I think I got two or three hours of sleep last night. My oldest daughter graduated from eighth grade, the day was full of errands and running around. I picked the girls up early from school, neither of them were happy about it and they let me know with their attitudes. I took my oldest in to her therapy session, she flopped on the couch and put her feet up in an act of defiance that I didn't challenge. I don't know if her therapist said anything to her about it after I left to go fill out paperwork in the waiting room, there's limited information that goes back to parents when a child is fourteen. I really like her therapist, she works with my therapist and agrees that there are some things that Jill needs some help with. Jane will also go in, but first we're going to get Jill in for a few more sessions first. I'm really optimistic about this, I respect the woman Jill is working with, she's very professional and doesn't treat Jill like a dumb kid. I've talked to several people who went to therapy as a kid who didn't find it helpful and I'm praying that Jill has a better experience than some of the rest of us did. Since I was up late last night I went on an organizational and cleaning spree at the condo. My husband dropped me off, I wanted to let him know what the therapist had said without the girls listening in on the conversation as they have a habit of doing.

By quarter after two I was thinking of calling him back up since I felt like I couldn't breathe. The smoke is really getting to me so now I'm thinking I'll need to invest in an air purifier for the condo. I have some money that I could use to sign up the girls for summer classes. I would love to send them to theater camp and enroll them in sailing lessons, but as much as I'd like to be able to do that for them, I don't know what kind of expenses I'll have so unfortunately I think we're going to pass on those things unless I can find great deals on programs the local schools have. We missed the cut off for registration this year, normally we see paperwork for it come home, but either we didn't get it or we missed it when the girls brought the flier home. The eighth grade class made short videos of their lives so far using old pictures. It was a neat idea, but as the night went on I started noticing diminishing returns. A girlfriend of mine lost her husband to cancer several years ago and I teared up when I saw pictures of him and his angelic blue eyed daughter. It's so hard to go back and realize past parenting failures, but part of this process means forgiving yourself even when you don't feel like you've earned or deserve it. 

Despite the poor quality slumber I'm doing okay today. I did the dishes at the house, made eggs that are growing cold while my daughter does whatever in her room. She's still in her pajamas and hasn't done the things I asked her to, but I think that later on I'm going to be too tired or busy to do the things she would like to be doing. She's already asked if she could go to a movie with some friends and I said I would be happy to take anyone who had their chores done. Meals have been very haphazard and random lately which is another thing on my list of things to tackle, but I know I'll get there given time and a plan. My book on ADD Friendly Ways To Organize Your Life is just wonderful. They suggest making things as simple as they can possibly be. If meals give you trouble, let go of some of the anxiety and perfection. Buy healthy snack options and have the kids grab them when they're hungry. The book talks about unrealistic expectations and how the stress of perfectionism can drive you further into a funk where you're running late, forgetting important things, and your life spirals further and further out of control because the routines you have in place aren't working for you and your busy family. Reading books like this make me feel like there are things I can do to regain some control in my chaotic life.

The comforters I washed are outside drying. We've eaten breakfast, I'm gathering things to take over to the condo and I've decided that I'm going to have to take a bath later. Next Monday I have my niece. Things will go more smoothly as we continue to divide household possessions, money, and time with the girls. To get back to the book, it talks about creating a launch pad to help you leave the house with the things you need for the day. I have shelves by my front door and a wall just beyond that where I'm going to hang some hooks and install a shelf for things I need to grab on my way out the door. I put a chair in my closet and use that as storage for a bag that I'm keeping packed with snacks, water, and a book. That's come in handy on more than one occasion where we've found ourselves out for longer than expected. If I always keep the bag packed, then I never have to worry about forgetting to grab my bottle of water or stopping to buy more expensive snacks like we've done so many times in the past. It's just amazing that we've gotten this far in life with all the dysfunction in our family, and there's good things about us too. The girls don't have TV over at the condo so they had to keep themselves entertained. They're big readers, good writers, and sweet girls that are imaginative and generous. 

This is about a quarter of what I wanted to write about today, but I'm running short on time due to improper planning and poor sleep quality. I'm going to cut myself some slack because all things considered, I think we've weathered this past week well. There were a lot of tears, and I think that each of us is realizing that we've taken a lot of the blessings we've had in the past for granted. I'm listening to old country music again, for some reason I find it a good companion during times like this. Today it's the legendary Connie Smith singing about the key being in the mailbox. I like songs like that, where people can admit that they screwed up and are eager for reconciliation. It doesn't always work that way in real life, but music keeps me company when things are looking more grim than I would like them to. I'm really sad that another plant of mine has scale, it might have to be replaced, but in the grand scheme of life, there are probably worse things that could happen. 

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