Last night I stayed up late. Yesterday I wanted to write something about places I visit when I'm sad. I wrote about my scarf being a source of soft white comfort. I picked it up at a second hand store, felt the fibers slip through my fingers, and I have a problem when I realize that I have to take it off for some reason. When I'm sad, or upset, I want someone to pick me up, hold me tightly, and make me feel safe and secure. Growing up there wasn't that solace, and I crave it more the older I get. I have family and friends that I call, sometimes I cry when I'm driving. Usually the tears are gone by the time I arrive at my destination, there's something about being alone and listening to music that brings out the sadness.

Twitter can be a place to find caring friends. I don't get the same feelings from Facebook. I don't know why the two sites elicit different responses, I view Twitter as more conversational and interactive, Facebook generally leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I see posts that I would rather not, and the posts I want to see are lost in the shuffle. I've been told there are ways to filter, but frankly I'd rather not waste my time on a site that doesn't appeal to me anyways. The last time I tweeted that I was feeling low, I was quite overwhelmed by the response. Two people in particular sent me neat images. One was a painting of a man staring out at a barn, the other was a beautiful bunch of flowers, not lighthearted happy flowers, but a very deep intense bouquet.

Last night I tweeted that I have a need to be held. A couple people responded to that comment, asking if I was okay, or if I needed a hug. Usually when I say things like that, I can share those feelings because I'm feeling well at the time. When I'm not in a very good mood, I'm less likely to divulge things I'm uncomfortable with. Perhaps I've written about this before, but the Plutchick wheel of emotions has helped me better identify what I might be feeling at a given time. Journaling should be a way to express emotions, but a lot of the time I feel as if I'm unable to give voice to thoughts that I feel would make people think less of me although I'm getting better at this.

This morning my step-daughter asked if she could have a ride into work. I probably should have said no, but I didn't. On the way in she was complaining about the weather which is a bit chilly, but not horrid. She had promised to take my oldest daughter fishing, now she's backing out of that for weather related reasons. I haven't spoken to her much this past week, she's been working a lot, and avoiding me. It's about an eight minute drive into her work, and on that short ride, I was annoyed with her negativity. I don't see myself as negative, but possibly I'm not viewing myself that way when I really am. I don't think of myself as unhappy. I don't feel safe at home. I feel as if my ideas and priorities and things I value are disdained, and undermined. I've written about that in the past, and I don't want to cover that ground again except to say that it's really immature to go behind the back of another to get your agenda across.

I want to be a more responsible person. The classes I've taken have helped, but I want to be more responsible to myself. I need a budget, that should be for the month. I have some money in savings, I'd like to continue adding to that, I want to give more generously to church, and I want to become more self sufficient. The other day someone tweeted that growing your own food was like planting money. I agree with this, when I had a garden, it saved me money, and gave me a reason to get outside more often. I would like to give my children those experiences, of walking out first thing in the morning, picking raspberries off the vine, I want fruit trees, a grape arbor, cucumbers, lettuce, I grew broccoli the last time I had a garden, we have very nice soil, and I want to start composting again.

I'd like some raised beds, and I want the money we currently spend on technology to be redirected into some of the things I think are important. I'm fighting this constant battle with my husband who eats almost no vegetables, and doesn't see the importance of them either. It's really a power struggle that has its roots in something other than food. He feels controlled by authority, and would rather inflict damage upon himself than knuckle under to anyone suggesting that he might be able to increase his daily intake. I feel as if he's teaching the girls that you can eat crap without associating the repercussions of a bad diet. He thinks that he's fine, and that makes me laugh until I remember what he has in store for him as he ages.

At soccer, we sometimes see his cousin. The difference between the two men who aren't that far apart in age is clear in broad daylight. One of them is lean, tan, has a lot of color left in his hair, and able to converse freely. Pale skin, shadowed eyes, loss of hair color, the belly fat some people can't seem to get rid of, these are not signs of good health. Healthy people look good, they smell good, they're fun to be around. I purchased some house plants that I've been really enjoying. They were doing well for a while, now a couple of them are losing leaves. I had the windows open when it was cooler so I'm wondering if that affected them. I think I didn't give them enough water so that may be a factor as well.

