I took some time this morning to look through some of my old writing notebooks.

img_1873 I wish I hadn’t.

It wasn’t quite as sweet and mellow as the Little River Band song.  Interspersed in my writing are little journal excerpts. I came across one such from February of 2006. I was living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the time. I was extremely active in my church. Hoping for better days coming, I had just been released from an incredibly demanding calling teaching 13-17-year-old girls. This included one-hour lessons every Sunday, ninety-minute activities every Wednesday night, a week-long ‘girls camp’ in the summer along with the various fundraising car washes, bake sales and babysitting nights included. I had worked with wonderful women but I was so relieved to be done. I do not like teenage girls at all.

(Well, I didn’t then but, NOW, these two are perfect!)

Back to my journal. As I read over the rest of the entry from February 19, 2006, I felt my generally cheerful mood evaporate. It has taken me several hours to really pinpoint what is going on. In 2006 my bishop (leader of the congregation) called me into his office to tell me (NOTE- I’m going to quote from my journal because of my currently evolving belief system)

(the Bishop) said he has felt strongly that he needed to tell me that the Lord is pleased with my efforts and with how high I set the bar, but that it is okay to take care of yourself….and not to run faster than you are able.

One might wonder why that would ruin my day? I loved hearing it! I was finally doing something right!

I didn’t take the advice.

A month later I was pregnant, had a calling in the demanding women’s program and continued to pile on the responsibilities. Oh, if I could have one short conversation with myself that month!


I loved living in Pittsburgh, but I was not good to myself there. Many wonderful things happened while I was there but I barely made it out of there in one piece. Amazingly it would take five more years for me to finally crash and burn. Seven years after that and I feel like I’m just barely coming out of the fog.

I admit I’m disappointed by the number of years it has taken me to learn a simple lesson.

When I’m really disappointed and low, there are only two things that can bring me out of my funk with alacrity; my Itunes playlist played loud enough to annoy the neighbors and Thorin Oakenshield. Yeah, he knows something about disappointment. When I finally fell apart, he helped me make sense of it.


He let me cut my baby writing teeth on him. My first writing that was read by other people.  I didn’t like his story any better than mine, so I lent a hand.

Iron and Oak

Iron and Oak

Smoking hot cover made by our own Liz Durano.




0 thoughts on “Reminiscing”

  1. That’s how we met, isn’t it? Through Thorin and boy, did we write those sex scenes with wild abandon lol Now it’s all about, wait, should I put ‘maroon head’ in there? Or should I check the thesaurus and the medical book to make sure my hero doesn’t have a condition…”

    Sometimes it takes us days to learn our lessons, sometimes years, and even decades, or not at all. I destroyed all my journals. The only thing left is an art binder with drawings when I could no longer write my pain and some drawings are grisly – thank goodness, I only did pen drawings so no color. Those drawings are going to be destroyed soon.

    1. Isn’t it like destroying a piece of yourself?
      LOL, you wrote yours with wild abandon!! MINE were very much not with abandon or any such thing. I do remember how hard they were to write. It’s been a while since I worried that much over exact word placement.

  2. Whatever we learn however long it takes, it’s still learning. You are older and wiser now! Way better too!!! If a dwarf (and the incredible Liz Durano) were the way of learning—so be it. Accept it and move on practicing what you’ve finally learned.
    Just sayin’ 😜

  3. Your evolving belief system…I’m intrigued. You lived in Pittsburgh? It seems to be a city going through a successful revival these days…much like you.☺️ I admire that you look back and reflect. Without reflection, we just keep moving with no sense of purposeful direction. It is easy to stay busy, but being purposeful with our actions and learning along the journey is a bit more challenging. This is a challenge you’ve accepted. Carly strong 💪

    1. I lived there for eleven years and loved every minute. The history, the weather, the location, the activities. It is one amazing city! Their revival has been going on for quite some time, I was able to witness a good part of it. I have lots of great pictures from there I should share more of. I need to realize how far I’ve come instead of getting bogged down in how long it’s taken. I KNOW that but sometimes I really struggle when it comes to FEELing it. In truth I think I’m in a bit of a fragile spot right now where any unexpected, non-pre-managed feeling or emotion just threatens to bring me to my knees. I have so much joy but it’s tempered with so much sadness and regret. It’s a tough balance to strike. This particular day it just caught me off guard and I should not be answering comments at 12:41 pm.

      1. Beautiful girl, so sorry you are hurting right now. 😔💏 You’ve had a crazy year and a lot to deal with…big things that so many of us are never exposed to. You are handling it though and keeping it together. And, you do have magical sunny days ahead. Everything that makes you so special today comes from both the good and bad parts of your journey. We all have missteps and meander through life. Some never find or even see their path. I feel like you do and really have a great sense of your direction and what makes you happy. That is and hard earned reward.😘

  4. My brain is like sludge lately — so much to say about this and I found myself nodding repeatedly. Thorin liberated me quite a bit, too. But the timeline, it always amazes me — I always need SO long to pick myself up after damaging situations. (I’m currently wondering how old I’ll be when I recover from the current one.) Anyway, sending you hugs. Fwiw, I try never to read my old blog posts.

  5. Thanks for linking to your Iron and Oak story. I just read it and really enjoyed it. Asja is a wonderful strong character, and just what Thorin needs. I love how you wrapped it all up at the end.

    I can really relate to doing too much and not taking care of yourself. I’m in that position now and trying to figure out if there’s any way to change it.

    1. Thanks Sue! I love my little Thorin story. I thought he needed someone watching his back. It was a time when I dearly wished someone was watching mine.

      It’s a hard position we work ourselves into. For me, I had to face the fact I was building these perfect lives for people with no thought to my own. Worse even, I’d taught them to give no thought to me or my life as well. Changing my actions seemed impossible. Until it was the only thing I could do. You can do it! Don’t let it go on until your body/mind make the choice for you. 💓

      1. Right now it’s hard to even think. I’ve been sick with this cold virus thing for almost two weeks, but I still had to work. Now I’m behind because of it. Flying with my younger son to Toronto tomorrow to spend a week with the family. Assuming I get the rest of the work finished, I should have a bit of time to regroup, I hope.

        1. Being sick makes me completely unreasonable and makes everything impossible. Everything I think about makes me cry.
          Get sleep, and go relax with family, if that’s at all possible! Good luck!

          1. Me too! The virus just messes with my emotions and takes away all my natural optimism. I’m looking forward to my time away. Thanks for your good wishes!

      2. This is something that interests me vitally — I’m dealing with a related situation on dad’s behalf at the moment. There’s something he just can’t do, but people seemed determined to ignore that. So I wonder what will happen when my Energizer Bunny batteries run out. As they will.

        1. At least you’re cognizant of the issue!
          It seems your dad always finds a way. But what DOES happen when you have to step away and recharge? It’s a viable, scary question, that won’t be ignored long.

          1. Indeed. Some machinery is already underway to set him up for a situation where he really needs full-time care, but that’s five years down the road still, and I can’t spend all of the next five years within feet of him.

          2. LOL. Seriously, though, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I do think part of it is that I’m encountering him at the age of nearly 50 and I’m not afraid and I have a minimal need to please. I try to imagine what my mom was like in comparison, all those years ago. And then you get into a pattern, I guess.

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