I did not sleep well last night. I had a dream that I was with my dad. He was belligerent and I was alone with him. Things happened, that part is unclear, but before I woke up I was holding three decks of cards. I had them and he wanted them. I tried holding them out of his reach when he rushed forward and grabbed me. I woke up with an aching jaw and the kind of fear that doesn't go away after the doors are locked. Most of the time I don't mind living by myself. Nights are the worst.

I hung out with the girls yesterday. We didn't do much. Their trip to Great America did not go well so they sat around eating and rehydrating after I made both of them take baths. They had therapy appointments at one. I had to put gas in the car, but fortunately he gave me money for the vehicle he had driven that I hadn't. I can live on what he gives me, but I need a job and I'm trying to figure out why I'm so reluctant to get one. Part of me feels that there are so many unfinished projects here at home. I'm doing what I can to try and move forward in whatever small ways I can. Downstairs there is a pine work bench that I think could be painted and put outside behind the bench by the patio. It's either that or get rid of it.

My pantry and fridge are looking better. We put together some menu ideas. The girls are getting older and can make some meals. A benefit to living by myself is knowing that if I clean something it stays clean and if there are dishes by the sink then I put them there. It's stressful to walk through the house picking up after the girls. I didn't do a very good job of making sure that the house was clean before they left. Things are coming together. The living room is taking shape. I moved a table out of their room and next to my favorite blue chair. Taking the things on the floor to Goodwill will clean up the front entryway. I have things in the garage that need to go including a huge desk that I thought I would like, but doesn't fit into the space I have for it. The picture was deceptive and I didn't think to ask how deep it was.

Yesterday I wrote something about the Boston Red Sox. Today I want to run away from it. I showed it to someone who gave me some good feedback on it. The piece is fine. I need to clean it up and change a few things, but there's something holding me back. I can't find a name for the feeling. Fear of rejection? Possibly. Maybe not. Yesterday I took a walk and tried to go very slowly to maximize the experience. I listened to the birds and bugs making their music in the deep green of the trees by the side of the road. Iris that should be moved peeked out from below two pines. I spend too much time on my phone and the computer and not enough time outside, but I'm getting better at balancing the two and that makes me optimistic for the future.

Time seems to be rushing by and standing absurdly still. I feel pressure to do things no one has asked me to take on, it's an internal driving force, a voice that won't be quiet, a foreman in my head urging me on and executives in my mind telling me that these things need to be done. They aren't voices although I can picture them. The foreman's face is deeply tanned and most of the executives are wearing white shirts except for the guy in deep blue. When I was in college I worked for a plastic container factory. After that I worked for a group of stockbrokers. Somewhere in my brain is a merger of those places, the expansiveness of the sprawling factory coupled with the dark wood and glass topped desks. I was so silly back then. But I was the same person I am now in some respects. I finished my Strengths Finder book. Anyone who enjoys learning new things, finding out what they and others are good at, and people who need to know how to get along with others who have a particular strength would be some of the most likely people to benefit from this book. It comes with a code that I don't have although I'm thinking about paying to get it as I think narrowing down my strengths to the top five would help me in life and in my job search.

As far as I can tell I'm a Developer, I cried when I read that description, a Maximizer, a Learner, an Arranger, an Activator, and I have the ability to Focus. Other traits I recognized were Positivity, Responsibility, Discipline to a certain extent, and I'm on the fence about Strategic. I am not Analytical, I do not have a lot of Empathy, and I don't think anyone I know would describe me as Deliberate unless they were joking. Partnering with people who have strengths that complement mine will help, and I'm going to read this book again while paying more attention to how the strengths work together. I really liked how the book pointed out ways that the strengths could be tempered, something too much of a good thing isn't great, it also gave very practical suggestions about honing your strengths. I can't remember which strength this is, but one that resonated and I want to continue to develop is whatever the trait is that focuses on finding the good in others and situations. The explanation there provided insight for me since this isn't a blind optimism, rather a conscious decision to say, yes, I see that my rose bush has thorns, but look at how pretty the garden path and the sunlight are.

People like me should be writing. I need to share my knowledge and strengths with others. It helps me, it could help them, and I derive a great deal of satisfaction from going back to April 20, 2015 and knowing that I have a mostly unbroken streak going. There's a missing date in there so I should probably hit the reset button, but a data point like that would probably be tossed or regarded as not relevant to the rest of the set so I'm going to keep going without paying too much attention to it. We all have our days where goals we set for ourselves remain unmet, whether that's a habitual thing or a blip depends on our behavior after the setback. This is weird, and possibly a strength of mine, but I feel as if I have a responsibility to keep writing. I feel anxious if the day starts slipping by and I haven't sat down to write about the day before. For a while I thought about writing about tomorrow. There's a strength called Futuristic, and I may try this at some point, but I have a hunch that writing about the past is going to suit me better than thinking about the day ahead of me. Then again, maybe I don't know myself as well as I think. I'll mull it over today. I have a few projects for myself that I'm eager to get done if I'm not actually excited about, but that's kind of life at this age. Take care, may the road rise to meet you and the answers to your problems appear when you need them most. 

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