015//365

I woke up this morning feeling sure that it was Wednesday and that I had already worked two days this week. I was incredibly disappointed to realize it was only Tuesday when I arrived at my workplace. It sucks to be so far away from the weekend still, but part of me is also happy to have more time to make some progress since yesterday was such a bad writing day.

I’m still struggling to find my writing groove, but it’s getting easier. I’ve started two drafts for Zen and Pi this week, though I’m not sure either fit into my narrower—but somehow still hard to define—niche there. I’m trying not to worry too much about that though. The goal is only to overcome my doubts and unrealistic expectations and learn how to feel good while writing again. For that, all I have to do is write and publish, write and publish, write and publish, again and again.

It’s getting easier but it needs to start getting better if I’m going to get anywhere in 2019.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

014//365

This morning was a rough one. I made a few little mistakes and my anxiety magnified them until I was crushed to tears under the weight of my guilt.

You know, it’s bad enough to obsess and overthink so much of your own life and actions but having anxiety plus a significant other, and friends, and coworkers, and family to obsess and overthink about too is almost too much to bear. It’s bad enough when I let myself down, but it’s god damn catastrophic when I let the people I love and care about down.

Of course, I didn’t really let anyone down. Not the way my mind is convinced I did. I ran a little late in one instance and didn’t pay close enough in another. Both actions are probably long forgiven and forgotten by the people they affected, but I’ll lay awake an extra hour or two tonight thinking of all the ways I can stop myself from ever making such stupid mistakes again.

As if there weren’t a million more ways for me to screw it up again. As if I even needed to try so hard to be perfect.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

013//365

My little brother called me today. He called to tell me about his plans and big dreams and to ask me if I thought they were at all possible. Of course, I told him yes, and, of course, I meant it, and I was surprised to find that all the while I felt like I was saying it too myself too.

I admit, even though he’s younger than me I wish I could be more like him. I wish I had his ambition, his energy, and his positive outlook. I think sometimes I need to hear from him as much as he needs reassurance from me.

(It’s nice to know he still needs me but being the oldest can make you a little bitter too. It’s hard not to have someone to give you the guidance that you are called on to give again and again. Life isn’t fair, but every side of the fence is green in its own way I suppose.)

Maybe as we age it helps to keep the younger generation close, to keep us hoping and dreaming with them. Maybe there is value in youth we lose sight of as we progressively value experience more and more. Maybe there really is something in each of use to respect, admire, and look up to, regardless of age, wisdom, life experience, or lack thereof.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

012//365

Spent a whole day at the movie theater for an M. Night Shyamalan marathon! They showed Unbreakable, Split, and his newest film, Glass. Unbreakable is an absolute masterpiece, and I walked away with a greater appreciation for Split. Glass was amazing and I cannot for the life of me understand the harsh reviews. Ignore them and go see it.

Before the films, there was a Q and A with the big man himself live streamed in the theater. It was a great session where he talked a lot about his own mistakes and lack of courage with his art. There was one answer he gave that really struck me.

He was asked about how much of him is in his characters. He said he couldn’t be sure. There was maybe some but being a part of your characters, and them being part of you wasn’t the important part at all.

He said, as a writer (or as an actor) you have to be ready not just to understand your characters and their actions, but you have to be ready to defend them. You have to tell the world why and not from a place of neutrality, but a place of pure emotion and bias, even the bad stuff. We have to stand firmly on their side and shout to the world their reasoning and defense.

I don’t write fiction—I don’t write much of anything at all at the moment—but I have always wished I did. Coming up with characters and their stories always felt like impossible tasks but maybe I am not doing enough looking and defending?

P.S. I was good and stuck to my promise not to drink. I’m very proud of myself and I have a feeling that it’s only going to keep getting easier.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

011//365

The snow fell all day. It’s still falling and the hourly forecast says it’ll be falling through the early morning. The inches we shoveled from the driveway have already been replenished by the storm.

Tomorrow we are going to a movie marathon at our favorite movie theater. So that means an early night for us. The marathon begins just after 10:00AM and the roads will be worse than they were today. We’ll have to go to bed early, on a Friday night. I’m excited but bummed too. I like staying up

Dry January is going well so far but tomorrow will be a challenge. We’re going to watch 6+ hours of movies in one sitting in a place we always order a drink in and I don’t know if I can not drink. I know it can be fun without alcohol and I honestly can’t come up with a better reason to be so weak except that things are more fun with alcohol.

Knowing (admitting) this weakness only makes me want to be stronger. I don’t want to let myself down. There will be plenty of opportunities after January for alcohol. If I still want it.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

010//365

For a short week, this really turned out to be a long week, and it isn’t even over yet! Tomorrow is Friday and if I can make it through the unpleasant parts with positivity and make it through the boring parts with focus, if I can manage to hold on to some energy, it can be a good day.

I’ve never been very good at Friday’s though. Everyone gets better as the week goes on, but I always get worse. This morning I woke up late, my stomach hurt bad, there was no coffee to make, and I was nearly late to work.

Tomorrow I plan to simply breathe. I’ll lose myself in my reading, write as much as I can, and keep my headphones in as much as I need. I’ll keep looking forward to our extra special movie date this Saturday, and mark at least one big thing off of my to-do list.

Sometimes the only way to have a good day is to avoid, ignore, and outright deny the bad.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

009//365

I secretly hate that time of night when I must close my eyes and leave consciousness behind for sleep. Those 6 to 8 hours a night are more than I want to give up of my life. For all my brooding and pessimism, my misery and despair, my complaints and cursing, it turns out that my reality (as ordinary and monotonous as it may seem from the outside) has actually exceeded my wildest dreams.

I’ll need to be more imaginative and desirous in my dreams going forward, I know, but just…not yet. For now—a now I’ve clung to for years and a now I hope will last a long, long while more—I’ll allow myself this utter happiness.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

008//365

The day flew by just fast enough. I enjoyed all the good parts and the bad parts were over quickly and with little complaint. Through it all, some words managed to get written and others were read.

I had forgotten just how beautiful The Iliad is. Today I began Book XVI: The Death of Patroclus and lines 184-192 struck me particularly:

“Meanwhile, Achilles strode mid the shelters, giving all
Of his Myrmidons orders to arm, after which they rushed out
Like so many flesh-rending wolves, great beasts unspeakably
Savage—wolves that have killed a huge horned stag
In the mountains and gorged themselves on his flesh till the jaws
Of all were dripping with blood, and off the pack runs
To lap with their slender lean tongues from a spring of dark water,
Belching up scarlet gore and still quite ferocious,
Though now their bellies are bulging.

Every time I read passages like this I’m forced to stop reading for a time. This is why it’s taking me so long to get through the book. I read things like the words above and I just can’t let them go. I can’t move on. I have to let the words roll over and allow my imagination to have its way.

I’ll try to pick it back up tomorrow (I’m reluctant because I know what awaits poor Patroclus and Achilles) and to face my own words again too.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

007//365

It’s the last night of winter break and in just a few short hours I will have to return to work. I’ve done my best to prepare both physically and mentally but my mood is both anxious and somber. I’m sure I won’t get much sleep tonight and I’m worried I’ll spend the whole day irritable and withdrawn.

There is a smaller part of me that is excited to be back on schedule and amongst my kids and coworkers too and I know that, between them, a dose or two of ibuprofen, and a grande blonde vanilla latte I’m sure it’ll be all right.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren