of the life you planned in order to make the life you're meant to live."
On finding love again:
"I've been blessed by my parents' love, by the love I had with Arnold, by the love of my children and my friends. We're so consumed as a society with 'Do you have a boyfriend?' or 'Are you married?' We miss the love that is staring you right in the face. I feel surrounded by love. I feel blessed now here in my life."
"I don't think about it that much. I try to surround myself with lots of young people who are full of life and energy and ideas ... I've been loved, and I've loved. I wouldn't trade my life for anyone's."
On facing an empty nest:
"I think that if you're awake in your life, you fear being alone. But if you face that fear, realizing that ultimately we all come in alone and will end up alone, you enjoy your alone company. Do I prefer a house with 20 kids in it? Yes. Do I feel that I can't wait until they're gone? No. But do I think I'll be OK when they're all gone? Yes. And I've worked to make sure they know that."
"Christina (who is, 22) says that when she has kids, she's going to give them to me! I'm counting on that! If not, I'll probably take someone else's kids! I might start a day care center! Who knows?"
On what she's still working on:
"I'd like to get really good at meditation. I'd like to get really good at accepting love. I'd like to get really good at unconditional love."
On the subject of her upcoming 'Shriver Report':
"At The Women's Conference we had these power women discussing 'Can I have it all?' I started to think about the women who are left out that discussion. They're not invited to the power conferences - they barely have time to wash their hair! I wanted to find out what those women need, what we could do differently."
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