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Vintage JaneBlog: Respecting the Turtles

Every now and then I go back into the archives of my JaneBlog, and revisit something I’ve written, and share it with you again.

Some I share because I like the blog or the story.  Others I share because I’m still working on that life lesson.   Respecting the Turtles is one of those blogs about learning a life lesson.  I wrote it in January 2010, three years ago, when Mac was nine months old and I was struggling with my writing and losing weight and my self-esteem.  I don’t know if you know, but I had terrible post-partum blues following Mac’s birth, and the medicine they gave me made it impossible for me to focus and write…but I had deadlines.  I had to perform.  It took almost another year before I started to feel like myself again.

So why share this blog again?

I’m reposting it because once again it’s January, and even though Mac is now 3 1/2, I’m frustrated at how slowly I’ve slogged through this book.  I don’t like writing over the holidays, and Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years this year was dominated by this book.  Please God, let this be a good one or I’ll…I’ll…

what?  Stop writing?

Sigh.

This is why I’m dragging this blog out.   I thought it was time to breathe, and remember this is my life.  This is my real life.  There isn’t any other life, so I better make this one good.

So, deep breath, Jane.    Be patient with yourself, and kind.  Turtles are lovely creatures.

———-

January 26, 2010

I’ve had a hard time with my blog lately.  I feel almost queasy about writing a blog. It’s not because I don’t want to write one, but because there’s so much I’m thinking about, so much I’m feeling, so much I’m struggling to put into place that I feel, well…fraudish.

I talk about self-acceptance.

I talk about self-esteem.

I talk and talk and well, sometimes it’s just talk.

The truth is I’ve really wrestled with…me…lately. Wrestling with who I am and what I expect and what I deep down believe.

I’m so good at empowering others. I tell everyone else to be nice to themselves. To love yourself. To be kind to yourself. And then in the privacy of my own home–and mind–I beat the hell out of me. And it hurts. As well as being exhausting.

I’ve been so mad at myself for not writing more. For not going hungry more. And running more. For not slipping back into a tiny, tan, successful, glorious version of me…a version I’m not sure even, or ever, existed. But that’s what my tricky mind remembers and that’s what I must do to what…sell a book? Be loved? Be happy?

And so I’ve had endless conversations with myself, probably more than I should, probably more than what is safe and sane. But during one of these fierce conversations I had this ephihany—I’m going to get there.

It’s just going to be slow.

Maybe really slowly. Perhaps even painfully slowly. But maybe its okay to be a turtle. Maybe the slow crawl will get me the same results the sprint would. Maybe. And even if not, its where I am now.

Creeping along. Trying hard. Doing my best. And seeing a lot of the same scenery. I suppose one really gets to appreciate the scenery when you’re not racing, or breathless, or fighting a side ache.

I once enjoyed being  the sprinter. I felt smug, the clever hare bounding along, dashing over the heads of turtles, grinning as I shot from here to there. Well, that Jane’s gone. Don’t know if she’ll ever come back.

So I’ve spent the last nine days learning to love the turtle in me and say things like “good turtle”, “lovely turtle”, “just keep going, turtle.” You see, there’s not a lot of glamour in being a turtle but if I get to the end…and don’t give up…I’ll have the journey and the success.

And maybe peace of mind.

——

In 2010 I offered a gift for one of my commentors, and this time I have prizes for 2 of you!  Are you a turtle or a hare?  Have you ever been a turtle?  Would you want to be different than you are?  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?  Talk to me, posting your thoughts in the comment section below.  The contest will run through Sunday, January 6th and I’ll announce the two winners names on Monday morning, January 7th once I’m back in California.

Enjoy your weekend and be kind to yourself.  Even better…enjoy yourself.  You’re awesome.  You’re unique.  You’re you.  Here’s to a wonderful 2013!

 

79 Comments

  1. Marlene Engel says:

    Jane,

    It makes me sad to hear that you beat up on yourself like that. You are one of the sweetest, most thoughtful, beautiful, strong women I know. You are also human. It’s normal to get down on yourself and to doubt your abilities, but that’s why you have friends like me to boost you back up. I know that your book may not have been what you originally thought it would be, but I have a feeling it will be even better than you originally hoped! I have full faith in you and your ability as a writer. You have a gift that not many do.

    I’m more of a turtle. I do things slowly and at my pace and sometimes go into my shell when things get tough. If there was one thing I’d like to change about myself it would be discipline to eating healthy and working out. When I was younger I was always so tiny and never had to worry about what food I ate or how often I went to the gym. Now that I’m almost 40 that has changed dramatically. I can just look at food and gain weight ;) Other than that, I’m pretty happy with the person that I am. I try to be a good person and help others. Sometimes I don’t always succeed, but I just tell myself that I’ll try harder the next time.

