Last night I was upset at the thought of having to spend another Valentine's Day by myself. My primary adult memory of the Hallmark holiday is going to a restaurant with my ex where we waited for over an hour and a bartender spilled a Bloody Mary on me. This was before we got married and started having children. This year I'm going to treat myself to the things that I love. My plan includes buying some vegan chocolates at work, getting off of work early, and heading in for a massage with my favorite body oil. My daughter and I fight over the one I brought home as a tester. I'm a quality over quantity person. I would rather spend $30 on something I love than $10 on a product I feel is less effective.

When I like or dislike people I tend to see myself in them. One of the reasons I liked that guy so much is he did the things I want to be doing for myself. I don't really need him to complete me. I can do these things on my own. This morning I woke up at 4:01. Yesterday it was 4:02. I stayed up later than I wanted to at night. A friend of mine is an alcoholic. I met him on Tinder, we went on the most awkward date I've ever been on, but despite these factors, we remain friends. I talk to him because he talks to me. He listens, the relationship works because neither of us try to change the other person. I never try to get him to stop drinking, he doesn't tell me what to do either. We respect that we are fucked up in our own ways and are doing the best that we can at this point in time. 

I've gotten better at distancing myself from people who are not adding to my life. I still screw up periodically and let's face it, people can be difficult to avoid, but now I listen to that small bell in my head that signals emotional danger for me. At work I sell a lot of products, but more often I'm supportive and encouraging. Really listening to other people is one of the most valuable things you can do for them. The other day my boss gave me a book on ADHD, I've already forgotten the title, but I'm page 150 and I can tell that this book is going to help me get to that next level I've been seeking. I want to buy one of those mini trampolines like the one I had. I'm starting to crave time outside. I avoid it which is a shame so my next challenge is finding ways to get more sunshine into my life. 

Changing subjects again, someone asked me how much time I spent writing these logs. I never really keep track. I sit down with a sentence fragment, thought, or something on my heart/mind, and start typing. I almost never go back to edit or change anything. It's literally a brain dump and I'm careful not to filter things consciously. Several books and blogs I've read speak to the importantance of getting it out without censoring yourself. I remember when I was new hear and TheDeadGuy suggested I write something personal just for myself. I was skeptical at first, now I'm older, wiser, and recommend journaling as an outlet for others. Not all writing is created equally. It stimulates different parts of your brain and affects your moods in ways that writing fiction can't.

My new book on ADHD divided people up into four separate types: bold, sensitive, responsible, and a category I'm having trouble recalling. I could go get the book and look it up, but I won't because I know if I do that I might get distracted by wanting to keep reading where I left off earlier. I try not to read at night because I could stay up later than I would like and that would interfere with me getting better sleep. What was interesting to me about these labels is how ADHD manifests itself in ways I was unfamiliar with previously. I've been through each phase, the book mentions people can fluctuate depending on the lack or increased support they're receiving. 

I'm probably a fit for the bold category. I'm easily bored, I turn to risky behaviors knowing that they are self destructive because I yearn for the thrill of excitement. This is where my job is very good for me. It's never the same day twice. I have some tasks, but a large degree of autonomy along with the highest level of emotional support I've ever experienced. Yesterday my boss yelled at me. I think that's happened twice before. Generally her anger is directed at others. I forgive her and want to help her. I know she's under tremendous stress and because I also have a sensitive side. Update - I went and grabbed the book. The fourth type is creative. I also fall under this category. I don't run out of things to write about, I run out of ways to get writing into my day. 

When I was reading that book on how to develop and recognize your strengths I understood the material, but it's taken me longer to implement their theories. Food is an area that helps me tap into latent creativity. Rather than saying I suck at menus and meal planning I can tell people, and if you follow me on Twitter you'll see visual evidence of this, that I have a gift for putting colors and textures together in appetizing ways. One of the reasons younger men appeal to me is because I have a lot of teenage boy in me, but instead of beer and grilled meats at sporting events I serve very bright nutritionally dense foods. 

Last night I brought pico de gallo, guacomole, and mango salsa over to the Verizon store so the manager and I could sit and snack. She needs friends and so do I. I spent more than I wanted to, she hardly ate a thing so I mimicked her portion size. I also bought a bar of extremely good chocolate. Working at a health food store means being constantly surrounded by interesting and unique foods. Ever since I discovered chocolate infused with superfoods I've been able to reward myself with rectangles that satisfy some of my pleasure centers. An acupuncture guy I used to see says that if you are going to indulge, make it worth your while. This is my food and life philosophy. I deny myself in particular areas so I can go all out in others. 

I don't need much chocolate to satiate whatever it is in my body that wants to savor each bite. Much has been written about wine and how to get the most out of each sip. Similarly good chocolate is best enjoyed by letting the aroma work its magic on your cranium. When I memorized the cranial nerves I was unsurprised to hear that our sense of smell is the most primitive. Newborn babies identify mother by her scent and voice if they can hear. While some would call me a snob, I dismiss that label for the most part. I prefer to refer to myself as discriminating. Spending two to four or even ten times as much on an item is justifiable to me if I am getting twenty to fifty times the pleasure out of consumption. 

