In April 2008 I created this little book. I took it out of a box today and remembered why I made it.

I had to. 

I was in a deep dark place in my marriage. I had children with needs I didn’t know how to meet. (I still do, actually.) I could barely make it through each day. I felt so alone. Unloved. Misunderstood. Overwhelmed. Stupid. It was deep. It was dark. I felt like dying.

I made it while waiting for Traci and Tracy to come pick me up to go on our trip to Ashland we had planned. It was great. I felt light and free. We talked a lot, laughed a lot, walked a lot, ate a lot, and I found my favorite journals in a little shop down there.

I wrote a few thoughts down on post-it notes and attached them inside the pages.

Things that bring me joy: good friends, games, pictures, daffodils, crocus, sunsets, crayola crayons, baking bread, scrapbooking, reading…

I’m there again.

It’s deep. It’s dark, but not so dark as before. It’s hard. I feel alone, but not as alone as before. I am not without hope. It is hard to leave my little cave and face the world sometimes. Especially those in the world that don’t hold my heart and I’m not safe with. Or rather, I don’t feel safe with.

A theme has been re-occurring in my life recently. I read and I hear, “Please take care of you.” All day today I’ve been thinking of the baking of bread. It makes me really really happy. The mixing, kneading, rising, baking, and eating. The smell is divine. I imagine it magically washing away the problems of the day.

I know so much more about joy and happiness now. I know how they are not one in the same. I also know more about what makes me tick.

I’ve been unpacking boxes of art things: scrapbooks, fabrics, stamps, paper {oh the paper}, paints, chalks, inks, canvas, paper punches, various mediums of things that stick things together, and the like. I’ve also unpacked a whole heck of a lot of books. Book to read, to smell, to look at. I wonder where I’ll put them all. I’ve even purged over half of them. These are the ones I just cannot part with.

As I’ve unpacked these things my heart has been feeling more full. Almost ready to burst. I have always loved books and memories and creating these things. I think that brings me joy.

I must find something that brings me some sort of joy and relief from the day’s hard things.