Yesterday we went to my aunt's for a party to celebrate an uncle of mine being in town for a while. It was a lovely party despite having to tell many of my relatives that I'm getting divorced. For the past twenty years I've been half of a couple and my family knows that there are two sides, and probably more, to every story. I had the girls to myself which was nice. I woke up, made breakfast, my youngest sat in her room while my oldest and I had breakfast. She was kind of a brat all morning, but I tried to ignore her behavior for the most part. I bought the barstools and got them both to fit in my trunk. The people I bought them from were running late, I told my oldest I should have asked if they would take money off for being tardy, another negotiation lesson learned the hard way. We wandered around Best Buy waiting for the barstool couple to arrive. I found a new electric toothbrush I would like to try which is the problem with walking into a store that sells things. I can always find something that wants to separate me from my money. I didn't put any money in the collection plate at church. I could have thrown in cash, but I like it when I put it in my envelope so I didn't. My checkbook and envelopes are at the condo and I spent the night at home, it's more difficult running two different households than I had anticipated.

My last massage didn't go well. My therapist thought I had cancelled, but I had gotten Tuesday and Wednesday mixed up so I thought we were still on, I'm going to give that a break for a while. My feelings were hurt and that's a luxury in my life so I treasure those appointments. A couple friends of mine sent me texts, it really helps me when people reach out. The grass is very green, but the cold and damp and rain make me kind of sad. I set the timer and had the girls clean up their room. It looks much better than it did, but there's still things on the floor that need to be picked up before we can sweep and scrub in there. The girls met his new girlfriend today. I took a nap while they were gone so I missed his text about going to a movie. It's funny how he has money for all the things he wants to do, but let me pay for everything we bought today. I don't really mind, but I see it as evidence of a larger problem. When the girls came back they didn't say much. It occurred to them that this wasn't strange since he's been taking them to meet other women for their entire lives. I don't know why I couldn't see that before. It bothered me when he would do that, but since they seemed like innocuous events, I didn't think that they were any big deal. Silly me. 

My sister brought ceviche to the party and I felt the beginnings of an allergic reaction after I took a few bites of cheese so that was rough. Fortunately I had some allergy medicine in my bag, and the reaction seems minimal compared to those I've had in the past. I took a Benadryl before I went to bed last night, that wiped me out, but it's drug induced sleep instead of the normal regular kind. Jill's cough is still around and it seems like it's getting worse. It's not a bad cough, more annoying than anything, but very anxiety inducing. I was worried about getting to church on time with the girls, but we were early while he rolled in after the service had started. We made breakfast at home instead of going out and we went grocery shopping after that. I drove, I paid for what we bought, and I feel pretty good about the way I handled my emotions while we were out. Just sitting next to him sent uncomfortable tension through me. I could feel it coiled in the pit of my stomach and I tried to examine where it was coming from and why he has that affect on me, but the answers weren't forthcoming. I felt like a dog who snaps at a kindly stranger just because it's learned that two legged mammals are a source of pain and barriers need to be erected for self protection.

I wanted to buy the girls insulated lunchboxes, but when I got to the store they were gone. He was late to his date which made me smile. He was late getting the girls back, but I didn't make an issue of it. He sent me a text asking about a movie, but I was sleeping so I missed it. I spent more time reading in my ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life book. The plan is to review it when I'm done, you're probably wondering why it's taking me so long to read it. First of all, it's a lot of information to process as it has action steps linked to each chapter. Obviously I can't do everything the book says in the day time I have, but I try to really let the strategies and concepts sink in when I'm reading. It's more like a book for a class than a book I'm sitting down to read. My bipolar workbook has been neglected, but I feel like this book is more helpful at this stage in my life. I found some button style wall mounted coat hangers that I'm thinking about getting. They're minimal, functional, and pretty. My thought right now is to get a bunch and use them throughout the condo as a way to organize, decorate, and make me feel better about that accomplishment. I'd like a couple sets so I'm going to have to save up or ask someone else to buy them for me.

Today I spent some time working on my desk top. I didn't get everything off, but I made strides in arranging piles of papers that have been stacked and collecting dust. I'm going to give each of the girls a binder and a bin. The binder will have important things like their birth certificates and social security cards in plastic sleeves. The bin will be for mementos and anything else they would like to keep. I need to give them a place for their special treasures to go so I'm going to try that system and see how it goes. I bought my daughter a hanging storage bag with six compartments that she thinks will help her organize her clothing for the week. The idea there is that she can do her laundry on the weekend and put her clothes for the upcoming week in cubbies so she's prepared and doesn't have to scramble around looking for her dress shoes if she has to wear them for some reason. I'm hoping that it helps her connect a day of the week with the event she has scheduled and provide some order to her wardrobe that she doesn't have now. I think it will also help me visualize what she has so I can see where there are excesses and needs. Six days worth of clothes will get her through most of a week and should be enough clothes for her if we can put together enough outfits using what she has. 