    I hope you have a wonderful day my friend. xoxoxo

  2. Linsey T says:

    It’s nice to know you’re human! :) I always visualize authors living this glamorous life and always happy. But you are human and like every other human you have ups and downs.

    I’m stuck right now. There are parts of my life I’m a hare and enjoy my life so much. But there are also parts of my life I’m a turtle and wish my life was different. But right now my life is what it is and I can’t do much to change the aspects I don’t like.

    So I keep reading and diving into other people’s lives that I can get lost in. :)

  3. kribss says:

    This is one of the many reasons why you are loved! While I don’t wish for bad and ugly days for you, its nice that you are not afraid to share them with us. It makes, me at least, feel a little normal.

    While I’m happy its the new year because it means a fresh start, I’m kinda in a depressed turtle slump at the moment. Being a SAHM is starting to feel more like a “chore” and I would love to get out of this funk. I use to LOVE to cook and bake for my family and didn’t mind cleaning or doing laundry…

    Okay, onto better things- its Ham’s birthday today. Need to get him his favorite dessert- strawberry cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. : )

  4. ellie says:

    Jane, you are special and a great woman with talent and ability. It is human to have doubts and to question yourself. I think that everyone does. I do everyday. I always wanted to be more outgoing, popular and well liked. But that isn’t important. Being yourself and true to yourself is what matters. being a loyal and helpful friend and a wonderful mother, daughter and sister is even better. Best wishes for a wonderful new year. I am a hare but would like to be a turtle. It is just my nature.

  5. Cate Sparks says:

    Oh, I am certainly a turtle… I have a letter my mom wrote when I was about 3… talking about how stubborn I was… sheesh.. nothing has changed there either.. I think slowly changing gives people a chance to adjust to things… But I do think that everyone needs to kinda get out of the ‘high school’ mode of worrying about what people think of you..

  6. Library Lady says:

    I am such a turtle that sometimes I feel like I am walking through molasses. Praying for you with this book Jane. I know you will get there!

  7. Linda Mc says:

    I agree that turtles are lovely creatures. I would say that in some areas I am a hare, but in others I am a turtle. Right now, career-wise I am a turtle….moving slowly trying to figure out what to do next in life. I will take your own advice and say “lovely turtle” and “keep going turtle”…I think that will help me out a lot. My best wishes and prayers going out to you Jane, as you continue to work on your story. I know it is going slow, but maybe sometimes, we are meant to go slower. Maybe sometimes, we really need to be the turtle, whether we know it or not.

  8. Ruth Bousquet says:

    I used to be the hare. With a few life changes last year and new thoughts for this year, I’ve suddenly become a turtle. I remember reading your post three years ago. You are focused and know exactly where you’re going and had you not experienced that particular time in your life, you wouldn’t have gotten so far for a turtle. You have arrived. I struggle with weight loss as you did and I’m going to try harder this year. We’re not perfect, as long as we try we have a purpose whether we’re turtles or hares.

  9. Gigi says:

    HI Jane,
    I remember that time for you.
    So hard for me to imagine Mac turning 4 this April. I remember when you were eating Peeps to put weight on.
    I have always been a Hare. I do things fast always have a list that I am working on. Last October I turned 49. I am starting to feel it now. My parents are aging and mom has been in a bad way I have to help them out a lot. I still have my youngest in college. It is harder to concentrate lately but I figure that is a hormone problem and sleeping at night…I can’t do it anymore. I can fall asleep in the afternoon but not at night. Toss and turn get up read a chapter or two and start over. I try to stay away from the sleep aids because I feel so groggy but I find myself having to take them more often.
    I started back on my treadmill and I am hoping that will help with some of my problems. you know force more blood to the brain. Maybe that will help. :)
    You take care.

  10. SherriM says:

    Turtle here. If I could change one thing in myself it would be to NOT be such a worrier, especially when it comes to my kids. I’ve even googled “how to stop worrying about the kids” for goodness sake. Deepak Chopra says if you’re constantly worried and stressed, your children will mirror that. I am going to try to be more relaxed and full of peace and harmony, just like he suggests.

  11. Melissa A says:

    I think I’m more of a hare, but I also have my turtle moments in some aspects of life.
    Your novels are always wonderful and I appreciate the hard work that goes into them!

  12. Janet Wiebe says:

    Jane, love your turtle/hare analogy. I am the hare, always running, on the go and loving life. I enjoy encouraging the turtles to stay positive and love themselves first. Looking forward to your blog/books in 2013!!

  13. Sarah Kuzma says:

    Jane,

    I’m a turtle also. I was a hare until about 2010. I read “flirting with forty” for the first time, then, and was turning 40 in February. I had been through a bitter divorce and bad follow up “relationship”. My job suffered, my kids were suffering. It was awful. I had the same talks you did and beat myself UP!!

