Author: Sara Crosby

Here’s the thing…”You are an essential worker.You aren’t better than everyone else.”

The words “essential workers” are beginning to take on an entitled mentality. Recently, on a messaging board , someone responded to a post (after venting about how important they are) with the following statement “This “Stay at home” order is limited for us as we are very busy with working as essential workers…”. Yes, I read this as “how dare you mention anything we are doing right now! Don’t you know how important we are because we are essential workers?!”. Let’s take a moment here to make something very clear….. you are an essential worker NOT an essential person. No one and I repeat NO ONE, is above anyone else. We are now about four sentences into this article so this is the point where some will get upset, begin yelling and take to furiously typing comments to me about the ridiculousness of my opinion. So, while they take to working on that, I will explain to everyone else who is continuing to read. 

Everyone in this world has a role and a purpose. No one is spared in these two elements of the human race. We are all in this world together and we all have a part in this “made for tv movie” that we call, life. As with all things in life some parts are more appealing, more fun, more luxurious; while others are harder, behind the scenes, unappealing and more devastating.  However; none of these parts we are given to play make us a better person because we are all made of the same elements that have simply been put together in different formats. These different formats do not make us better than the next person, they only make us different from one another. Let me stop here a minute to clarify something for everyone. This word “different” is not a four letter word. It is a a word that adequately describes the human race. It is ok to be different, hell it should be celebrated. Without differences we would be boring under achievers who never strive for anything outside of our comfort zones (which our comfort zones would all be the same because we would all be the same…hold on while I stifle my yawn of what that world would look like). Can we all stop being petulant children and yelling at one another for using that word now?  Great, thanks, lets move on. 

These different formats that we are made up of create our personalities, our characters and who we truly are. What they do not do, is create what we do for a living. This is where we seem to have taken a wrong turn and misinformed ourselves. Our jobs come to us in a variety of ways. Whether it be out of surviving, an admiration for what someone did before us,  a desire to make the world a better place or simply because another option didn’t present itself. Whatever the case may be, what we do for a living does not define who we are as a person. It is a PART of who we are, it is not the WHOLE of who we are. We do our jobs because of four very fundamental reasons. One; it provides for monetary survival and comfort. Two; it keeps us mentally functioning in a different capacity. Three; it is a physical task that ensures we have something to do/or to go to every day. Four; it is something that makes us feel better about ourselves. That is it, this is why we work every day, day in and day out. None of these reasons some how transform us into being above everyone else. Making more money, saving more lives or making the world a better place is a benefit of our job, it is not an entitlement that some show elevates us as better than others. I’ll repeat it one more time; giving back to others is a wonderful feeling, having money to survive without scraping by is amazing and saving lives is always going to be a rush, but ….. 

It. Does. Not. Make. You. Better. Than. Someone. Else.   

You may have better opportunities, better people around you, better life choices, better upbringings, better neighborhoods, better educations and better relationships that give you a better or more comfortable life. How great for you! Enjoy it, revel in it but stop thinking it somehow entitles you to be above everyone else. The current world we live in is being defined as essential and non essential workers. Ever notice that no one says “they are an essential person” they always say “they are an essential worker”? This is because there is a current need to categorize jobs to ensure that the core needs of our society can be met by the minimal amount of workers needed to meet it. It is a categorical way of working through any given crisis…that is it, nothing. more. It is not a new way to define that you are better than someone else or that you are above the law in a way that no one else is. Of all the times in history, this is not the time to assert yourself over others. This is the time to join in with the rest of society in the ideal of “you do your part, I’ll do mine and together we will get through this”. Dividing ourselves and categorizing ourselves as more important than others is only going to make getting through this crisis harder. The last thing we need right now is for the world to be harder, we are all barely holding on as it is. So, I ask you…

Can we live by grace, not entitlement? 

So, I was thinking … stay home, save lives, lose our minds. The surprising mental clarity that proved me wrong.

Easter Sunday was by far one of the best days that I have experienced in a while. I cannot believe I am saying this during the days of lockdowns and a global pandemic (clearly I am losing my mind…).Not only have has life been flipped completely upside down but our mental state of minds have been placed on some kind of Alice And Wonderland never ending roller coaster. So, to have a good day during all of this can be considered nothing short of a miracle (or a mental break down…you decide). Regardless, this led me to wonder, why? Why was this day so great? Why was I feeling so good about life, even though I hadn’t even had anything to drink yet?

