An Apology. A Comment. A Revelation. And A Get Out Of Jail Free Card. I’m Free! (Thanks, Barry!)

I owe you all an apology. Remember a few months ago? When I took a little 2 week vacation that turned into three? And I came back all refreshed and ready to rock ‘n’ roll?

I lied.

My comeback?

More like my fake comeback.

Sure. I came back. And I churned out a few posts.

But having the time to craft the kind of posts I wanted?

Didn’t happen.

Making the time to read the so-very-many blogs of yours that I enjoy reading?

Didn’t happen. Again.

And I began feeling like a failure. Because I couldn’t measure up to my self-imposed grading scale as a blogger. Hovering at a D-, I struggled to write/read/comment. And then? In my personal life – the proverbial *&%$ hit the fan. Not once. Not twice. But every single day. For about 19 days straight. I’m not exaggerating. Just ask my therapist. Or my husband. Or my kids. Or the people who rent our old house. We were all hanging by a thread at Chez Jane’s for most of December.

With crap flying in all directions you’d think I’d take another blogging break. But nooooo.  I didn’t. I couldn’t. I just took one in November. I couldn’t take another in December, too. That would be unacceptable. Unheard of. Another break? That would be admitting that I just couldn’t handle the pressure. I’m not weak. I’m strong. I am woman. Hear me roar!

Acting all tough, I published my “I Don’t Give A Flip” post. But then one of you called me on it. (Ahem, Katybeth.) And then another (Yes, you… Barry) sent me a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free-Card.

I was intrigued.

Barry wrote a post called “Why Does She Do It?” I swear he was speaking directly to me. Except that he wrote it without knowing anything that went on my life in the past 28 days. (Are you psychic, Barry?)

From his male perspective, he wonders aloud why we women put ourselves through the paces? Why do we set impossible goals and expectations for ourselves? Are these expectations real or imagined?

And then he gives us all a beautiful gift. A Get-Out-Jail-Free-Card. (My blood pressure just dropped typing those words.) 

Nifty little dotted line to make cutting easier. Permission to laminate and put in your wallet to use for any occasion you deem fit. And suggestions on how to use the card. (Although, as much as I’d love to use the eye-rolling feature, I’ve been trying to break this nasty habit of mine for years and have finally made some progress. One get-out-free use and all might be lost.)

What a concept. Get out of jail free. Go to the bakery section of Publix instead of staying up until 2am baking cookies for #2son’s Christmas party at school. Jarred spaghetti sauce instead of homemade when the in-laws come to town. (Hide the jars deep in the recycling bin and they’ll never know the difference.) Say “no” to yet another volunteer request from the pushy neighbor on the pool committee.

Get out of jail free.

I love it.

No longer behind bars, I’m going to venture out there with new expectations for myself that have way more wiggle room than before.

I have choices. I can take a detour. Or the easy way out. No, make that the easy button!

And it’s all going to be OK. The world will not spin off its axis. My family will survive. My blogging buds will understand.

Ahhhhh.

I feel so much better.

(Thanks, Barry!)

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24 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Lessons Learned

24 responses to “An Apology. A Comment. A Revelation. And A Get Out Of Jail Free Card. I’m Free! (Thanks, Barry!)

  1. Glad you’re feeling better, Jane…there are a lot of people in Blogland who care about you! I think we all put unnecessary pressures on ourselves trying to live up to other people’s expectations…your blog is YOUR BLOG…the reason you do it is for yourself! If you feel like taking a break, that’s your call…you don’t need anybody’s permission!

    I write when I feel like it…there are days when I can’t think of anything to write…no one dies!

    Hugs,
    Wendy

    • Great idea Barry! I bought a stack of Get Out of Jail cards some time back and I pass them out frequently. To my harried hair dresser, to the barrister at my Starbucks who is the only one that made it on time to work, my Aussie client who travels for his job and came home to find his wife left him to go back to school in another state-not with children but with two Rescue Male Dobermans–the cards are dam handy.