    Then, my very best friend in the world, introduced me to the man I am still with today. He showed me how to be nice to me. That taught me to slow down, I switched jobs, moved from a position where I had been for 25 years into an entirely different field. I had to slow down and learn new things.

    I think there is a time and place for everything. And I also believe you HAVE to learn the lesson or it will keep haunting you. I’m very happy being a turtle now. And the funny thing is for our first Christmas Tom got me a necklace with a turtle charm. I have worn it every day since then.

    You are a fantastic writer Jane, and I wish only the best for you and your beautiful family.

  14. Judy B says:

    Thank you for your post Jane. I am definitely a turtle. I will never jump into anything feet first. I always have to weigh my options. Can I do this? Am I good enough to do this? Do I look as good as the others? Am I too fat? Am I too ugly? A lot of times in the past I have stayed hidden and out of sight because I had been beaten down so much. I like to think that I am doing better as I am slowly emerging! I can feel empowerment coming out. I am somebody and I do matter!

    If I could change just “one” thing about myself, it would be to be the best that I can be and not worry about what others might think of me. I am who I am! Love me or hate me…it simply doesn’t matter! I wish I could be that person!

    Blessings!
    Judy B

  15. Quilt Lady says:

    I am a turtle all the way. I really get tired at myself for being that way. Sometimes I just have to make myself do things when I really don’t want to do them. Slow I am so slow to getting things done.

  16. Donna says:

    Can you be a combo of both. it depends what it relates too. I’m doing Jenny craig (usually it was always WW) but I feel even though I’m down 31 lbs so far (been on it since end of march 2012, going to 50Lbs) and all along I only had 2 gains until the last few weeks and now it seems it’s up and down. I’m doing what I should with their food, exercise etc. but when I know I had a good week and not seeing it then it is getting to me and part of me feels I might loss the motivation I’ve had all along. I’m getting compliments from people I see the difference with clothes. But it’s like a mind game. I’m hoping this year once the weight is gone that I’m more Out there. maybe less of a turtle in things and more of a hare.

  17. Tracey Fye says:

    I think I’m a turtle. If I could change anything about myself it would be to be more outgoing. I wish I could do things by myself instead of trying to find someone to do things with. I feel like I’m sitting on the side of the road watching life go by. I plan on signing up for an acting class which starts in February. Just because :)

  18. Sonny Neal says:

    I sprint and slog between performing as a hare and a turtle. I’m a turtle, and in those slow moving moments, I berate myself. Thank you for telling me, through your experiences, I’m okay. I’m wonderful, in fact. Thank you, thank you. I need to change one thing: to believe again.

  19. Robin in NC says:

    Turtles always win the race! The older I get, the more turtlely I get! ;-) You asked if I could change one thing about myself, what would it be…I’m a Procrastinator, yes with a capital P!! It makes me so crazy sometimes!! Well, I’ll do better tomorrow. Thanks for sharing Jane! Happy New Year!!

  20. Annie says:

    It is sometimes hard to accept myself with my flaws but we are all different. Doing our best, working hard and providing is necessary. We have to enjoy life here on earth since life is short.Being a hare is normal. Your writing gives so many pleasure. You are fortunate that you are creative and capable. Best of health, happiness and success for 2013.

  21. I’m a turtle with delusions of being a hare. I want to be the clever, busy, liked, successful hare. But at the end of every single day of my life I am still a turtle. :/ Such is life and I’ve learned to like me. I’ve learned to be content with me. And I’ve also learned to be successful while still being a turtle :)

    Hang in there Jane! This book will be just as amazing, if not more so because of the struggle required to achieve it, as your other works.

    Hugs to you friend!

  22. Rebecca C says:

    I’d say I am a Turtle. Slow and steady get’s the job done. When I try to be a Hare, I stress myself out so bad I end up ill, and end up farther behind. I have to constantly remind myself it’s OK to just be ME. I have struggled with my weight since I was a teen, been everything from a size 12 to 26 down to a 6 and back to a 14. If I could change one thing it would be to “Not Forget to Have a Life” no matter what size my pants are. We get so focused on just one thing we forget to look at all the GOOD things around us. So I’ll stay a turtle happily stopping to smell the flowers as I wander along. :)

  23. Bonnie K says:

    Hang in there. I really do admire writers. I wonder how they come up with so many words and turn them into great reads.

    I’m a turtle most of the time–once in a blue moon I’m a hare. Sometimes, I think it’s good to be a turtle because one needs to slow down. Take time to breathe. Appreciate the good things in life. Eventually, your true rewards will arrive.

