Good news: I went to bed around 8:00, it may have been before that, I laid down, pulled the covers up, and didn't wake up until sometime around 1:00, but last night I was able to fall back to sleep until sometime around five this morning. Life is so much better when I get enough sleep. I traced my terrible awful no good feeling bad day to some nuts my friend gave me. I should know better than to eat or drink anything I'm offered, food is such a bridge builder at times. We were having an interesting conversation, I was still hungry after I had eaten and it makes me feel good when I can give things to others so I accepted them gladly, feeling as if it was the right thing to do. 

I'm really happy with the chapter I just finished. Sometimes (many times) I am so wrapped up in how things could be better that I fail to step back and assess the wonders that are and have been. Today I am thinking about school, I love to learn and the lure of education continually tempts me. I have a lot of education, but it doesn't seem to get me better jobs or more money so I finally quit starting new careers based on me going back to school. I am great at school. I love school. Nobody has to tell me to learn or to pay attention in class (okay, sometimes I am chatty, but you know what I mean). I get excited when I am learning new things and I couldn't care less what the grade is because I know that is rarely the best way to test true intelligence and competency.

Sometimes other people are shocked to hear that I have no idea what kind of grades my children are getting. I think they are a stupid metric and don't pay attention to them because I know my children are learning in their own way and sometimes you can work really hard in a class where you get a C and you can breeze through a class that is easy and get an A. The grade is not a reflection of how much knowledge has been gained. I think if I was a teacher I would start the semester with some sort of chart or graph or point system and have the kids decide when they have added to their total knowledge base. I dislike the idea that doing well on a test means that someone has learned something when perhaps they haven't. 

To me school is about getting along with other people and figuring out how the child can contribute meaningfully to society. I like to ask people where they want to be and what is important to them. Sometimes people who do not do well in school are actually very bright and just bored with the curriculum. Not all teachers are great, students learn in different ways, and everyone comes to school with a different level of knowledge and a differing set of skills. School is about conformity to me. Can this person follow rules that have been set up, can they play well with others in this setting that has been constructed for their wellbeing and development?

At work I hear people who are critical of others who are not in school or working full time. First of all it isn't really anyone else's business how others choose to live their lives. Secondly I think that people learn about real life when they have real life experiences. All of sudden things that her parents have been saying for years make sense to my sixteen year old who recently started working. Last Sunday her dad didn't wake her up so she could make it to work on time. This is not her dad's job, it's hers, and the sooner she feels those real life consequences that accompany being tardy or absent, the better for her. As a punctual person being late feels dreadful to me, maybe it bothered her, maybe she felt the extra sleep was worth it.

Eventually I will have to find a job where I make more money. Either that or I will have to dramatically scale back my lifestyle. Two of the bills that drain my money are because of the car accident. I'm still working on that even though the two year anniversary is coming up in April. I thought I had car insurance. It isn't fair that I'm stuck paying ridiculously high rates for car insurance and it's less fair that I'm paying to replace the other driver's vehicle when he hit me. I'm still upset with myself for not retaining an attorney when I really needed one. But back then I didn't understand that the right attorney can make a tremendous difference in your life when you are going through a very difficult time.

One thing I like about myself is I feel like I make an effort to understand others and where they are coming from. Even if I don't like or agree with them, I like to honor their right and ability to make their own decisions. There are people who feel like I should be working full time. I did that and my home life suffered a great deal because of it. Today my home life is a bit less stressful than it was and I enjoy a much better relationship with my oldest daughter. My youngest and I are too much alike for us to have the kind of symbiotic back and forth my oldest and I have. The relationships have been very damaged, I was an emotionally immature parent, and working where I do has helped me tap into more of what I am feeling. I have the thinking part down, I'm learning to be more empathetic.

I'm also learning that it's okay to like myself for who I am. Sometimes, often, I wish I had such and such quality or I didn't have something I see as a flaw, but the truth is we are all like this. Humans composed of a set of strengths and weaknesses. The other day I told my friend that the company as a whole is better because of me. My manager's life is better, I increase profits, I increase cost savings, I notice others and promote them, I work hard, I'm positive, sunny, upbeat, cheerful, and optimistic. I try very hard to leave home at home and I'm working on leaving work there when I leave for the day. The other day my friend told me I should go back on dating websites. I just don't like that way of meeting people. I got one friend out of my Tinder experience and that was enough for me.

I am a very loyal friend and I want my friends to have the best lives that they possibly can. I see potential in others long before they see it in themselves and I believe so strongly in them that I probably come across as wanting to meddle in their lives when what I really want is for them to have every high, all the lows, and each experience that will shape and mold them during their days. I like to partner with others, but sometimes they have to do their own thing and so do I. I'm getting better at asking for help when I need it and I'm trying to see that I give things to my friends that aren't physical gifts people can touch and hold. Just being me is enough, I think I either don't realize that or forget that.