I've said this before, but all of shopping is narrowing. We can consume only a very minute portion of what we encounter on a daily basis. Learning to say no to anything that falls outside of the right thing is a skill I'm working on refining. It isn't always possible to buy the car, house, or shoes that I want. Then I need to make a new decision. Do I compromise and buy something that is good enough, or go without. Lately I've been frustrated with my shoe situation. I don't want to spend the money I have buying more shoes. Losing weight is a nice problem to have, but I want comfortable shoes. Two people sold me shoes that don't work for me. I know better which is why this has been exceedingly frustrating.

Looking back I can see that I was impulsive and compulsive when I was shopping. I mistook expertise in an area for expediency and efficiency. Knowing what to do is all well and good until you think you can skimp on the time that it takes to do a job well. Recently I went shopping with a friend of mine. Her taste is much different than mine, but it was fun to hear her opinions. I need to do more of that, but I also need to get a game plan together so I can start buying more clothes that is exactly what I want instead of bringing home things that were inexpensive, or out of my budget because I felt that I needed a treat. It's okay to reward me, but I need to recognize that's what I'm doing. I have a practical side, but it's limited by the compulsions/impulsiveness.

Last night I listened to a man with a very heavy accent discussing partitioning as a savings strategy. He says you will automatically limit consumption when you start dividing your resources into containers. I missed the first part of the conversation which is a shame since I love conversations about money and banking - tangential thought - I'm going to get more books on money management and theories. Finance is fun for me. If money management can become a game or a hobby I'm much more likely to reach my goals, currently it's part drudgery and despair, neither of which motivate me to save more while spending less. Yesterday I received an email from the woman who helped me set up new accounts. I think I need a couple more.

Right now I have three checking accounts linked to three savings accounts. Two of the savings accounts belong to my daughters. The third one is my emergency fund. Saving three to six months worth of cash in case I lose my job or have an unanticipated drop in income is a goal of mine. I've taken the Dave Ramsey class three times and am getting better at applying some of his strategies to my own money. I still have trouble budgeting, but I'm getting better and I'm committed to enduring change. Currently I need about $150,000 to buy two big ticket items which are a car and a condo. I could purchase both for less, but as anyone who has been there can tell you, everything goes more smoothly when you have too many resources rather than too few.

I want a really nice vehicle. Lexus appeals to me, I've seen deals on the used car lots. They're more expensive to repair, but they need repairs less often than other makes and models. Several people I follow on Twitter are into design thinking. This makes so much sense to me that I'm sad I didn't discover it years ago, but now that I'm aware it exists I'm learning how to incorporate it into my daily life. The basic theory is engineers need to design intelligence into their products and systems. My place is well laid out, it's one of the reasons I live here. Reading up on organization helps me to determine what to keep, what to ditch, and how to store/arrange/group items so their functionality is enhanced. 

My cabinet space is limited by the fact that I'm short. Out of sight equals out of mind to me. Knowing this I took dry goods like rice and raisins and put them in glass jars that rest against the backsplash in my kitchen. Now I can see how much of an item I have, and there's a feeling of abundance rather than scarcity. I no longer have multiples of the same item and it's easy for me to see that I am running out of an item I need to purchase. Meals are problematic around this place. I like to create, that doesn't lend itself well to batch cooking. I think if I let myself create in another way, or combined creating with batch cooking this would solve some of my problems. I finally found a purse that I like.

I'm getting rid of dish towels I no longer want. I bought myself new ones after I realized the ones I had were the wrong color and size. Knowing things like that is extremely helpful for me. I ask myself what is working and try to figure out how to solve the problem if something isn't working for me. I'm really hard on myself, but for once I'm going to give myself a lot of credit. I'm exceptionally good with color and texture. I'm a problem solver by nature. I love to find a messy situation and systematically introduce logical order. Yesterday my boss organized the bulk spices. She did it in a way I wouldn't have, but her new system is possibly better than the one I had contrived although I still think bins behind the spices would help.

It's now 6:12 and I don't want to make the mistake I did yesterday of doing everything except getting ready for work. I can't wait until I have a day off tomorrow. I am so looking forward to turning off my phone and ignoring my alarm. I may wake up early anyways, but tomorrow I can take a nap and I'm going to write that in my calendar. I had no idea how rare and precious sleep is, it's healing, revitalizing, nourishing, and I can't get enough of it. Exercise is another thing I need to get into my daily routine. I'll get there, it's going to take some time and some money, fortunately I realize that I'm worth these small investments that will allow me to reap long term benefits. Go me.

Be well,


P.S. Apparently I need forty-five minutes of reading and writing before I can officially start my day. The plan is to knit for a while and then lay on my bed doing nothing. I could really use a nap, but I'm looking forward to my massage tonight. Sacrificing early means I have the money now. I can't even tell you how happy this makes me. Maybe I'll buy flowers for myself or someone else. Valentine's Day can be hard on single people, but I'm going to do my best to love myself a little extra today. I deserve all the nice things I can give me. 

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