Today I am low and blue. Yesterday I had a really good talk with my sister despite the fight that ended it. She sent me a text to apologize and I sent an apology back to her. It was a sensitive subject, I am very angry about a lot of things, and she is one of the favorites. I don't think my mom consciously shows favoritism, but it's noticable, and I've always had a hard time with it, probably because I haven't been one of the favorites. Last night the girls and I had a chat about dating. I tried to ask open ended questions and kept the conversation moving. My youngest asked how to break up with someone you have been in a long term relationship with so we discussed that. Later on, after my husband came home we ran some of the questions past him to see what he had to say.

I'm in a weird spot where I would like to really work on the marriage, and I'm okay if it ends. I don't think there have been many times where both of us have been committed to change, but if he's out, I have a choice to make about how I'm going to behave. Last night he forgot to stop at my mom's to pick up cinnamon twists my older daughter needed for a Heritage project she's finishing up at school. In the past I would have been upset, last night I asked if he wanted me to go with him into my mom's. We talked some on the way out there, the way back was mostly quiet. I said I was sorry for my part and the things I've done since I entered a relationship with him. He also apologized, but he still wants a divorce.

Deep inside, I know that things are going to be okay, and better than that, but I'm not deluding myself that this is going to be easy on any of us. Last night I read the Steve Harvey book; Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Steve has an old fashioned take on the roles of men and women, that doesn't bother me, but I can see this book not sitting well with people who have more contemporary gender ideas. Outside of that, I think there are still concepts that apply to the majority of us adults. He tells women to have standards, to know what they want, and I love his five questions that he recommends asking someone you feel could go to the next level with you.

Steve has a ninety day no sex policy that he advocates and gives you a brief month by month plan to follow while you're in a new relationship. He says men are simple. They need loyalty, support, and the cookie, but it is up to his partner to decide when she wants to give it up to him after the ninety day waiting period is over. I thought this was a great book, well written, practical, and funny which helps when dealing with some very serious topics. He is very clear, there is no ambiguity or confusion about what he says, and for me, it worked. I think my favorite chapter was the one on sport fishing where Steve uses fishing analogies to help a woman determine if a man is going to keep her, or toss her back when he's done with her.

Men should be professing their claim on a woman, providing for her, and protecting her. Steve goes through what that means and looks like and makes some allowances for the fact that many women these days are independent wage earners with careers of their own. He talks about meeting baby daddy or baby mama and stresses the need to be calm, cool, and collected so you can avoid losing your shit when the time comes. Throughout the book are questions and room for the reader to write down things like what they want from a relationship. When I had my daughter go through one of these, I learned that she wanted a gentleman which was surprising to me because I'm pretty sure that word wouldn't have made it onto my list when I was fourteen.

She also wants a guy who is smart, funny, kind, and he must be a gamer. I tried to keep the dating conversation light, neither of my girls have been asked out by a boy or another girl as far as I know, but I think it's important to tackle these uncomfortable situations before they arise in real life. They're children of the internet generation so they know what a catfish is online and have warned their father about these people when he told them he wanted to start seeing other people. We talked about dates that didn't go well, I touched on the importance of letting somebody know where you were going, who you were with, and when you were going to be back even as an adult. My husband added that a check in may be appropriate if you're meeting someone for the first time.

We talked about places to go and things to do. My oldest suggested window shopping, my youngest wants to go to the One Direction concert so she suggested that as a venue. Overall it was a great conversation. We got to work through some scenarios, I could tell their minds were working to process things, and I'm hoping that the discussion was fruitful and they know that they can call mom and dad if things get out of hand and they have other people in their support network if mom and dad aren't around. I didn't get into drinking too much, but when it was just me and my oldest we went through it again. I asked if she could call us when she was drunk and puking, she said that she could. 

When I asked if we would be mad she said yes. Then I asked if we would be mad, or just disappointed. She felt we would be disappointed, and I told her I would much rather be disappointed in my daughter that I had to pick up than get a call that she had to be scraped off the side of a highway. I know several people who were in accidents where alcohol was involved, those are memories I can use at a later point in time because these are ongoing discussions that will become more complicated as the girls age. We didn't get into what people wear although they both agreed that appropriate attire for the date was desirable. It was a lot for them to take in, it was a difficult conversation for me, but I'm really happy that I used that slice of time to broach the subject because it kept me from becoming too long winded and turning it into a lecture on dating. 

I've thought about going back to work and jobs that I'm interested in trying to find. It's scary to think about, but it's a good kind of scared for the most part. Right now money is at the front of my mind, but I know from experience that the things you worry about and prepare for are rarely the right choices. Rather than rush to get things done over at the condo I told my husband that as long as it was functional, I was fine with it. I want some time to really think about what I want to do over there so even though parts of it are less than ideal, I don't want to throw up paint in haste and regret that later. Today my sister and brother in law are coming out to the softball game if it's still on, I thought about asking them to help me move some things. More than anything I need the emotional support my family can give. 

I can pack up dishes and put bathroom things over there, I've done that in the past, but this time it won't be coming back. I just need to make myself do it. A lot of the time the middle of my back hurts. Last night I slept in the same bed as my husband. I didn't sleep well, but my back doesn't hurt as badly as it normally does. He said I could take the bed that he's using and I'm grateful for that since it really eases some of my back and neck pain. It's so easy to look back on these past years and blame myself or other people, but I'm trying hard to be thankful for the little things and express my appreciation for the people I have in my life that could be taken at any time. 

The Steve Harvey book was helpful to me because it gave me a plan and a framework. That's what I need most, information isn't that helpful to me unless it reveals a new piece of the puzzle. I need help putting the pieces together, and one of the things that really scares me is the brain fog conversation that my sister and I had yesterday. My grandfather died when he was in his sixties. Before he passed from complication due to a bad case of pneumonia he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and at the end he didn't recognize his wife anymore. My dad is sixty-five and he's going to be in a skilled care facility for the rest of his life. My mother's health is generally good, but I haven't been blessed with her robust constitution.

It worries and scares me that the girls have so many health issues. I see the color fading from their eyes and wonder about a Vitamin A deficiency. I know that stress and anxiety can reduce health and I haven't been the best about making sure my family sits down to hearty and wholesome meals on a daily basis. But that's something I can work on and toward. I feel pretty calm today all things considered. I need to get things over to the condo so I'm going to get a box or a bin and start filling it. Whatever I do will be better than sitting here agonizing about it. I'm kind of glad that this is happening at the end of the school year. Hopefully by the time the next one starts we will be in our new routines, and things will be better all around. I can only hope and pray and work toward some of my short term goals that will help me reach greater personal achievements.

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