  24. Mel T. says:

    I’m a turtle…there I said it! But I want to be a hare sometimes…like when I’m working on getting my Christmas decorations down today!! My hare friends get more done while I’m still thinking about what I NEED to do. Sometimes I do feel bad that I’m not more hare-like but then those turtle ways have have allowed me to enjoy moments that my “hare” friends don’t get. Hares are so busy doing, moving and shaking, meeting agendas that they don’t get to experience what their turtle friends do. I know because I’m married to a hare. While he is getting everything done, I’m meeting the needs of people around me who are hurting or who need a shoulder to cry on. You see because turtles are going a slower, they can see things going around them that their hare friends can’t in all their busy, check-another thing-off-their-list kind of life. So, the world needs turtles and hares, doesn’t it?
    The one thing I’d like to change on improve in would be being better organized and cutting more non-essentials out of my life to make room for the important “stuff”. Now back to my Christmas decoration deconstruction zone!

  25. Debbie Theis says:

    Turtle. I am SUCH a turtle. And I hope that what others are saying on here is true, that turtles always win the race. Because today, in this moment, reading your blog and responding… I feel like a HUGE turtle just trying to make it through to tomorrow. There are so many things I would change about myself if I could. But until I get around to all those changes…. I guess, I’ll just be a big turtle inching my way through.

  26. catslady says:

    Self esteem was never a thing when I grew up. I have none! As much as I know I should, it’s hard to shed what you were taught or not taught as a child. Or what you saw. The best I can do is know that I at least taught my children differently but unfortunately it’s not what they saw. I think being a turtle is fine as long as you’re still able to be who you want to be and unlike me, have no clue as to what that should be. Hopefully, taking baby turtle steps in the right direction will be enough!

  27. Janine says:

    We are so much alike on this one. I’m constantly beating myself up over one thing or another. There are so many things in my life I wish I had done differently. For one, I wish I had tried harder and graduated high school and gotten a good job (or at least gave myself the opportunity to find something I liked to do). I jumped form one job to the next not knowing what I wanted to do or was capable of doing. I was the same way with men, jumping from one to the next until I thought (and still think) I can’t live without one. I jumped out of my first marriage without really trying to save it. My mind is always jumping. Though I feel like the sluggish turtle, with all the jumping, maybe I’m just a restless rabbit. My husband is always getting on me for having low self esteem and for giving up too easily on anything that doesn’t come right away. I constantly look at other women and wish I were them and had their lives. And, one of the biggest regrets in my life is never having children. I see so much happiness in other women who have them and feel left out of that club.

  28. Maxcine says:

    I can’t imagine how hard it is to be an author, but it must make you feel proud that you give so many people so much pleasure. I have been a big reader since I was a little kid (will be turning 59 on Saturday and not too happy about that) and getting lost in books has always helped me through tough times.
    I think I was a hare when I was young, then life happened: got married, left my family and friends to move to a foreign country (New England from my home state of MS),had 4 kids, gained so much weight, began having health problems,etc. I am now a turtle for sure. Some years ago I started collecting turtles, never gave them much thought before but for some reason I started liking them. Guess it was telling me a change was happening to me. lol

  29. CathyS says:

    Jane,

    Asking if one is a hare or a turtle reflects a problem on the face of it, to my way of thinking, Jane. What I loved about Flirting With 40 on the first-time reading a few weeks back, is that the character had depth and thought about life’s greater challenges, like the meaning of friendship.

    As a single woman, I may have been a hare, but it was just who I was. After marrying years ago and having children, I’m moving with a small herd now and adjusting for everyone’s pace to try to be and do what is best for all at any given moment. A baby wants a turtle mamma who breastfeeds, preferably. Haha.
    While composing this comment, my 13-year-old, who is STILL on school vacation, asked me a word from the book she’s reading. If I’m a turtle for slowing down my schedule so I can be available to explain the word “exhaustive” to her, so be it.
    I would not be truthful if I said I don’t really miss myself as a hare sometimes. We’re in a world that only respects hares. And I am better at talking myself up in a forum like this than in my self-talk. I’ve had some tough esteem issues and still do. I think it’s easier to be totally a hare or be totally a turtle than what women are asked to do (or expect of themselves). We are to be a hare when the (older) children are “busy” (at school) and then be a turtle when they need us (sick or school vacations). And when they hit college as one of mine has, we really need to crank up the earning! LOL
    All of the adjusting, especially if the kids have a wide age span, is what wears me down. But I don’t think it’s realistic to consistently be a hare or a turtle if one has a family. Children require different speeds at different times.

    Just realize that you are an awesome beautiful woman and writer, Jane, and stop labeling yourself a turtle or a hare. :) I’ll try to do the same for myself. lol

  30. denise says:

    a turtle–I need to have more self-esteem and speak up for myself

  31. Maureen says:

    I think it would be very unusual to be able to raise a family and not go through some tough times with yourself and your family.
    I think I am more of a turtle. I need to ease into things and get used to them.

