Time Out

“Mom.” From the hospital bed, Marika shamelessly waved a foot at me and flashed a pathetic frown. Foot-rub time.
“It has to be a short one. I have to write a paper for my class,” I said.
“Why don’t you pull the cancer card?” she yawned.
“Cancer card? What’s a cancer card?” I asked. She smiled with closed eyes, and wiggled her toes in anticipation of the foot-rub.
“Just tell your teacher your daughter has cancer, Mom. Then you won’t have to work so hard.”

There were times I did “pull the cancer card,” and later, the my-daughter-died-of-cancer card. Like once when a cop stopped me for speeding. Like several Decembers, when I wanted to get out of shopping for gifts, knowing gift-giving and holiday music could trigger major emotional meltdowns.

It has never been easy to simply give myself a pass, even if it’s a long overdue or desperately needed break. Like the Energizer Bunny, I keep busy, kick myself outta the house to keep going, going, going…. But sometimes one just needs to call a time-out. Especially when your head gets whacked.

On Thursday I got whacked. I allowed a stupid disappointment to immobilize me for two days. I blew the whole rest of the week off because someone blew me off. No warning. No message, no returning my calls. There was no way to sit still and write. The only thing I could do with any volition at all, was eat.

Still reeling from the experience, I need time to recharge. My cancer cards have expired; too many of my friends are dealing with cancer now for me to be excusing myself like that. So I’m pulling a new mini-crisis permission slip, to get myself out of trying to produce a masterpiece this week. Hopefully it will also cover me for why this photo, an oldie but goodie, doesn’t match what I’ve written.


Got any tricks to offer for how to relax and cut loose once in a while?








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8 thoughts on “Time Out

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    Yup, you have permission to take a summer or winter or anytime break. I love my switch to every other week blogs with recyling old blogs on alternate weeks. It works out fine. No one has complained. They’re probably relieved. I must say I’ll never forgive the cop (uniformed officer) who ignored my cancer-card plea about why the car inspection was overdue (Vic’s job and he was too sick and who thought of a car inspection then). He gave me a big fat ticket. I wanted to wring his neck, but it doesn’t play well to be rude to a policeman, so I kept my mouth shut.

    You could send us a beautiful photo that says “gone fishin’.” Why not?

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Perfect. What a great idea. A compromise. I think I will be able to manage that, Elaine. A beautiful photo and maybe a one-liner that says Out-to-Lunch. Or “gone fishin’.” Thanks!

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Good to know I’m in good company M. Wonder if we can compare card files sometime. I’m not aware of all the possibilities yet and I’m not that daring or creative to invent these cards. I’m kinda testing out a Time Out to be With my Mother card these days as I’ve been leaving home and responsibilities a lot lately. It really is hard to apply the cards to my blog though. I guess I’m too attached. Lots of love.

  2. Lynne Taetzsch

    Robin, you’ve always got my permission to take a break! And your post is great–reminded me of all the times I get down on myself for letting things bother me too much. As many times as we tell ourselves, “Don’t take it personally,” we do.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Lynne, it really helps to hear I have your permission to take a break. Getting permission definitely gives doing anything more credibility. Some one or some force greater than simply little-old-me has given me their blessing to not comply with the routine. As long as it comes from somewhere else I don’t have to get down on myself or take it personally that I wasn’t able to keep up. So I thank you. Cheers!

  3. Lucy Bergstrom

    People with a lot less reason to need a break have pulled one card or another to get out of commitments or work. You pull all the cards you want, Robin!
    See you for lunch next Tues. Can’t wait! Enjoy the 4th in spite of everything. Hugs, Lucy

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Hey, Lucy. I chickened out again. Will have to work on this permission to take a break thing. Also, I seem to have a real need to write and then post each week. Kinda like I need to brush my teeth in order to get on with my day. I hope you had an exciting 4th. Looking forward to Lunch Tuesday. Wonder how or where?


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