Yesterday was my daughter's birthday. Twelve years ago she was a brand new face in my world, more beautiful than I thought a child of mine would be. I've never considered myself particularly attractive, I didn't want that for children of mine, which just goes to show how shallow and silly I was back then. A grocery store in town periodically sets up bulk bins of discount items. We were waiting for my step-daughter to get out of work so I stood by a bin of books, flipping through them to see if there was anything interesting. There were books I wanted, but I didn't have the money to get anything so I waited. Eventually the books went on sale, so I was able to get a lovely 257 page book on exploring natural habitats that I thought my daughter would really enjoy.

I didn't wrap the book because I don't believe in wasting gift bags or wrapping paper. Instead I gave her the book as it was along with a card. The book only cost four dollars, but fortunately my daughter wasn't concerned about the price tag. She gave me a hug, I gave her one back, and for that still close moment, we shared a bond. It's really hard watching your children cry. Yesterday my daughter's older sister said she was going to spend the day with her. My daughter cried off and on for more than three hours when her sister didn't come to pick her up after school. Yesterday I didn't give my step-daughter a ride to work. She left me a note on the counter telling me when she needed to be at work, but she didn't ask for a ride, and I thought to myself, this is a good time to teach this girl a lesson.

We had a party on Saturday for the birthday girl. Most of my family came to her soccer game. It was one of her worst, but we had a good time chatting, and seeing her out there fills my heart because she's not afraid of the ball or the much larger girls. I love her coach, and I'm hoping that she will stick with it even though I doubt that she will. Her older sister could have come, but chose not to citing needing to be at work two hours later as the reason. Sunday morning my step-daughter asked if I would be available to take her into work. When I asked when, she looked at her feet, and said 'now'. I hadn't been planning on another trip into town, dropping her off at work cut into my time to get ready for church, so that evening, I thought to myself, she hasn't asked for a ride home for work, I'm tired, and neither my step-daughter nor my youngest did anything, even the chores they had been assigned to help get ready for the party.

I've now taken the Love and Logic parenting class twice, and I'll probably end up taking it a third time because changing old habits is easier when you have a plan, and a system to work with. I bought myself a new recipe book for my daughter's birthday. I've been taking better care of myself, trying to get go of things I can't control. My husband doesn't want to pay the premiums for our family insurance policy, so he's letting it lapse. Last night he said he doesn't know how to shop for insurance, and I could go into what was going on in my mind, what I was thinking and feeling, but you can probably figure that out for yourself. You can't argue with illogical people, so I decided to start looking for a job that provides health insurance.

In therapy, I've been learning how to deal with passive aggressive people. I have to do what I'm going to do regardless of what they do. When my step-daughter smuggled in some Tide Pods, and Snuggle dryer sheets, I liberated them. When she asked if I had seen them, I reminded her of the fragrance free laundry soap conversation we had when she first moved into the house that she lives in now. She said that she thought I had recommended Tide, I knew I hadn't, so I shook my head regretfully. I can tell that she's mad at me, but I'm really tired of the kids acting like honored guests in this house. I'm sick and tired of a lot of things, so I've been taking classes to help me reach some of my new goals.

So far this year I've taken a parenting class, a class on finance, a journaling class, that's easily been the most fun, and I've been going to my therapist that I'll have to stop seeing due to a temporary lack of funding. She has a cookbook I lent her, she has a lot of information on health, exercise, mindfulness, and nutrition, and when I was talking to her, I felt these tremendous bursts of amazingly creative energy. Twitter has still been a way for me to connect with other people. A neuropsychologist followed me the other day, so I introduced him to a friend of mine who is a Welsh neuroscientist working for Mayo Clinic. I'm happy that I was able to link these two together because I think they'll have things in common, and that will make my timeline more fun to read.

I found a job that I'm going to apply for. In the past I wouldn't have been so confident of my abilities. The other day I read that you are what you pretend to be. That helped me a lot, and as I tweeted to a friend, people deserve the level of integrity and personality that I'm able to bring to their account. Here's a tip for anyone who wants to succeed in sales be interested in other people, do what you say you're going to, recognize that there are times to back off, and times to pounce on an opportunity, have expert advice, and the numbers will come. I don't believe that sales is a numbers game, or a formula of so many rejections before you close a deal. I believe it's about connecting with those whose attitudes and philosophies are similiar to yours.

There's a lot more I could say, but I wanted to keep this short as I have quite a few things I want to accomplish today. Last night I was snuggling with my youngest on the top bunk of her bed when I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night, tried sitting up, and fell onto the bed railing that I knocked over. As a result of my carelessness, I'm sporting a few new bruises, and not able to do much with my left arm. I'm thankful I didn't break anything, or hit my head. I was worried about my daughter falling out of bed last night which illustrates how pointless worry really is. I know this, and yet I doubt this experience will stop me even as I move into healthier habits.

Take care, love yourself, and refuse to put yourself, or anyone else down.



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