Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Jessie Spano Moment

I've been wanting to write this post for a long time. Wait, that sounds like I'm about to tell some really juicy story, or admit that I'm really a middle-aged man from Duluth, or that I know what happened to Jimmy Hoffa, or that I got a sweet book deal and am writing this post from my Hamptons cottage while listening to Edith Piaf and banging out the next Catcher in the Rye, only with more Melrose Place references. I'm not, and I don't, and I didn't--although I do think that if Holden Caulfield had been able to watch Billy Campbell's development over seasons one through three he would have learned a few things about becoming a man, and how to release rage through nostril flaring instead of breaking children's records and having violent revenge fantasies about elevator operators.

No, the truth is that I'm just tired. And stressed out.

Actually, the real truth is that I just finished weeping hysterically to the end credits of Working Girl, and that this forced me to confront some things about my life.

Namely, that I can't continue to juggle all of the things I've been juggling.

Spoiler alert: This is NOT an "I'm quitting my blog" post. You can relax.

When I started this blog five and a half years ago, it was a tool for me to hone my writing skills and have an outlet to say what was on my mind to no one in particular. It served both purposes fantastically, for a while. But then people (you!) actually started reading it (the story of how in the hell that happened is here), which was surprising and wonderful and made me feel great.

But, being a perfectionist with an anxiety disorder, it also began causing me stress. Having people read my writing meant I had to keep it up... like, on a regular basis. And, being a perfectionist with an anxiety disorder, I decided that "regular basis" meant "every single day." I lived in fear of you abandoning me if I faltered in my posting schedule.

Obviously, I started to let that slide this year. I stopped posting as regularly (to a perfectionist, this means "only four times a week") in order to focus more energy on the freelance opportunities that were coming my way thanks to the blog. Then I got pregnant. But I didn't slow down. That was a mistake.

Lately I've been feeling like the blog is an obligation as opposed to an outlet, and as a result I feel like I've been half-assing it. Correction: I know I have been. It's not intentional, but after a long, draining day at work and a few hours spent on a piece of writing I'm getting paid for and therefore must prioritize, I don't have anything left. So I piece together scraps or root through my brain for material. And seriously, you guys, after five and half years (practically Blake Lively's entire life!), pickins are
slim. Stories start to get recycled without my even knowing it, so that the blog increasingly resembles one big America's Next Top Model highlights show. You click over here expecting a new episode and it's just ten-second clips of bad weaves and people falling down when they walk.


This is all to say that: A) I want to devote more quality time and energy to the blog and write more posts I feel proud of; and B) I need to take better care of myself and prevent a mental breakdown that would harm both me and the precious cargo I've been lugging around on the subway and up on to tractors.

So I'm telling you now that I'm going to be posting less frequently for a while, at least until my maternity leave starts in September. I'd rather write one awesome post in a week than four okay ones. (Which is not to say I'll only be posting once a week, but I'm going to use that as a minimum goal).

Part of me didn't want to tell you at all (see above re: perfectionism) and hope you wouldn't notice. But I know you are all smartypantses who can count to
at least 10 without the aid of an abacus (or your toes), so that wouldn't fly. Plus, I feel like I owe it to you to be able to admit that I am fucking tired and that I need help. It's like you're the Zack Morris to my Jessie Spano. I'M SO EXCITED, you guys! I'M SO EXCITED! I'M SO... SCARED.

P.S. I wonder if that phrase is copyrighted by the
Saved By The Bell scribes, because if not, that would make the perfect title for the book I'm working on about pregnancy. (And by book, I mean "three paragraphs I saved on my desktop in a file called 'Book.'" I aim high.)

P.P.S. No one asked me to write the current 350-word opus that is "Book." It's just one in a number of side-projects I'm neglecting. Like turning the "nursery" into something less resembling a Salvation Army janitorial closet. 


  1. Though I am NOT a middle aged man, I DO live in DULUTH (Minnesota...there is also a Duluth GA)! Also, my best friend has Jessie Spano moments and quotes that quote All. The. Time.

