It was nice to get the girls back yesterday. My former father-in-law went out and bought drywall for the bathroom. We had to rearrange some things in the garage and I like how his attention to detail and clear commands made it easy for me to be cooperative instead of standing there like an idiot. I just got off the phone with my aunt. A girlfriend of mine called while I was talking to her so I want to get back to her. While I was on the phone I started making breakfast. We have some food allergies and restrictions that force creativity and I've been a lot better about eating up what I have instead of racing to the store to placate others now that I'm on my own. So I fried up polenta, spaghetti squash, made peas, carmelized onions in white wine, and heated up some tomatoes before I sprinkled them with mozarella and cilantro. Yesterday I ate some zucchini with fish. It wasn't the greatest since I overcooked the fish when I steamed it, but what made the meal spectacular was my idea to add a generous dollop of soured cream to my canned beets. I feel really good about what I ate today, and thanks to Tem42, I have a new wheel to help me identify the emotions behind the emotions if that makes sense. This is the link for anyone who needs the visual like I do.
Yesterday someone sent me a message asking if I really felt that I would get flack for my opinions. The answer is yes, I do feel that way and I have felt that way. I know that if I went into the catbox and proclaimed that I did not believe in vaccinations or shared strong conservative Christian beliefs that how people think about me would change. I have been attacked just for being myself previously and I think that some people know who I'm talking about when I say that a few powerful and not very nice people can ruin it for many. Yesterday TenMinJoe said that the key was to respect people without buying into their silly beliefs. That's paraphrasing, you can check out the archive for what was actually said. There was a lot of dialogue flowing, it was an interesting mix of people and personalities. I was writing so I didn't say too much, but yesterday it occurred to me that this is a place where I have friends and am generally extremely well treated. There has been a change in who is active and contributing to the site, and regardless of who is officially in charge or owns the site, for better or for worse people are mostly allowed to write and say what they think. I prefer a hands off style and I think there is great value in letting a crowd police itself, yet there are disadvantages to this system as well.
I've been attacked and put down by members of both sexes here and that's the kind of thing that I would like to see managed better. I wasn't around for the raising the bar era. I don't really value information just for its own sake. What I love about this site is the quirks, the personality, the way people are allowed to throw up whatever their creative muse has spawned and set it adrift in a sea of voters although if it was up to me I would get rid of votes entirely since I don't believe that they have any real value. What is art to some is shitty poetry to others. What is a well crafted factual piece is a tl;dr to another. Determining what quality is must be an exhausting task here. It's been my experience that well written pieces do well, and sometimes there's something that's truly brilliant that slips through the cracks although that doesn't happen often. I embrace the fact that I can read things here that aren't anywhere else on the internet and I want to embrace the diversity that gives me insight into the lives of people who are contributing in one way or another. E2 fills a different role in each person's life. Some use it to post what they've written, others chill in the catbox, and I'm trying hard not to judge others lest I be weighed on the scales and be found wanting.
There are people who write so beautifully that I find myself wanting to know more about them, but some things must be admired from afar. I could write more and different things, but in the past I avoided writing about myself and now I'm filled with a need to discover who I am outside of an ex-wife and mother. I don't even want to be writing these things, every day I wake up and kind of dread sitting down to write another daylog. I wonder if I am too narcissistic, duller than dull, making mountains out of molehills, and what if anything I'm actuallly accomplishing with my daily posts. And I'm aware that it may not amount to much of anything. But I feel better when I can post something and be on my way. If I don't, and I have to write about it later in the day, there's a heaviness and anxiety that accompanies me that I can't shake. I want to say something, but I'm only thinking it for right now because I don't want to hurt anyone else's feelings. What I'm writing is very easy going in many ways, and so hard in others. I don't particularly enjoy navel gazing, I like to think that there are big exciting adventures out there, but I have to be prepared for them and writing something here every day is a record of where I've been and may have clues as to where I'm going.
Today I'm going to introduce my girls to the Anger-Free book. My youngest is scratching my oldest and repeatedly drawing blood. She has unresolved anger issues and I'm going to have her do some of the exercises I've been through myself. I don't expect this to be pretty or easy or fun for me, but I know that I'm giving her a tool she'll be able to use for the rest of her life. Since I'm frequently hard on myself and critical of myself as a parent, I want to talk about what I am good at. I try very hard to present nutritious food attractively. I purchase small treats and gifts for the girls and others. I am tidy, and I stress the importance of being so from an organizational standpoint. I read, I read a lot, and I read a lot of self help books. I do not shrink away from mental health issues or underestimate the power of things like going to see a therapist. I negotiate in front of my children. Yesterday we went to a rummage sale. A vintage mirror was priced at $20. I asked if they would take $10. The mirror was mine. Possibly I wasted $10, but that lesson will be of value to my children in the future as negotiation is rarely taught in schools. Negotiation is a skill. I could be better, but I'm willing to take the first steps while feeling awkward and embarrassed.
Negotiation and compromise are valuable in any relationship. Sometimes people have to give to get. I'm becoming better at winning battles without yielding the war. I apologize to the girls when I've done something that I feel bad about. I snuggle with them and try to remember to praise them. I try to tell them how I'm feeling. I remind them daily that they are loved and special to me. I am principled. I ask them if they can help me work on things that I need to overcome or become better at. I value expert advice and I try to expose them to experts and their informations. I believe that opinions are important and expressing them in a respectful manner stimulates conversations. I am punctual and I think this is also a life skill. I try to anticipate needing a water bottle or something to read and pack accordingly before I leave the house. While I can only work on so many areas of my life at a time, and these tend to cycle, I try to get a little bit better in the areas I'm working on currently so they turn into new habits that are sustainable. I crash and burn less often. I'm scared about money, but I booked a haircute, manicure, and pedicure anyways. This is self care and the girls need to see that their mother takes care of herself. There will always be self improvement books for me, but there's also a time to reflect on the pages that have made me who I am today, and right now, the chapters of my life are less hideous and revolting than they've been in the past. There's a lot of sorrow and heartbreak behind me, but going forward the skies are sunnier, and I find that so am I.