VINTAGE JANE: Headline News

Way back, circa The Frog Prince, I wrote the following post, and though I’ve said the same thing in different ways since, I thought it could bear repeating, especially for my sake. I need to follow my own advice more often!

Headline News
originally posted to the JaneBlog on September 13, 2005

The headlines in the papers continue to be grim. Even our local headlines are grim. Boulder falls from cliff, crushes car with three young women inside. Father of a three year old jumps into lake in front of son to save dog, and drowns. Frankly, it’s just too much.And here’s not even a headline from the news, but something that really happened, something that’s got to be put in one of my future books. I order pizza from our usual place on line, wait for an hour, call place to ask about delivery and am told that pizza is still running late. I say that we should have been given a call, that 6 year old kids can’t wait 90 minutes for pizza, and the guy answers, ‘You know, I don’t need to hear wah-wah-wah, my kids are crying and hungry because they don’t have their pizza. Lady, we all have problems.’ Click. And he hangs up. At the time (last Friday night) I was pretty shocked. I’ve never had a pizza place do that. But you know, five days later, I’m beginning to see his point.

We all do have problems.

We have lots of problems. And sometimes we can manage them, and sometimes the problems manage us, but that’s life. Unfortunately.

Sometimes there are good days and then there are bad days, and sometimes the bad days all come in a long, ghastly, seemingly unending row. But that’s when we’ve got to pull up our proverbial boot-straps and keep trying. Keep going. For Pete’s sake, what else are we going to do?

So after you’ve donated to the Red Cross, or volunteered where you need and want to volunteer, know its okay to unplug the phone and turn off the internet news and watch feel good movies and read feel good stories. Right now, despite all the chaos in the world (or because of all the chaos…) a little feel good is called for.

How do you cope when things get rough?  Do you give yourself permission to just ‘escape’ for awhile, or do you feel like you always have to be on top of your game, performing at your best?  Tell me your secret for handling stress.  I’d love to know!


  1. Just recently I had a RARE moment of deciding to think the best of someone who failed to return my call on an important issue, rather than getting angry. And thank goodness I did b/c I got a call much later with profuse apologies, but that the woman had passed away.

    I think it helps to remember there is always someone more fortunate than I am, and always someone less. So we spend some of the time dealing with life stresses and, if we’re lucky, some of the time escaping them.

  2. Sometimes I cope with thing really well and other times I don’t. I think you have to slow down and thank about what the problem is and then figure out what to do next. I thank sometimes just getting off by yourself for a while helps me to cope.

  3. Sometimes, I just cry a little. Let it all out and then take a shower. It depends on how bad a day. Most of the time a super amount of stress, helps me remember that things could be so much worse. I like to watch my children running, jumping, playing… just knowing they are healthy and safe brings me back to reality. Sometimes it’s just LIFE.

  4. Always prayer! And sometimes, a phone call to my best girlfriend, or my auntie in Texas. (And sometimes a fruity cocktail!)

  5. What a timely post! You have no idea!

    Anyway, I can cope sometimes by focusing on the positive of the situation. Or by telling myself that being upset serves no good purpose and changes nothing. I’m kind of in a holding pattern right now and those two things are helping me keep it together.

    But, as stress relievers go, tearing into some cleaning project that I’ve put off seems to help a lot. I’d already planned to do some heavy duty cleaning and I have no doubt that not only will it take my mind off things I don’t want to think about, it will relieve the stress as well. Not to mention that at the end of the day, I will have a company ready house. 🙂

    Oh, and prayer is always good. Always!

  6. I do the turtle (close up and hide behind my hard shell) but I always carry on. My good friend tells me she worries about depression, but I feel like there are times when there are good reasons to be depressed, and taking a pill for it doesn’t solve the reasons. The best “medicine” for me is to workout hard, a long hike uphill or a run that gets me outside in the fresh air which helps clear my thoughts. If that isn’t possible, I suffer silently but eventually get bored with myself and I snap out of it. Getting together with friends always works, too, they make me laugh and lift me up! I get by with a little and often a lot of my friends!

  7. I try to go running. It gets me out and for awhile I dwell on my problems and then I just let it melt away. I also like to read and have a glass of wine.

    I try to remember that everyone is going through something and not to judge because you just never know what is going on in someone’s life.

  8. I have tried so many stress busters – but when it gets too much – the favourite I have found is to stop – to curl up and find five good things that happened, or that you did in that day and just focus on them. Even if kids are ill and work not done and dramas are unfolding – instead, think of five good things in your day- there are always good things – a smile, a phone call, that you made time to take a shower, it doesn’t have to be big – but just find and then focus on the good in that day…..

  9. Reading is my way of taking a break when everything is too much. Isn’t it ironic that ordering a pizza should have given you a break but it ended up adding more stress to your day?

  10. Hi Jane,

    Know you’re busy, but I wrote an essay inspired by recent media coverage and partially guided by this blog. Check my site if you have a free moment.

    Either way, I hope all is well with you and your boys.


  11. i give myself “me” time. whatever i feel like doing, i do. {reading, shopping, cooking, etc…}

    it gives me a chance to think things through at my own pace. in the end, i usually end up telling myself i am much stronger than whatever “stress” may be and i shall over come it.

  12. Oh yes… I give myself time. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I usually like to immerse myself in a new or favourite old book. Sometimes it’s early Sunday morning before anyone is up and I am in the tub with a cup of Earl Grey and a book (and Zulu the cat supervising). 06h00 is my time… nobody else is up unless I am driving a child to a sporting event. It’s an hour to myself and totally worth the earliness.

    I also look for moments in my garden. Yanking out weeks is great for busting frustration. And I love seeing my garden bloom and change.

    In this day and age with kids, work and all other stuff finding time is difficult, but if you look for it, you can find it in odd increments. And they shouldn’t be wasted.

  13. Two things work for me. First, I have to force myself to go outside of my immediate little family here in the house and be around people–I think to show myself that life is going on despite the terror of what’s going on in the world. It is an effort because all I want to do is “hunker down” sometimes but I force myself to call a friend or my sister to go to lunch and shoot the breeze. It proves to me that life is going on and it is not the Armageddon it sometimes seems to be.
    Second, my BELOVED grandmother told me that I need to find joy in the little things. Some type of handiwork that requires a different kind of attentiveness– painting, cross-stitching, working in the garden. Anything that forces you to use your hands and concentrate. It really does create a break in your regular (and anxious) stream-of-consciousness. This works very well during New Baby Blues, Toddler Mania– all those times when you feel like you’re gonna lose it! {hugs} Carolyn

  14. For me, Grandchildren cure everything!! 🙂 They can always make me happy. I also like to work out and think about everything positive in life and what a good life my family has. I do admit, I don’t watch the news much anymore, it’s just too depressing.

  15. To cope with stress I disappear into a good novel. My favorite escape books have been written by Jane Porter–looking forward to Easy On The Eyes and more great escape.

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