  32. eli yanti says:

    I’m a turtle all the times *sigh*. Hope can be hare sometimes

  33. Susan says:

    Jane, I am a free spirited turtle. I can be efficient if you lock me in my office all day…slowly but surely I make progress. I am never in a hurry (slow driver) to go anywhere and make everywhere I go a fun trip…even to the laundry mat!

  34. carole says:

    Hi! I was a turtle I’d ask my husband to do something around the house and I’d have to wait, at work it was a different story, I’d be a work-horse and did alot on my own.I finally started getting my self-esteem back and not taking any crap from people, standing up for myself. Your a wonderful wife, mom and a great writer….one thing I’d love to change is to start going out alone instead of staying home for I need to meet people and most of my friends are married and have small kids and mine are college age, need to get out of my comfort zone. I’m scared but gotta do it…we need to stop labeling ourselves and just do the best we can…

  35. Donna M says:

    I am a turtle. It takes me a long time to get going and a long time to make decisions. I know at times this drives my family crazy. But, I know that is who I am, and I accept it. By the comments here, it looks like there are a lot of us turtles out there. Nice to know we aren’t alone.

  36. Lynn Buddenbohm says:

    At this point in my life I am definitely a turtle. Some days I feel that I earned that privilege, my kids are raised and I am retired, but other days I am so frustrated with myself. I have a friend where I live that is 95 and most days she has more get up and go then I do.
    Take care of yourself, hug your little man and have faith that the book will be awesome. I think that December took it’s toll on all of us with all the tragedy.

  37. SharonA says:

    Seriously, Jane, I think I needed this blog post today, this week, this month, for 2013. I’ve always been the hare – type A to the extreme, master juggler and multi-tasker. I had the high powered job, yada yada. Then life slammed into me and my health grounded me in 2005. I’ve battled back and while I’m not back to being a hare, I was exhibiting at least some Bugs Bunny tendencies (LOL!). Then it all came to a screeching halt again a few months ago. I am battling to get back to that, but I have to make a lot of mental adjustments along the way. Every day can be a battle to make the mental adjustment. And I’m not even talking about all the things I think I “should” be doing. I need to rewrite that list.

    Someone tweeted out today that their word for 2013 is NOW. I’m not sure I’m all in for saying “NOW” to everything, but I sure as heck need to stop saying “I’ll get to it” and then not moving. Like you, I have to remember that one step forward is still one step further than yesterday. I just have to make that one step. Stronger than yesterday. Me against myself.

    And in keeping with the theme, I found a small silver turtle in my office yesterday. I will put it in a prominent place, for a reminder.

  38. Nova C. says:

    Hi Jane. I used to be more of a hare, running around like crazy trying to please everyone all the time. But getting horribly ill made me begin to be more like a turtle. I had to learn to do things more slowly and take more time. If I could change one thing about myself it would be: to be ok with others helping me and not beat myself up about it.
    Have a great weekend! Much love!

  39. Sandy M. says:

    Hi Jane,
    I remember when you posted this blog. It is hard to believe it was that long ago. I can be both the turtle and the hare, but mostly I think I am more like the hare these days. Sometimes I feel like I am on fast forward and then I really appreciate the opportunities to be more turtle like. My attitude has become more turtle like though, which is good. Today on my way to work I got stuck at a RRNA crossing that was not working properly and the gate or arms were down for quite a while. Instead of stressing, I could just think, oh well. I will get done whatever I get done when I get there.

  40. Joey says:

    I am a Turtle. I give the whole world a head start and then I watch it rush ahead. I slowly start my journey and eventually catch up and pass the bottleneck mess. Now I travel down a road that is free of clutter. I like being a Turtle.

  41. Linda Henderson says:

    I am now and have always been a turtle. If I could change one thing about myself it would be to be more outgoing. I’m an introvert and it’s hard for me sometimes to socialize with people, especially if I don’t know them. I have every confidence in the world in your writing a great book, not just good, but great. I’ve always been a fan of your books and personally a fan too. You are human just like the rest of us and I can so relate to some of your problems. Not in having boys because I had girls, but still parenting problems exist with both. You are a good, kind and generous person and that’s more important than a lot of things. Have a safe trip back to California and may the book just start rolling off your fingers.

  42. Ginger Robertson says:

    Hi Jane
    I love the saying that you stated “be gentle to yourself”. I believe I will put that on my computer screen. It’s amazing that we can say/give advice to others but it is another to actually listen and apply to ourselves. And we can be so hard on ourselves. Always come here where you have us friends, and we can talk you off the “ledge”. We’ve been there, done that.
    I would be the hare. I’m not the quickest but I get there and get the job done. When I’m in one of those places where things can and do get overwhelming, I will get away, usually reading, for a little while. When I get back to issue(s), I will divide and conquer, make a list and if need be get some assistance.
    I enjoy what I do professionally, but sometimes
    it can get overwhelming.
    Hang in there.
    Ginger

  43. Krissy Cook says:

    It is wonderful to hear that so many of us are alike! I find that I’m a hare when things are going well. Whether it be my family, job, relationship etc….