  2. AMEN!!!! Off to read Barry’s post! ;)

  3. “Go to the bakery section of Publix instead of staying up until 2am baking cookies.” YES! I’m always screwing up desserts and throwing them away because they’re not presentable. Is there a card specifically for that or is the jail card universal?

  4. December can be the most difficult time for self-esteem, I find. All the busy busy, smile lots even if you’re not feeling like it underneath, it can wear even the brightest of people down. And encourage people to take on more than they can realistically cope with. So please keep hold of your Get of Of Jail Free card as I’m looking forward to you finding more ‘Jane time’ and reading more about your world. :D

  5. Lady, if you need to take a break (even two blogging breaks in a row) your readers would understand. Hope the storm has passed at Chez Jane’s. xoxo

  6. It sounds as though you’ve just embraced an important life lesson: ‘If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.’
    First and foremost, you have to do what’s right for you.
    Sorry to hear you’ve been ‘on the rack’ in recent times. I do hope that things are improving for you now.

  7. I read that guy’s blog and I think he is spot on! An absolutely brilliant post. Thanks for linking it.

    The best thing I can see is that the “get out of jail free” card is re-printable. So get yourself lots of them!

  8. So for 2011 we all agree to “work smarter, not harder.” And why do we feel the need to apologize for things like store bakery goodies and jarred spaghetti sauce? Those that look down their noses, talk behind backs and…yes…roll their eyes perhaps have not crawled ten miles in another’s shoes. So take a break and hit the easy button from time to time. We’re not going anywhere.

  9. It’s sounds like 2010 kicked a lot of us in the ass. I swear I know three other bloggers talking about the sh*t storms they went through. Stay free, Jane. If you ever need anything, let me know. ;-)

  10. Brilliant! I’m off to read his blog…

  11. Oh, oh, I want one! It’s funny, for me, the blog is the thing I want to do when all that other crazy stuff requires my attention. So I guess I better get one of those “easy” buttons, too. :)

  12. Now that Jane has some spare time I need her to write a post on gaining reader that actually comment! The stats tell me that people read my blog – but I haven’t had this many comments since I was freshly pressed!

    How about good old fashioned bribery – I could laminate a few cards and give them away to new subscribers ;)

  13. We could all do with a bit of this approach. (Along with the Get Out of Jail Free Card, might there be a Community Chest? Um, you know what I mean…)

    Meanwhile, I’ll meet you in the bakery department of Publix. Maybe they’ll be offering from free samples of fresh-baked Italian Wheat or glazed donuts…)

    Rest! Relax! (But ask Barry about that Community Chest…)

  14. I love this!

    That card has no expiration date, so use it as needed.

    You are so kind to everyone else. Give yourself the same breaks.

  15. ck

    Girl, you know we’ll wait forever for you. We’ll ALWAYS come back when you return.

  16. unabridgedgirl

    Not just your bloggy buddies, but your friends, Jane, will understand. We love you. When the crap hits the fan, as it often does, we all need that breather, and I don’t think anyone thinks your a D-. You’re a 4.0.

  17. Carol

    We are awfully hard on ourselves, aren’t we? I recently blogged about being lazy, is it okay? So then we kind of need to define lazy, and maybe our definition is much more demanding of ourselves than someone else’s. We need to learn to allow ourselves time to relax, to enjoy, to NOT being “busy”, the world won’t end. We need to learn to approve of ourselves, then those around us can approve of us. Easier said than done.

  18. Hang in there Jane! Sorry to hear about all the craziness in your life. Just know that we all understand and we all love you whether you blog once a week or once a month. Praying for you!

  19. secretlifeofjane

    I needed this today. Thanks. I have been feeling incredible pressure to keep blogging… my readers need me. I owe it to them to keep being a symbol of survival… you know what? Things in my “real” life are so great right now that I just want to spend all of my time there. I owe it to my family to be there- and I just can’t rationalize taking time away from them to post on my blog. Admittedly, my blog contains very different content than yours, but I think the lesson is the same. We are putting this pressure on ourselves and sometimes it is okay to use the “get out of jail free” card. I am going to use it this weekend… and maybe all next week…. heck, maybe forever.

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