Outlander North Carolina

Why We Need The Distraction Of Outlander

August 31, 2017
Outlander Distraction

Sometimes life just has a way of kicking you around.  An unexpected diagnosis, the untimely death of a loved one, a marriage on the brink, a wayward child…a hurricane.  Unfortunately, the list doesn’t end there. It goes on and on.  Life has dealt me along with my family many hard swift kicks through the years.  I’m sure you know the kind, right? The kicks you never see coming.  The ones that bring you to your knees. I know them because I have lived them but if you meet me in person, I will never let you see them.  For me, it’s about coping and surviving through those dark times, carrying on as best I can – as if the present doesn’t truly exist.  Yes, I’m a wanna be time traveler…if you didn’t know that already.

I have my faith and I thank God for that.  Even still, if you’re like me, you need distractions amid all the trouble.  You need to be able to escape to a safe place and that’s where Outlander comes in for me.

When I discovered Outlander, or should I say when my friend forced it upon me, it was a life changing moment. That may seem like an overly dramatic statement but it truly was.  In a world that seemed to be turning me upside down at times and shaking me from the pit of my soul, I could watch an episode (or two or three) of Outlander and forget it all for a while.  I could open the books and be transported to another time and another place with people I knew and some I could trust (I never trust BJR).  I watched and then read about them.  I was witness to their relationships with friends, family and lovers.

Outlander Family Collage

It hasn’t stopped.  Outlander is still my distraction and after a particularly difficult couple of weeks, I was thinking about the phenomenon of the “Outlander Distraction”.  What is it that drives me (and perhaps you) to distraction with these books and this series? I think I know and no, it’s not about the sex. Oh yes, the sex is good but it simply fits into a much larger answer. Ready for it? OK, here’s my answer.

When watching the series and reading the books, we become not just spectators but participants. We are there beside our beloved friends, cheering them on. We empathize with their heartbreaks, the injustices forced upon them and their losses because we have been there too.

Our heroes and heroines go through some pretty terrible things…just like us.

Black Jack Randall and Faith

Prince Charming isn’t always able to rescue the Damsel in Distress nor is the Damsel able to rescue the Prince…just like us.

Faith And Wentworth

They don’t live happily ever after…yes, just like us.

Outlander Separation

They go through real life struggles again and again and then again – Jamie’s rape, Claire’s miscarriage and the death of Baby Faith, betrayals, battles, the deaths of friends and family members, and heartbreaking separations – and that’s just to name a few of the tragedies which happen in the first two books! So beautifully written by Diana, so eloquently spoken through the characters of the books and then so wonderfully interpreted by the actors, the love story of Jamie & Claire and the relationships of and with their family and friends are the things which pierce our hearts. Their struggles to survive, to endure, to persevere and never give up in the face of adversity combined with their unconditional love for each other in all those moments remind us of what we want for ourselves. In their stories, we find hope for our own story.

So, as we look forward to Season 3 and Voyager, I will not be ashamed to say that I will probably watch every episode 10 times and re-read Voyager all over again for the third time.  I will bask in every second of each episode – before, during and after Jamie and Claire’s much-anticipated reunion. Because sometimes, we just need the distraction.  And other times, we desperately need to be reminded that when life gives us a serious kick, there is still hope and maybe, just maybe, love can still conquer all!  Hurry Season 3!

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  • Reply Andy September 1, 2017 at 9:44 am


    I have lived through decades without becoming a superfan of anything. Then, around Memorial Day 2016, I stumbled across the TV series and spent the next 25 straight hours enraptured by what I was watching. You can guess the rest. Books, YouTube (please watch CatsandKilts recaps), BTS gossip, Saturday nights demanding quiet from my brood until the end of Season 2, etc. My own personal Jamie thought I had lost my mind. And I very well may have.

    In November, 2016, my Jamie underwent life-threatening emergency heart surgery. I was terrified. For months. And,
    as women have forever, needed to stay strong for him and the rest of my family. During the quiet of the middle of the night, when my mind would not shut up, I grabbed my tablet and read. I found much inspiration in the sweep of Ms. Gabaldon’s universe. Decades of loving someone, through fights and kids and threats and joy and laughter and now, the possibility of a forever separation. And I found hope. Not for a particular outcome, but for the chance to dig in and find the wherewithal to get up and face the next day. Just the next day.

    And here we are. He’s alive and back to everything normal. And I have discovered that I am not the only 61yo to have turned into a obsessed little fangirl.

    Starting next week, I will demand silence on Sunday nights, start rereading DRUMS OF AUTUMN and continue to let my Jamie believe that I have simply lost my mind. But I know better.

    Thank you Outlander universe. You have given me more than you could possibly know.

    • Reply Beth Pittman September 1, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Andy, thank you so much for sharing your “Outlander Distraction” story. So glad that your Jamie is doing well. There is hope and sometimes we lose sight of that. I, too, have found the hope of a better tomorrow in Outlander. Don’t know that Diana intended for her books to have that kind of impact on her readers but that’s been the result, I think. I am a fifty-something obsessed fangirl and can’t think of anything better to be a fangirl of!!! Thank you for commenting, Andy.

  • Reply Nancy McCulley September 1, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing your Fangirl story. I am 66 and recently retired, I found Outlander in 2014 just as Season 1 was starting….quickly became a total Outlander addict. These books and the show drew me in LR me no other book ???? Or TV series ever had. I have read them all so many times I have lost count.
    There is such beauty in the words, actions, descriptions ( of smells, scenery, memories etc) and the great love of Jamie and Claire plus the wonderful stories of their family and friends, and let’s not forget the villains.
    Cannot wait for 9-10-17.

    • Reply Beth Pittman September 1, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Nancy! Yes, I am definitely a fangirl. I never thought I would be fangirling at this stage of my life but it has definitely happened to me. So glad I am not alone!!! Diana’s writing completely blows me away. You can really get lost in the story and leave the real world behind! Thanks for sharing your story with me!

  • Reply Megan Trainor September 1, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Thank you SO much for putting in to words what I haven’t been able to explain to my friends about Outlander. I’ve NEVER been a huge fan of anything before this (and I’m 55). I bought the first book on Audible in May shortly after my job of 18 years was eliminated. Some other things weren’t going well either. A rough time. I got through the first book in record time and went on from there. Then bought the shows on iTunes. Watched series 1 over and over (I didn’t enjoy series 2 as much because Jamie and Claire were more at odds and I thought the French culture was so shallow). Outlander has gotten me through the summer. I’ve made some new friends through online Outlander groups. I could talk about the books for hours. The problem has been that if I mentioned it to some of my close friends who haven’t read or watched it, they thought I was crazy. How can you explain how badly you need a good distraction sometimes? How good it feels to see lives that have many hardships, personalities that are flawed, but the loves remain?
    Outlander and the Good Lord have saved me.

    • Reply Beth Pittman September 1, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      Megan, bless you and thank you for reading and sharing your Outlander Distraction story. The Outlander community is awesome. I have made so many wonderful friendships and am so glad you have felt the same! God bless!

  • Reply Karen April 5, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Beth, you nailed it in this post!
    And thank you to the other commenters. I related to each of your stories.

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