    However my turtle shows itself when challenges arise.
    I find that surrounding myself with wonderful supportive friends keeps the Hare in me alive ;-)

    Thank you Jane for inspiring us!!!

    Krissy

  44. Laney4 says:

    Ahhh, Jane. I remember this blog. I hope you are feeling more positive now than you were back then. You work hard and you play hard, and you have TONS of admirers, myself included.

    I am both a turtle and a hare, depending on the situation. If I am super confident, I am a hare and “go get’m, tiger”. If I am unsure, then I’m a turtle until I gain that confidence.

    If I could change just one thing, I would change my dependency on Pepsi back in the mid nineties when my mom was dying. I was drinking at least 10 cans of pop every day while rushing back and forth to her home (half an hour away) at least four times a week. That was the beginning of my weight gain. I am now almost eighty pounds over that skinny weight (having already lost twenty pounds in the last year), and it is a slow battle that I AM going to win. (I quit drinking all pop in Oct/10.) I won’t get back down to that weight, I’m sure, but I WILL get down to a healthier weight. It just isn’t going as quickly as I’d like. Pesky medical problems keep intruding, so my weight keeps flip-flopping, depending on my meds. I am 5’10″ tall, so most people think of me as big, but I know I’m obese. I’m workin’ on it….

  45. Tonda says:

    I’m a lot like you. I used to be a hare. I lived (and worked) on a farm, raised crops and livestock, raised 4 children, took care of them and made a home for them, then took a job outside the home besides. I had to be a hare. Then a few years ago, I developed a thyroid condition that turned me into a turtle. I’ve struggled with weight, hair loss, and some days just finding the energy to get out of bed. My motto was always “you just gotta do what you gotta do,” and go on. And I was proud of that. It’s been a daily struggle to accept the turtle, feeling the inner hare wanting to come back, and wanting her to. I need to accept my turtle, but it’s not easy. Keep on keepin’ on! Turtle or hare, you’re still special! In our own way, we all are! :)

  46. Deidre says:

    I know that my husband would definitely say I’m a turtle, and it’s true…I am a turtle in so many ways. I really wish I could be a hare most of the time.

    I would like to be less of a procrastinator.

  47. kathleen says:

    Today I feel like a turtle. I want to change everything but can’t find the motivation anywhere. I feel like I am stuck in the Grand Canyon. Hopefully I will get out soon!

  48. Lauren says:

    Oh my goodness it was like reading about myself and the things I think and say to myself! I was once a hare. I taught school right out of college and I saw myself coming and going as two ships passing in the night. I did this even after my son was born although I did force myself to leave earlier than I’d ever done to get home and be with my baby. I had a spinal injury 6 years ago and had to retire after a 20 year career. I then became a turtle. My health has sadly gotten worse over the past 6 years and I know I won’t go back to teaching. I now use my crochet talent to share with people so I’m still reaching out and touching lives. The one thing I truly wish I could change is how slowly I produce crochet projects. I’ve crochet for 40 years and I used to whip out many creations in one weekend. Now with neck problems, nerve damage, and my two arm and shoulder joints suffering a separation, it’s very difficult to complete a project in a month if even that. I’m really a snail rather than a turtle. But I’m grateful I can still work on my craft each day for at least an hour.

  49. Linda (from McKinney) says:

    I’m not sure what I am. After 24 1/2 years at the same job I went in on Monday, turned my keys in and walked out the door. I didn’t even bother to clean out my desk. I have always said if you don’t like your job you should find another one. Easier said than done when you are 64; however, for my own well being I had to leave. So as someone famous said “Today I close the door to the past, open the door to the future, take a deep breath, step on through and start a new chapter in my life”

  50. bn100 says:

    maybe a little turtle and hare
    would like to exercise more

  51. Stephanie S. says:

    Oh Jane how I can relate! I’d say without question I am a turtle-always have been and always will be.

    If I could change anything about me is to accept I was meant to be a turtle-slow and steady. I’ve got goals I want to achieve in 2013. I think I will learn more about myself and what I want out of life by giving myself that time.

    Take Care!