I really want a way to work with my husband, but the truth is, I don't want to sink down to his level. He thinks I'm a food fanatic, however I would say that  he has almost no idea what real food is. He has self esteem issues, I do too, and it's this back and forth blame of the other person, but I have changed, and he's still not happy with what I've become. I just want the freedom to be me without him mowing over plants I've nurtured, buying junk for the girls, passively going behind my back, and trying to manipulate me. I hate it when people with tremendous potential sit there feeling sorry for themselves which is what I'm doing right now. I should have the right to choose furniture in my own home. He has ideas that he doesn't know how to execute. He has time when he doesn't have money, and money when he doesn't have time.

He starts projects, buys whatever he thinks he needs, and then the projects sit there, unfinished, languishing, and that just drives me nuts. To be fair to him, there are many things that I do that annoy him. I'm obsessive about certain things. I tell him we need things when maybe they're just things that I want. Self improvement is not an overnight process, but it's also almost impossible to work with someone who is constantly berating you, and not supportive of the things you have difficulty with that you are trying to change. We both know that I need to lose weight. I enjoy walking, he says that he doesn't like walking in the same places, and he's such a show off when we go other places that it makes me feel even more inadequate because my body can't do the things his can, and it frightens me when he jumps off of things because that would hurt me if I did it.

In general I don't feel as if he's being very sensitive. He's not empathetic, but he thinks that people should try and understand his point of view, and where he's coming from. I have no empathy for other people when it comes to food. If you don't like what's being served, then I hope you find the next meal more palatale. I try so hard to make things pretty, nourishing, fun, and diverse. He's content to roll ham, turkey, and cheese together and eat that with greasy nacho chips or a handful of cranberries. He eats out almost every day, and I get so tired of hearing that there's no food at home just because the things he likes to eat aren't around.

I'm tired of people putting crap into their bodies. I do it too, and it makes me feel unwell and irresponsible when I do. I feel better when I do the things that I don't want to do, but need to be done. I think I have trouble because my parents forced so much on us at a young age that I've coddled my children. My step-daughter has not had an easy life, but doing her chores for her at home is not helping her either. This roof over our heads is a rebellious collection of five people who all want their own way, and have no concept of working together as a group to achieve a higher standard of living. My husband puts me down because he says I don't have control over the girls.

He fosters the idea that you don't have to listen to mom by allowing the girls to break my rules when I'm not around. I can't see that as healthy for them because if you run a stop sign when the police are not around, that hurts you, not anyone else if another car is coming and it runs into them, or they run into it. Rules are the rules regardless of who is watching. I want children of character, that's something I wrote about earlier, and want to revisit. I really don't care what kind of grades my children bring home as long as they've earned those grades fairly. We're constantly bailing our children out, and I want it to stop. I've taken some steps to reduce this, but it's still a problem in our home.

Work ought to be finished before play time. This is how the working world works, and we're robbing our children of life lessons they're going to have to learn or suffer the consequences. I think we can teach them how to be more responsible, or at least that their poor decisions aren't affecting us, they're affecting them. Seventh grade is going to be very difficult for my oldest. My youngest is lazy, and she's learned how to avoid work because it either doesn't get done, or someone else does it for her, neither of which are good healthy ways to handle work that needs to be done to keep our household running more smoothly.

I'm too frustrated to write about that anymore. Here's a new idea. I'm working on self care, and I'm going to start investing in myself by spending money on things that will enhance my life. There are two books that I'm going to buy. Both of these are books that I've wanted for a while. I feel as if they are very reasonably priced, and I'm excited for the day when I own them. I can use more confidence in my life. A woman in town runs yoga classes with a nutrition element. I would dearly love to be able to go to these, so I'm saving my money for the day when I can afford her services. I think my children are used to people just handing them money, and they're just blowing it instead of spending it wisely.

