063 // Release Yourself

Sometimes our offers of help are rejected and our best-laid plans swept entirely aside. Sometimes we know that we know best but all efforts to convince anyone are in vain. We’re forced to swallow our pride and allow others to take the lead. We’re forced to follow a path we know leads to failure and to follow it with enthusiasm, energy, cheerfulness, and camaraderie.

It’s absolutely awful, and it’s life.

But then again, with our pride pushed firmly aside we might be able to see the silver lining. We might be able to see that what we’d tried to control wasn’t ours to control in the first place and holding onto it only keeps us from what is ours to direct and command. Let someone else take this burden. Release yourself from the stress and do only, think only, care only for what we have to, then go home to what belongs to you alone.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

060 // The Privilege of Problems

It was all downhill from my morning coffee.

I don’t want to fill this place with more complaints and curmudgeonry so I’ll simply say that I’m grateful for the problems I do have because they are proof of my privilege. I’m grateful to have a job and the respect and consideration of my coworkers. I’m happy to have a home that needs cleaning, friends and family to be obligated to, and a relationship that requires time, patience, compromise, and understanding.

I’m grateful for my problems, and for Fridays, that revitalizing light at the end of the tunnel I need to push on toward the weekend.


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

059 // Simply Unfair

The weather may not be sapping my energy today, but other people certainly are. I feel let down and taken advantage of. I feel unimportant and at the same time, I feel like everything is being put on me.

I don’t want to complain though. I can’t control other people. I can talk to them, sure, but I may have to accept that some things are simply unfair and focus on what I have to do rather than what others are not doing.


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

044 // At the End of the Day

The days lately have been so long, and somehow there is still never enough time. My life is spent working and worrying, trying not to make mistakes and cleaning up after the ones I make anyway. I’m tired. I’m a mess. I’m trying so very hard.

But there was good today too. My girlfriend and I got to work together and I believe we will again tomorrow too. I finished week two of Social Norms, Social Change I and actually learned quite a bit.

I did get some bad news, and then good news, and then some more bad news, and then some very good news too. I got help and I got the job done, and at the end of the day, I got to love and be loved.

At the end of the day, I allowed the day to end, and tomorrow is a whole new chance.


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

043 // It Isn’t Just Me

Absolutely exhausting day. I’m working much more than I’m used to and much more than I probably should considering I haven’t started the new medication yet. I’m supposed to keep my stress levels in check but between the increased workload, wedding planning, waiting on answers from my health insurance provider, and the day to day worries about relationships and money, I’ve about had it.

I’m not angry, and I’m not being treated unfairly. It’s important to remember that. When I ask for help, really ask with specificity and confidence, my pleas are met with seriousness and concern. People who can help do, but there just aren’t enough people who can. Everyone is working more and I’m simply being asked to step up. I’m not thrilled and I am struggling, but it isn’t just me. I have to remember that.


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

042 // Above and Beyond

I was so engulfed in enjoying my weekend I forgot how much work was awaiting me on Monday. I walked into work and was bombarded immediately with tasks and schedule changes. Help is limited, and I’m frustrating. I’m struggling to balance my time and I’m tempted to simply give up and let other people figure it out, but that isn’t me.

I always do my best, even when I’m tired and frustrated. I make it a point to know my job well enough to teach it to others. It’s important to me to make sure other people, especially new people, feel important and welcome. I’m proud of that and I’m proud of myself today.


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

039 // Writing Has to Be Work

I may not always like the things I have to do. I may be tired and grouchy a lot of the time, but I pride myself on always doing my best work regardless of where I am emotionally.

I do this for my day job easily. When the work is hard or frustrating or unfulfilling it doesn’t I put a smile on and do everything I can to exceed all expectations, even my own. It’s my superpower, one of many but I need to learn how to take that same attitude and apply it to writing.

I need to be able to do it when it’s difficult, or frustrating, or unfulfilling too. I want to sit down, exhausted and out of ideas, put on a smile and exceed all expectations, especially my own. I think writing has to become a job for me, even if it is only so in my imagination and not on paper.


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

334//365

Today we had an open forum meeting at work on guns and mandatory reporting in the workplace. 

Occasionally kids will bring Nerf guns, or water guns, or facsimiles of firearms on the school bus. None of these are allowed on school property and therefore not allowed on the school bus. So, if we see them, take them and report them to the school security and our direct supervisors. The teachers will take the toy and if the kid wants it back he has to return with a parent. The kid is given a stern lecture by all the adults involved, and the incident is put behind everyone. It was just something that kids do.

But now, it’s different. Now we never know whether or not it’s a toy, and now, even if it is a toy, a kid could lose his life if he pulls it out and someone thinks it looks too real. So, now, the police have to be called and reports have to be filed. Now, the cops show up to the school or the child’s home and let them know exactly why his lime green water gun could get him killed. It isn’t something “that just happens sometimes”, or “no big deal”. It isn’t harmless anymore and there is very little space for understanding and gentleness in the process. 

I understand the philosophy. Better they think a lime green water gun is as serious as a real gun than to think the real one is as harmless as the fake, but it’s still sad the way the world has changed. It hard to adjust to these all too common “worst-case scenarios” and to react from a place of fear. It’s hard to watch simple mistakes create such deep scars. I get it, I even agree with it because the world is the way the world is, but it’s hard.

I mourned a simpler time today.