  52. Tamelin says:

    As much as I’ve always wanted to be a hare, if it truly is the turtle that wins the race then I will try to be content as the turtle I’ve always been. I do want to “win the race” eventually and will try to cling to the hope that I will. :-)

    As far as changes … there are superficial things I’d change about myself like weight, wrinkles and my lack of fashion sense. ;-) But down deep I like the person I am. :-) There are definitely things I would change about my life, though. Unfortunately, I think those are most likely consequences of my turtleishness … so I will have to just keep trudging along in the hopes that winning the race in my turtle style will eventually lead to those life changes I have dreamt of as long as I can remember. :-]

    Thank you, Jane, for sharing that the life of others is not always as it seems. Those we look to as hares, and can’t help but feel a twinge of envy as they seemingly run through this life so effortlessly and successfully, may actually have their turtle moments, too! :-)

    May 2013 be a blessing-filled year for you and those you hold dear. <3

  53. Mary Preston says:

    I’m very comfortable being a turtle. I’m the best version of me going around. I’ve been knocked down, but I got back up.

    I wish you calm, peace and happiness with all my heart.

  54. mb says:

    right now i am a turtle! can not seem to get out of my rut. way too much going on in life, but it can only get better day by day is what i tell myself..yikss. i love that blog you posted. best of luck to both of us :)

  55. Fe Y Roberts says:

    I think I’m more of a hare. I’m always busy and rushing around doing something for someone. That would be something I’d change about myself. I want to learn to slow down more and stop to smell the roses every once in a while.

  56. Natalie says:

    I remember this blog from the first time around Jane, and I agree that it is a great reminder to respect yourself and the need to plug away at the journey at your own pace. I feel like I’m struggling with these same issues right now and maybe it’s because of the new year, and I’m tired of having the same old resolutions this year, but I’ve been feeling like cocooning rather than pushing through. I need to find a way to stop getting discouraged by the little stuff and to keep moving forward!

    Thanks for reposting this blog, and for always sharing what is in your heart! I hope that you can take a break soon and enjoy the sunshine and your beautiful boys!

  57. Amy says:

    I’m a hare with turtle tendencies. I am working on expectation levels that I transfer onto others. I still like to give people the benefit of the doubt, I don’t want to be a cynic either. I’d like to meet the happy middle and really be ok with it.

    I took The Good Woman to Puerto Vallarta and really enjoyed it, thank you. Looking forward to the next book.

    Best wishes to you and yours in the New Year!

  58. JanieC says:

    Happy New Year, Jane. There are many times when I’m a turtle and it’s so hard to get to the other side of the line.

  59. Runner10 says:

    It is okay to be a turtle. Sometimes it is good to slow down and enjoy the scenery. I usually feel refreshed after a week or two.

  60. Kari N. says:

    I’m a hare. Which is not something to be proud of. I am always rushing around from one thing to the next. If I could change something about myself, I would be more like a turtle. I would slow down and enjoy life and be less stressed out. I would also change how sensitive I am. I wish I didn’t care what others think…but I do and it really gets to me easily.

  61. Lisa B says:

    I’m not sure which i am. I think i got back and forth. When i catch myself being a hare i remind myself to slow down and be the turtle. Relax and let things go sometimes. I think i remember you talking about all this back then. It’s hard sometimes to get through things. People tell you it’ll pass but it’s hard being in the middle of it still.

    HUGS

    Lisa B

  62. Robin says:

    Definitely a turtle. I am going through a really stressful, bad time at work. Usually they don’t last nearly this long. It is hard wading through the mess.

  63. bluegrassnash says:

    I’m a hare. It seems like I’m constantly running as fast as I can to accomplish what’s been handed to me. I need to slow down and enjoy more. Where’s my turtle? I want to be more like a turtle.
    Happy New Year!

  64. Mariska says:

    This is what i love about visiting your blog and read it everyday..sharing your everyday life…

    i’m a turtle, i guess..not gonna push so hard of my self..just go with the flow..and enjoy my life to the fullest :D

  65. Kirsten says:

    I’ve been in turtle mode for a couple of years with a little bit of hare mode thrown in when needed.

    When Dad died 12/2011 I had to race and there was no time to think. I had less than a week to take care of his things, his whole life, before I had to go home. And then I spent all of last year reflecting.

    I don’t go out, I don’t exercise, I am introspective to the point that I wonder if I will get lost in here, in this shell of mine.

    Reading that others have this problem either sometimes or for a long time helps me. I believe I might become the person I was once upon a time. It’s like a jolt to think that hey, what are you doing?

    So continue to write about things like this. They remind me to maybe put a little “hare” in my life again. Maybe I should do one of those resolutions, have a goal again. Yes, I think so. Thanks, Jane.

  66. Cindy says:

    I am a turtle. And I’m fine with it. I am learning to accept myself for who I am. But I also feel like I finally just got to know who that is. Stay strong my friend :). You are beautiful inside and out.

    Happy 2013 to you.

    Cindy

  67. Quilt Lady says:

    I forgot to mention that I don’t think I would change the turtle in me now after being one for so many years. As I have gotten older I am more turtle then I ever was. I have found that it doesn’t bother me so much anymore and I don’t worry if thing don’t always get done.