Next weekend my mom is taking her shopping. I've been invited and I've been weighing the pros and cons of going. Accompanying them may give me a degree of control and some veto power, but then I have to deal with both of them and they both have a tendency to exasperate me when we're shopping together so that may not be worth it to me. She needs some new bras, pajamas, and shorts that fit her better. We get clothes from my niece which is great, but they often don't fit my girls exceptionally well. I'd love it if we could come up with some sort of basic mix and match wardrobe for her so the majority of her tops match most of the rest of her clothes. She'll need dress clothes, shoes, and I'd really like it if we could come to some sort of compromise on this where her clothes is acceptable to both of us. She has a really cute figure and it's frustrating to me when she slops around in shorts with her fly continually open because they don't fit properly. My mom tends to be indulgent in a way that she never was when we were kids, but she has more income now than she did back then. It's interesting to me how she was so controlling when we were younger, and still is, but when it comes to her grandchildren she allows them to buy whatever they want. I'm sure I'll be the same way, I've seen and heard this with friends of mine and their parents so I get it, but it's still hard on me. 

My book said that the four things people with ADD tend to miss out on are; reading, exercise, socializing, and now I can't remember what the fourth one was and I'm afraid if I run and look it up I'll get distracted and start reading my book again. Anyways, I've realized that these are all things I've sacrificed to the organizational altar so I'm looking at things like a yoga class and coffee dates with my girlfriends in a new light. I know a couple of women who are always too busy to meet even for half an hour and to be honest, what they're getting done at home isn't accomplishing what they think it is. The book talks about starting on one task and getting into a microscopic level of organization that isn't necessary. The stories shed light on problems that I've encountered in the past, but this time they go into what the problem is and some tips to help from getting bogged down and overwhelmed. I feel less alone reading this book. There's a lot of order in my life and there are many people who have more, but also many who have much less. It's a blessing that I can walk into a store or go online and buy a couple of cheap bins or other organizational materials like the dry erase calendars that I'm really appreciating. I almost bought a vertical paper file, but it was wooden and bulky and not really my style so I left it at the store. 

A blog post I read warned against tackling too many areas of your life at once. I've run into that problem in the past so while I would like to lose weight, I know that if try to add another thing onto my plate I'll end up fatter as I'm a stress eater. We missed the deadline for public school summer classes. I'm hoping to use this summer to reconnect with the girls, get more stability in our lives, and to give myself a break from the past twenty years. Getting divorced is making rethink men and dating. A friend of mine is getting divorced, I asked him if he wanted to go out if either of us are ever single at the same time. There's another guy I'd like to ask out, but he's not in the area so I'm not really sure how that would work, but I might float the idea past hi anyways. He's kind of interesting as he followed me, unfollowed me, perhaps not on purpose, but I don't know for sure, and then followed me again. He's in education and I really like the articles and information he posts. I also like his sense of humor. He once tweeted something very flattering at me that leads me to believe that he would be willing to pay for me to attend a ball game with him despite us being fans of teams that play each other. Another gail of mine is to go back through the Steve Harvey book and write down things that I'm looking for in a partner. I put some character traits down on my mental chalkboard, but writing them out will be an exercise that will corral those musings. 

So far I'm searching for conversational, flirtatious, frugal, and imaginative. I would like a baseball fan, but I'm not really interested in most other sports besides golf, tennis, soccer, and cricket, so I don't see myself ending up with a diehard sports fanatic who devours hockey and football before March Madness begins. I'm not the outdoors type, but I'd like to spend more time outdoors than I do now. I really want someone that I can go out with who is willing to try new things, has a good attitude, and isn't mean spirited while checking out other women. A friend of mine assures me that I'll have no problem getting guys to go out with me, I get that, but I'm also nervous about the whole idea in general. I'm going to make a list of books I want to check back out of the library. I still need to make a will and there are other books I took back that I want to reread, some of those I started without finishing. I'm going to give myself a limit and some topics. I have books going at home and I need to be more realistic about how many books I'm going to actually get to during a three week period. I'm thinking five books and I'm going to look for some fun reading as I have a tendency to get absorbed in self help and information. Rewards are an important part of my recovery strategy so I need to find ways to give myself more treats.