In the true fashion that is me, I analyzed and analyzed and yes, analyzed again. I have this tendency that when things are going well, I must obsess over the why and how. It’s all in a vein attempt to duplicate whatever I did so that I can avoid ever having a bad day again, makes complete sense, right? Totally… but I digress. Usually this behavior leads me absolutely no where, while (bonus!) also allowing me to miss out on the good thats going on. What a completely healthy way to operate, you might be thinking to yourself but stick with me here. On this particular occasion my obsessing actually gave me a viable answer that damn near knocked me over.

I was. Simply. In. The. Moment. Let me repeat that for you, my analyzing and obsessing over my behavior led me to realize that I was enjoying my day because I was in the moment. Can you feel the irony here? People often speak to “being in the moment” and I always thought it was absurd because; of course we are in the moment, we are THERE. I have since realized I can truly be an idiot. We are rarely THERE in our lives. We are physically there, in a place, at a given time. But we are rarely actually there, giving our life the undivided attention it deserves. On this Easter Sunday (pandemic edition), something inside my brain clicked off and decided “let’s actually go all in with our life today, ok?”. Everything I did, listened to and watched had my full and undivided attention. Even interruptions garnered all of my attention. I took them in stride, fully stood within them and never once had the same conversation with myself that goes something like “for the love of all that is holy why must you interrupt me when I literally just sat down to have 5 minutes of alone time?!!”.

Even more amazing was the moment I found myself in the kitchen setting out to cook the annual Easter feast for my family (there were only three of us but that wasn’t going to stop me)and I found myself looking forward to the task. Let me step back here a moment to say I am not one that lives for the joy of cooking. I am more of a, pour a glass of wine for the cook (and myself) while providing witty banter and conversation as the meal is prepared, kind of person. Yet, on this occasion there was no feeling of being chained to the kitchen or visions of relaxing in the sunroom with the cool wind blowing through the windows while I binge watched a great show. No. Instead I thought of what I was cooking, what was the next step, is there a better day to do this, what would Julia Child do?? How did Julia Child make everything seem so easy? I love that movie Julie & Julia and oh man I love Stanley Tucci. Ok, so my mind does tend to wander but at least I was still on subject. My point (yes I have one) is that even during a task that is not my favorite thing to do, I was there. I was fully present in the moment of what I was doing and the outcome was unbelievable. I actually felt calm, at ease and as though I was doing exactly what I was meant to be doing at exactly that moment. Mind Blown.

After that I realized that this… this state of being is one of the big lessons that we should be taking away from this global pandemic. Instead of focusing on how things were, lets focus on how they are and how we truly want them to be when this crisis has calmed. We mustn’t return to running through our lives checking everything off on a never ending to do list. We need to heed this lesson and be present in the life we are living no matter how mundane they might be. In doing this we will prioritize our lives and even better; our mental well being. Now go… Be present in your life because it’s one thats truly worth living.

View at Medium.com

Here’s the thing.. “College Should Be A Four Letter Word”

Damn. Shit. Fuck. These are all words that I could use instead of the word “college”. As these are the words I muttered to myself a lot over the last 3 days, when realizing that “college” and my kiddo leaving is actually, for reals, happening. This is not something far off that I can deal with later, this asshole (college) just looked me right in the face and said “I’m going to be the the reason your son leaves your house for at least the next four years. Cheers!”.

Smug Bastard.

I just returned from a true college visit with my son. He has been “tagged” by a college for a sport that he’s played for quite a few years now (yay!) and they wanted him to come out and stay with the team for a few days in the dorms. They wanted to ensure that he meshed well with everyone so that it was the right place for him and vice versa. What a great way to get a glimpse into college right?! What an amazing experience for him!

I cried. Like, a lot.

The moment I dropped him off with the team and went back to the hotel room. I sobbed. I sobbed some more. Then, yes you guessed it, I sobbed a little more. I texted my poor husband, who couldn’t come with us, and bless this man for putting up with my madness. He listened, he sympathized (he suggested perhaps a glass of wine might be nice) and he did his best to talk me down even though he was hundreds of miles away. Side note; I regularly wonder how men (my husband in particular) are not more screwed up when dealing with the varying emotions of women? But, I digress.

I felt as though someone just kicked me in the gut and then said “alright, you’re fine keep walking”. I also felt like I was losing my mind because who cries and sobs when they leave their kiddo with a team of grown ass men who are interested in becoming part of his new family for the next four years?! Ok, I just re-read that and I think I answered my own question there. I was NOT consulted on who could come into my sons world and be his family when I am not there, so therefore, I am not ok with this.