    Take good care of yourself and your unborn corn child! Its OK to ask for help; Its not a sign of weakness, but a sign of wisdom.

  2. This is all very understandable. As our lives change, so do our priorities. Since becoming pregnant myself, I haven't written on my blog since March? April? I don't even know anymore. And pregnancy aside, when you have new and exciting projects to work on (for me it was a REAL job), something has to take a backseat. It's part of growing up, in my opinion. Hopefully you'll return to your blog with full gusto again, but if not, eh, so be it. We all have new chapters in our lives to begin, and old chapters we must let go of. Maybe your future blogging will return to what it once was, but maybe it doesn't need to. Maybe it too needs to grow and mature (but not too much!) and begin a new chapter and a new life. Whatever path you take, best of luck to you with all your side projects, your real job, your blogging ambitions, and of course, your growing family.

  3. i dont want you to be the next casey anthony(too soon?) and have some sort of mental breaking point, all because of this blog. i cant have that weight on my shoulders, Una. I'd rather you rest and attempt to enjoy growing a baybay inside you.
    No worries, we're not going anywhere. Because we cant, we're at work (and because we love your writing!)

  4. Working Girl is awesome.

    I think if I had as many readers as you I'd have had a nervous breakdown ages ago. I have a tiny fraction of the readers that you have and I still worry that everything needs to be JUST RIGHT ALL THE TIME FOREVER. Plus I only post once a week. On a good week.

    Why do we make these insane rules and guidelines for ourselves when there is CLEARLY no reason to?

    Who knows. Probably because my brain is broken. I can't speak intelligently about yours.

    I can't wait for Book.

  5. quality, not quantity. and you are pregnant. i mean, if that's not an excuse for half-assing things, i don't know what is.

  6. And I am a middle-aged man who does NOT live in Duluth, Minnesota.

    But as a relatively recent follower, I'm looking forward to the less-frequent, but nonetheless sublime posts that are yet to come.

  7. Take care of you Sassy!

    Plus, pregnancy is an awesome excuse for almost anything. Milk it! My kids are 10 & 5 and sometimes I still manage to work it in. Seriously, my brain never quite returned to it's pre-pregnancy abilities. Good thing my kids are cute and only annoying some of the time.

    I look forward to your continued posting whatever the frequency :-).

    Peace & Love ~

  8. Claudia11:01 AM

    That is my FAVOURITE Saved by the Bell moment; the Hot Sundaes debacle being a close second. Its hard being a pregnant lady. I hope you can learn to relax a bit more and cut yourself a bit of slack. You've got the long, hard road of Motherhood before you and being a perfectionist doesn't fit in terribly well. Plus, I think you're lovely and will read if you post once a week, once a month, once a year! :)

  9. Tracey S.11:58 AM

    Reading a blog is kind of like being a guest at Thanksgiving dinner. The host takes enormous care and time to present you with a meal you will devour in a matter of minutes. It would be rude of said guest to expect that kind of meal every day. Thanks for a really entertaining blog!

  10. Good for you girl! Nothing in the world wrong with taking it easy for the sake of you and baby and we'll still be here when you're ready to share with us!
    ps. The Saved by the Bell reference was pure genius!! (and I'm not just saying that because I dreamed of kissing Zack Morris all through middle school...sigh)

  11. ditto to what Steph Gas said.

    enjoy your summer!

  12. As a mom of FOUR (insert cliched Talking Heads music here), I say cut yourself as much slack as you can stand. We will be here to read your brilliantly funny musings when you have the time, inclination, and free hands to do so. Enjoy being preggers, it's such a short ride.

  13. Anonymous4:51 PM

    As much as I will miss your oh-so-frequent posts, I am glad that you will be taking some much needed time 'off'. I'm 28 weeks (and 4 days) pregnant so I can relate to being burnt at both ends. Relax - your baby needs you to. :)

  14. Ah, I love your blog and I read it a lot, but it's not the only blog I follow. I don't think I would have freaked out and abandoned it had you posted less without this disclaimer. But hey, thanks for being polite I suppose.