I was going to skip writing today since I just didn't feel like it. Rain is sheeting down, my oldest daughter just walked by and said that she wished the weather was nicer since it's so gloomy. It makes me think about the days when I wasted the sunshine by parking myself in front of the computer. My sister said my children have problems expressing their emotions. I can count on her for comments like that. I'm so thankful for my sisters and family. They were just wonderful this weekend which is the kind of support I need these days. I'm discovering new things about myself, reinventing who I am, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the accumulated changes at the end of the summer. I have a dream that I can pack the girls up and head down to Florida for some time, but I'm leery of making a trip like that by myself and I don't know if my father-in-law would let me stay at his place with them. He didn't come in the other day when he was here so that was awkward. It hurt my feelings and made me kind of angry for reasons I don't really understand. Maybe the idea of passively avoiding conflict annoys me and reminds me of the many times I've done things like that myself. Oh well, tomorrow is another day, onward, and forward

It should have been Russell Crowe

I try not to read the news. Whether I do or not depends on how well I think I can deal with the shame of just shutting my eyes, taking my daily dose of Fukitol* and moving on with my life.

So it was actually my mum that told me that John Nash had died. Because she knows me, and she knows that I knew who he was before watching A Beautiful Mind. And I replied, as any true sociopath would: 'Oh well. He hasn't done any good work in decades anyway.' Because I. Am an asshole.

Unlike a true sociopath however, I strongly dislike the idea of anyone dying. Except for mass-murdering fuckheads of course. I think we can all agree on mass-murdering fuckheads. I think death is generally icky, and what they do to your body at the undertaker's makes the whole death thing even grosser. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. However. If I had a choice, which of course none of us do, I think I would have preferred for it to be Russell Crowe. Let me explain:

After having spent a fair amount of time in Australia and New Zealand, I've found that when Russell Crowe comes out with a hit he's Australian, and when he's a dick everyone remembers that he's actually from New Zealand. So he's mostly a Kiwi, no matter what people say. And while I don't think that being an all around shitty person makes him worthy of death (necessarily), I do think the switch would have been better for all concerned. In all fairness, I don't know much about his failures as a sentient being, because I frankly don't care that much. Just like I don't really care who Nicki Minaj -- or Mitch McConnell, or John Key, or Ban Ki Moon -- is. (Unfortunately I know all of them, but that is beside the point.) However, I feel entirely comfortable condemning Russell to this fate, because the math is quite clear.

You see, it was obvious after taking my utilitarian statement about John Nash to its logical conclusion. Because while John Nash hasn't done anything notable in years, at least he did something once. Whether you think symbols and stories are important or not, they do affect how people think. Nash is a symbol, and an inspiration to nerds everywhere, especially to those suffereing from schizophrenia.** Russell Crowe is just someone who is smart enough to remember his lines.*** I actually have nothing against Russell Crowe. (Besides the fact that he has a fat face and I've had to watch Cinderella Man roughly a dozen times.) I just think that John Nash was still more useful to society. John Nash, while not irreplaceable, is much, much harder to replace than some random actor. No matter how adorable you find the guy's accent.

But anyhow. Nash is one of those people who, against all odds, got made into something flashy. And yes, the idea of him was "made," just like the tween pop stars who get churned off the Disney conveyor belt. The truth is that most people in academia never make world-changing discoveries, even if they do it might not get named after them. Most academics will never even get noticed within their fields, let alone by the larger world. But Nash wasn't just an amazing thinker, he had a story. So even people who couldn't invert a matrix to save their lives know about him. So even if I think the whole public-figure thing is shallow, even if I think that his death wasn't any more important than anyone else's, it's still worthy of recognition. If only because of that.

I'm not sure really why this came up. Only, I wanted to write down what I was thinking about for the day. I've never really liked the idea of a journal (it always seemed like an affectation,) but now that I'm in Australia, I'm basically a day ahead of everyone I know. And I like the idea of writing something down about my day as theirs is just beginning, as if I'm somehow letting them know what they're in for.

*Since we're going the whole depressing-death route and everything, I should mention that it was Robin William's favorite drug. If I were smarter I'd probably wonder why it didn't work for him, but who am I to question genius? Also, I confess that John Nash's death didn't hit me quite as hard as Leonard Nimoy's. Because: Leonard Nimoy. Also, I was entirely unsympathetic when my brother's childhood hero Steve Irwin died. Not that I didn't like the guy, and he'll always be my archetypal Australian no matter how many witty, urbane Melbournites I meet... I was just entirely absorbed in the surreal experience of having someone who had been a fixture of my childhood simply disappear; it makes me feel old.

**And those enjoying every minute of it. Pauses... Too soon?

***Well, I hope he remembers his lines. Actors who habitually forget their lines are a mystery to me. Hasn't anyone told them that it's kind of, you know, their job?

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