Yesterday was a really good day in terms of productivity. I also learned something new about my oldest daughter. We were in After School Care when she brought a notebook over to me. She's a doodler so it was covered with ink, inside I started reading about a girl who discovers a mermaid when she's scuba diving. There are two main characters, the diver and the mermaid, they meet, become friends, and want to spend more time together, but are limited because they live in different worlds. When the girl has to swim back to her parents, she thinks about the mermaid, and tells her how much she's going to miss her friend when the cruise ship has to sail back home. The mermaid tells the girl that she's part mermaid, the girl is excited, but then she starts thinking, what if her tail falls off, or people find out she's part mermaid? She wonders about her gene pool, and who may have passed this trait along to her. That's where my daughter is in the story, so far it's a delightful read, my daughter has a way of capturing the personalities of her character, the dive down seems realistic, and I love the inner monologues she has going on inside of her character's heads.

She had to serve a two-day in school suspension this past Friday and Monday. A friend of mine mentioned that the library was looking for mentors who could help them with their summer reading program. After school, my daughter biked down to the library, picked up an application, and my husband went with her to drop it back off. These past few days I've seen a turn in her attitude and her level of preparedness, and responsbility. She helped me clean the bathroom last night. It grossed her out, and I think in the past I've wanted to shield my children from that sort of thing because it makes me uncomfortable when the bathroom hasn't been cleaned in a while. Normally that's my youngest daughter's job. I don't know what went down between her and her father, but she was sent to her room, and consequently went to bed early. She missed supper although she had a hearty breakfast this morning, and I packed her extra to eat for lunch and snacks today.

A couple people I follow on Twitter are into film, whether they're directors, producers, or write screenplays. I follow people I know on E2 who have similar interests, and this morning I tried a writing tip someone suggested where you write down a hundred words as fast as you can. I did that, and it was harder than I thought it would be, a lot of fun, as I wrote, words came to me, some I included, but others I chose to exclude in favor of their opposites. When I was done, I was intrigued and proud of what I had written. I ended up three words short, and I did something fun with the ending that I won't share here in case anyone wants to try this exercise.

Being a creature of habit, I'm working on transforming my former bad habits into better ones. I didn't wake up early this morning, but I had a big day yesterday, and today I realized that I need to lower my expectations of myself in some areas. I needed sleep, I slept fairly well last night, and I've already had a better morning than some other days. A friend of mine who is in the film industry does a daily baseball podcast. I like listening to it, but sometimes I don't make the time to listen to what he has to say. Today I combined listening to the podcast with a short work out. I wanted yesterday to be my food prep day so today I could get a work out in, and that idea was more successful than I thought it was going to be. Having the podcast gave me a definitive time period to work with. I learned more about who owned baseball the previous day, and I gleaned some insights into movies that were released during the summer of 1999.

Yesterday I down loaded some Dale Carnegie apps. I went through them, and so far I'm enjoying them although I'm not sure if I'm going to have to pay for the downloads which are the next steps in the programs. I've decided that I can learn about leadership even though I'm not in a traditional work environment. I took some quizzes, and I'm going to incorporate this type of experiment into my daily routine. I personally admire the producer of the podcast I listen to because it's produced every single day, and that type of habit is what I'm interested in cultivating. I didn't get fat by sitting down and gorging myself, it was a long term sustained effort that included more calories, and less exercise.

To reverse that, I've stocked my fridge with a wide variety of healthy choices so they're there when I need them. I'm trying to surround myself with people who are positive, and believe in me, and I try to encourage others to pursue their individual goals. I have a new book to read, I read a lot of fluff at work when the kids are doing their homework, and I'm integrating deeper material that helps push my mind instead of entertaining it. Just like writing is a daily habit of mine, I want to make meal planning and prep weekly routines so the girls have options when I'm not around. Tonight my oldest has a soccer game, I'm nervous about getting lost on the drive there, but excited to see her play, and hoping that we can enjoy some mother-daughter time while we're together.

Tomorrow we're going to a field trip to see the Brewers play. My daughter is very excited, and I have to admit that I am too even though the weather may not cooperate with our plans to tailgate before the game. I'd like to take my daughter mini golfing again, the place we went to last time has batting cages, and I'd love to sit there and either watch her hit, or hit with her. A friend of mine who is a hitting coach was recently invited to help the players of USA Baseball improve their swings. He's super excited about it, and I'm so happy that he's getting some of the recognition that I feel he's earned. I follow a lot of coaches on Twitter, he's introduced me to others who are now friends of mine, and it's been really interesting to hear these people share their stories about success, and how they're developing the people they're working with.

Another friend of mine is involved with open source healthcare information. He's an artist, he did a quick self portrait of himself, and it made my day when he and another friend of mine who runs a healthcare forum that helps connect patients with support groups, experts, and physicians told me that they enjoyed interacting with me. A couple physicians I know are also artists, I find the connection fascinating, and would love to someday meet some of these people so I can hear more about the guy who almost flunked out of college, turned to art, and then turned back to medicine because his grades improved after he took several art classes. Music, art, photography, languages, there are so many creative outlets to explore, I want to do everything, and I want to be able to expose my children to the diversity of talented people I'm privileged to know.

Today I had planned to write about why I don't go to the gym. Today I worked out at home, I have a fitness buddy, I've found some classes we can take together, and I'm excited that better meal planning and recipe organization is finally paying off dividends. I'm having a fabulous day, I'm thrilled to be alive, a part of life, and proud of myself for the accomplishments I have behind me because I can use them as stepping stones for future success.

Take care,