But, I have to be. I truly have no choice. I can have an opinion and ask questions but it is ultimately not my decision. Its my son’s, to make. This is his life and his next four years, not mine and sadly, I have not been invited to this part of his journey. Lets, just take a second and talk about this part. Why can’t Mom’s go to college with their kiddos? I mean is it really such a bad and “weird” thing to do? What college kid wouldn’t want his Mom right beside him when he comes home from a long day of classes, to ask him how his day was, feed him a snack and do his laundry?! I am obviously kidding …. sort of. I suppose I could ask my son to take his brilliant mind, tell it to shut up and become a recluse in our home for the entirety of his life?! Ok, we’ll call that “Plan B”.

In all honesty, there is a large portion of me that is incredibly excited to be a witness to this next stage of my sons life. It is truly an amazing gift that we as parents get, to be a witness to someone else’s life. I just wish that it didn’t have to be done hundreds of miles away from me.

Which is why college shall here forth be referred to as that “damn shit bastard”, not only does it make for good conversation it gives me a little sense of joy and laughter when I say it out loud. And the one thing that EVERY parent going through this needs is, a little sense of joy and laughter while we deal with the four letter word “college” aka “damn shit bastard”.

View at Medium.com

My So Called Adult Life……

Remember that show back in the 90’s called “My So Called Life”, that was based around a teenage girl and all the angst and emotions that came with being a teenage girl? I use to love that show and feel like the main character, really got me and made me feel like maybe I wasn’t an oddball after all. When I progressed through those teenage years, I cannot describe the relief I felt in thinking “thank God I don’t have to go through that again. That was hell”.

This is where God actually sat back and took a nice hearty laugh at my expense while he knew just what was about to come down the road a mere 2 years out of my teens.

That hilarious punk (yes God, he’s cool that I call him a punk, it’s a term of endearment I use) gave me and my husband the biggest surprise of my life. A surprise that was touted as “99% effective so you don’t need to worry at all!”. Well, that .000001% chance that any effective birth control can’t give you, is our son. God looked at me and said “You thought the hardest was behind you (insert that hearty laugh here) …. I am going to give you the greatest, most emotionally charged, terrifying thrill ride of your life.

Motherhood.

(aka, the scariest hood you’ll ever go through).

With that I entered what I call “My So Called Adult Life” as I ventured into this hood at the ripe age of 21 and had not even begun to grow up my self. My son and I have grown up together, he’s taught me lessons that no one else could have ever done and in this time he’s become one of my best friends.

There are countless books, blogs, tv shows, magazines, websites, social media accounts, cartoons, you name it; based on Motherhood and that madness that comes with it. However, you never fully understand it until you are in it and it’s completely different in so many ways based on you and your child AND it changes constantly.

Lets just be honest; if someone listed Motherhood in the manner of a job title (with no pay), I don’t think anyone would apply. I envision it would read a little something like this;

WANTED: Applicant for fast paced growing individual who seeks all manner of help in daily life. Including but not limited to cleaning, feeding and bathing. Must be able to be an advocate against the world, lead all social interactions and engagements. Continual scheduling for all travel, appointments, school forms, extra curricular activities and health needs is a must. Work will consist of caring for individual in times of health and sickness regardless of the hour; this includes staying up late to ensure said individual arrives home safely after you’ve performed 16 years of work on the job. Job will change at a moments notice and on a revolving basis. Must be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all holidays and no pay. Applicant will work on a volunteer basis and must fund any and all financial obligations. Benefits include hugs, snuggles, laughter and being needed and benefits will decrease or increase in varying ways without notice.

See what I’m saying? No sane person would apply for that. Especially because what they don’t tell you in the ad is that at the end of 17 years you will be forced into retirement. You will be asked to step down from your current position and let said individual take another position as an intern for the company of “The Real World” (not the television show, just to clarify) and you have no say in this. Hugs and snuggles will decrease drastically over the latter years and you will surely become an annoyance to them 90% of the time.

You will watch your child take flight in the real world and start their own life and adventures.

Without.

You.

I will pause while you cry, like I did, when I just wrote that.

Being a mother who is preparing their child for their last year at home, is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life and I am only 4 months into it. Someone forgot to tell me about this part of Motherhood. I say “forgot”, but I really think everyone just chooses not to acknowledge the fact that you are about to go through the most emotionally charged stage of both you and your child’s life thus far.

Since I am not coping with this all particularly well, I thought “lets write about it and send it out into cyberspace, in the off chance that someone else who is embarking or about to embark on the hardest part of Motherhood; can feel like they are not alone.” Because, you aren’t. I am not, so you clearly can’t be either.

Over the next 9 months (ironic) you will get to embark with me on what going through this really looks like and just how hard (but maybe great too?) this all will be. There will be tears. There will be fits of anger. There will most definitely be cursing and wine drinking. Most importantly; there will be a new adventure beginning ……

Welcome to “My So Called Adult Life”.