  68. Nitty says:

    Aww, this is the perfect tonic for the winter blues that have me feeling more like a snail, mired in the muck, at present. Maybe I’ll grow a thicker shell and a few stubby legs and climb outa’ here one day soon. Until then I’m going to remind myself that this too shall pass and we’re never alone and share your post with a few friends who I know are struggling as well.
    Blessings to you and Your Guys in the coming year!

  69. Melanie J says:

    In the past, I’ve been a hare. Now as I have gotten older I’ve been more of a turtle.

    I love reading your blog!

  70. Bridget O'Neill says:

    I tend to be more of a turtle, especially in winter. I live in Minnesota, and since it gets so cold here in the winter months, I stay inside a lot. But I also have a 3 year old, so whenever I’m following her around and playing with her, I have to be a hare in order to keep up! :)

  71. Kimberly says:

    Jane,

    I hope that the writing is finally going smoother and you are taking time enjoy a little each day. I really enjoyed this blog, sorry that I didn’t see it back in 2010. I posted to fb and I have reread it probably 6 times, because it really hit home on how I have been feeling lately. I too am great at motivating others and always trying to be so positive, but I am also really great at beating myself up on the inside. I have a real fear of failure and that is something I am working on this year. I have had some unexpected news lately that I haven’t really shared and it is causing me have doubts or regrets on how I have lived my life, and I know we aren’t supposed to have regrets, but this has been a hard one for me.

    I think that I have been both the turtle and the hare at different points in my life and maybe that is the secret….to find the balance between the two, something I haven’t figured out yet.

  72. Kash Ali says:

    I was a hare throughout my school/ high school days. Always top of everything. Then I got diagnosed with a disease, ended up in the country’s best business school (and that wasn’t an achievement because the only thing I’d ever wanted to do was be an an engineer.. and I couldn’t make it into any of the engineering colleges of my choice) and found that said place was FULL of politics I didn’t want to be a part of. Things went downhill from thereon. Because there was no culture of merit, and a GIANT culture of favours/ personal alliances/ nepotism, I suffered so much I stopped writing. I’ve always written – working with magazines part-time, freelancing, whatever, but writing, it’s been an outlet for me – but I was so disappointed I gave up on that. I stopped being a hare and turned into a turtle. Just plodding on. Getting things done. Waiting for them to be better. Taking it slow. And then, because I’d always idealized and been a hare, I began to have self-esteem issues because being a turtle seemed not okay. Wrong. Inferior, somehow.

    Recently, I’ve started to realize that being a turtle is okay. It’s something new. I’ve begun to appreciate it. I’ve always begun to reevaluate things and realize everything isn’t as bad as I’ve made it out to be. So things are looking up now. I’ve begun to write again and get back into the groove.

    Hope everyone learns that being a turtle isn’t necessarily bad, and being a hare isn’t necessarily good. It’s okay to be you! It’s GREAT to be you. <33

  73. Amy S. says:

    I’m more like a turtle. I tend to do things slow.

  74. Elisabeth R says:

    Hi Jane,

    I can honestly say that I never have thought about it. If I’m a turtle or a hare but I’m probably both depending on the situation.
    Right now I’m a turtle enjoying every slow moment with my kids.

  75. Shannon Bereza says:

    I think I have always been a hare until my last two kids were born. They are 3 year old twins now and since they are the last of my children I realized just how much I want to enjoy their childhood. Not that I haven’t enjoyed my other children just as much, but now that my oldest son is 17 I realize how quickly life can pass us by if we don’t stop to enjoy it. I have decided especially for 2013 to truly enjoy my journey in life. Everything I do I want to enjoy and remember both the joy and the struggles of every situation.

  76. Allie says:

    I remember this post when it was first posted and it made me sad then, as it does now. Stop it. You kick ass! I just saw on FB that you wrote 75K words:)! Don’t be your own worst enemy! Can’t wait for all the books coming our way!

  77. I’m an ostrich, sticking my head in the sand because I’m terrified of what lies in front of me. It’s crazy, and I know it, and like you, I kick myself black and blue. As if that would help. Reading your blog helps me breathe again though, because I realize that, turtle or ostrich, neither one of us is alone, not the author on the west coast of the US, or the lawyer in the middle of central Ontario. Jane, I’m with you. Hang in there, by your teeth, if necessary, because that’s what we both do. That’s what we ALL do.

  78. Jane says:

    Hi everyone,
    So glad many of you enjoyed this vintage blog! Here are the winners names for this contest -

    #55 Fe Y Roberts
    #26 Catslady

    Shoot me an email, ladies, with your mailing details and I’ll get the prize boxes in the mail!

    love to all,
    Jane

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