A lot of people are enabling my children, they don't want them to have to learn tough life lessons, and I really don't understand how the same people who beat the shit out of us when we were kids are now happily handing my children cookies, candy, and soda while allowing them to avoid the consequences of their behavior. I hate my mother for poisoning the minds and bodies of my children, my husband and step-daughter too. My kids stink because their bodies can't break down what they're ingesting. My husband says that people stink, and there's nothing that can be done about the stench. I know this is untrue because I know people who don't stink, and I've watched my children go from cleaner bodies to less clean systems as they've gone off their gluten and dairy free diets.

I can only hope that the things they're learning at home from me, and the good things that he's teaching them will someday be words they remember, and concepts that they want to apply. It breaks my heart to see my oldest pick at her skin again, my husband doesn't put stock in good footwear, my daughter has a bone that sticks up on the top of her foot, and I know that could have been avoided by better footwear, and taking her in to see someone who could address her individual footwear needs. I hope there's a special place in hell for those who are deliberately exposing my children to unhealth as a lifestyle. Every bite of food has a net effect on the body. There is no neutrality.

When my children have cleaner diets their skin is better, their hair isn't as dry, they smell better, their eyes are clearer, they have fewer emotional problems, they sleep better, and they're a joy to be with and around. When they eat crap everything starts going downhill. My daughter's thighs used to rub together even though she was thin. We were able to get rid of that, and now it's back. I blame her diet, and I'm so frustated that what seems obvious to me is unclear to others because they don't want to see it. My husband feels that we eat better than most, it's not a valid comparison though because I can point to families that are eating much better than we are.

Okay, enough ranting about the problems. I need some solutions. I want to show my children how much fun it is to garden and plant things. I can go to the library, check out books, dig some dirt up, and plant some very simple seeds. When you're enthusiastic about things, that's contagious. I can praise my children for the healthy choices they are making, and I can save up money to buy my husband a small fridge for our room where he can keep foods he wants so my children don't see them in the main refrigerator. I can let the girls pick out recipes they want to make in the cookbooks I have. I can take them shopping at the health food stores, I can introduce them to people who eat the way that I do, and I can set a good example by taking care of myself, and eating well in front of them.

I can stop putting what others eat down, although that's very hard for me when I have to live with people who want the grocery dollars spent on subpar food items, and I can adopt an attitude of calm strength because that's what I'm going to need to get through this. I can keep journaling. I can keep taking pictures of meals I've made, and I can ask the girls if they want me to help put together a gluten and dairy free cookbook that other kids can enjoy. We have construction paper, my children made a cookbook for my inlaws, and I want to get them used to working in the kitchen so they have those skills when they leave home.

One of the things I like about myself is that I've collected nice kitchen equipment over the years. I'd like a better set of knives, a more complete set, I want to replace some of the coffee mugs that are cracked, but our plates are still in good shape, and I like using plain white dishes so the food that rests on top is the attraction instead of the plate beneath it. I like that our family can have a birthday meal without purchasing paper products. There were many compliments on the food served at my daughter's birthday, and I like that I didn't feel as if I had to serve soda or beer as a beverage. I like to entertain, I find it stressful, but I'm happy when I get to spend time with others, and I hope my home is an environment where they feel safe and loved.

There's a lot more that I'd like to write, but it's getting late, and I need to get ready to brave my daughter's soccer game. I'm going to take a bath, sit in the tub for a while, I want to do a short yoga DVD before the game, the cold and wet make me hurt more than I already do, but I don't want to use that as an excuse to sit in the car while she's out playing. I have a chair to sit in, the game is only an hour, and I'm looking forward to spending some time with just her since her sister's game is half an hour away. I want more individual time to just appreciate my kids as I know the day is coming when they'll be gone more often, and not interested in hanging out with their mother. Today, I'm happy that both of my girls are here with me, and I treasure the times we can spend together.

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