  15. I saw this a few hours after reading your post via stumbleupon....maybe it was meant to be...

  16. I've done the same thing. Cut back on the postings. It's liberating once you get used to NOT feeling like you're letting people down. Which, of course, you're not. But it feels like that. I know you know what I'm talking about so I'll stop now.

    Stay sane!

  17. Yours is the only blog I read. I've tried others but they bore me. I like all of your posts, even when you didn't have time and just posted random things. I understand working full time, which with a child, is terribly tiring. But pregnancy is an even tired-er proposition, so of course, we are understanding and want you to be okay. Well, not just okay, but great. I'll look forward to your posts whenever they come. In the mean time, sleep! And take care...

  18. It's fine, Una. Take it easy. Best find a way to turn down the guilt and the stress about not being able to do everything you used to be able to do. You're at one of those life changing places, so let your life change as it needs to.
    Go nest and we'll hear from you when we hear from you.

  19. don't feel bad. you have jessie spano moments. i AM jessie spano moments. freaking out is all i do.

  20. I know how you feel. I get panic attacks if I miss a day of blogging. Including weekends.

    Take care. We'll always be here for you.

  21. Thank you guys, from the bottom of my heart--and uterus. You are the best readers ever. I'm totally going to give you stuff. And not just stuff I was going to throw away. Promise.


  23. Just let us know when you have the baby and what you name the lil' sass! Put your ever swelling cankles up and relax...knowing we will be here, well, whenever!

  24. I've been keeping a blog since 2006 and I totally get where you're coming from about not wanting to let people down. You start having ludicrous fantasies about 95 people rising up and breaking chairs over each other's backs because they haven't read the unfunny and insane ramblings of a 40 something Black Canadian suburban wife and mother. It happens.

    You're brave and awesome to post less. I'm still not there yet... in fact, I still have a blog to write for today (sigh). I want to be you when I grow up. Although I'll miss the minutiae of every second of your pregnancy, hearing about the baby and your sleepless nights will be way funnier when you post them every couple of days.

    Enjoy the time! They get big and hairy real quick.


  25. It's okay, I didn't think you were a middle aged man from Duluth. If you were, all these pregnancy posts would be pretty awkward...

  26. Write once a month, i'll still be here reading!

  27. this is perfectly have to live your life and you need not stress over a need to be happy and have as little stress as possible. take care of yourself. we will still be here when you do write

  28. Anonymous12:47 AM

    Hey! You should give more props to yourself! You are working AND doing freelance stuff!

    When I was pregnant I went through a phase where I walked around the house in a tank top and maternity panties all day because I didn't have the energy to get dressed.

    You are awesome.

  29. Sassy, quality is ALWAYS better than quantity in my book! Looking forward to these amazing quality posts. Now my expectations are high.

  30. pics is superb with your interesting post.. thanks a lot to entertainment

  31. Holy crabcakes. Man, if you are blogging more than once a week after your baby is born, I'm gonna come over there and confiscate your computer. You think you stressed now? Wait till you have a baby! Your computer will be the last friggin thing you'll want to go near for months. ALL, I mean ALL other obligations except the care of your child and the sleeping of your own self will be hurled out the window. Seriously, you will not even find time to brush your teeth. It's the honest truth dude. I'm not trying to scare ye. Just telling it straight up now baby. Us breeders will understand. The non bechildrened, may not dig it, but frig'em.
    Baby first, mama second, blog...probably should be about 114th on the list.

  32. i was JUST reenacting this special Saved by the Bell episode with my boyfriend last week. i made sure to give the background deets- stressed with school, dance competition, caffeine pills, "I'm so excited", zack's intervention...

    we had a moment in the kitchen.

  33. Marie Moore9:46 AM

    One question. Project Runway. Will we get your fantastic commentary?

  34. Relax, have fun...and don't forget to breathe! Looking forward to the possibility of your posts at 2:00 am when the only other human awake is not holding up his tiny end of the conversation, forcing you to resort back to the blogosphere!

  35. Anonymous5:05 PM

    Miss LaMarche,
    Your new text is hard to read; please fix it.
    P.S. You Rock


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