Author: Sara Crosby

June 7th

Fair warning, my latest posts are not light hearted and funny as I usually am. I am going through shit and this is me processing it. It’ll have its good moments but it will have it’s damn this sucks moments too. This is life and its messy. Give me a little time and I will return to my regular programming…..

There is nothing worse than living a life that is not true to who you are. Yesterday, I spoke with a friend whom I both cherish and admire about the angst I have been feeling. This is a woman that gets up to see the beauty of a sunrise while doing yoga on a lake and who ends up reflooring her home gym because, she doesn’t like the way it looks, before sundown. She has made it her mission to live the life that SHE wants to live, not the life that others thinks she should be living. Not her children, not her spouse, not her friends, not her family, not her community, No One. How can you not admire that? She said something to me yesterday that really struck a chord with how I have mot been living a life thats true to who I am… she said “no one wants to discuss what is really going on with them or how their life is really going because it would shatter the illusion that everything is perfect”. Damn. When did perfection become the goal of life and when did I allow it to become the goal of mine?

Don’t get me wrong, perfectly mowed grass lines, photo galleries that are perfectly level, well balanced architecture, striped shirts…these all make my little type A heart do flips. But what she is talking about is the perfection of not having a bad day, not having feelings, not going through a rough patch, not having it all together and most importantly not leaning on others when any of this happens. This last part is what is currently baffling me. I am an outward processor (also a phrase that my admiring friend uses) that cannot hold feelings down or move on to another situation without figuring out what is going on. This is usually where a good group of friends come in. You talk, you drink, you sympathize, you eat and maybe you drink a little more but when all is said and done you feel better. Your cup is full and you are ready to take on another day. For the first time in my life, I thought I had found a small tribe that I would be able to do this with. Turns out, they don’t want to shatter the illusion of perfection and good times. Damn again. While I am a little heart broken by this, a lesson has been learned, perfection is not my goal. I have come to realize that I was trying to live a life to fit in with others and that is just simply not who I am. The imperfections of deep conversations, heart to heart connections, quiet stillness, loud clambering children, long walks outdoors, laughter over drinks, gathering around food, crying in comforting arms and lazy days in the rain are what I am after. None of this can be forced or planned it just simply, happens. I am ready to live MY life the way that I want to live it and to hell with the illusion of perfection being shattered. Life is messy but to me, that’s what makes it worth living.

June 6th 2020

Fair warning, my latest posts are not light hearted and funny as I usually am. I am going through shit and this is me processing it. It’ll have its good moments but it will have it’s damn this sucks moments too. This is life and its messy. Give me a little time and I will return to my regular programming…..

Went out last night for drinks, food and fun to celebrate a friends birthday. We drank, we chatted, we played games and ate great food. We snuck out of the party to get to our son who really needed some family time to talk some things out that had gone on over the course of the evening. We call this an Irish Goodbye, where you leave the party without saying goodbye because you don’t want to cause a scene. While I left the party concerned over how our son was being treated by others (aka, pissed as hell) I ended up feeling lighter than I have in a while. Our family walked throughout our neighborhood with beers in hand having one of those conversations that help steer your perspectives back in the right direction and giving you validation that you are wonderful, just as you are. These conversations with my boys are the heart and soul of who I am. They give me the fuel that I need to keep carrying on at the times that I want to rally against the world the most.

May 26th 2020

My son is trying to kill me…….. somewhere in the recess of his mind he thinks that his older mother can keep up with a D1 athletes workout regimen, where did I go wrong?  He forced me to workout with him, which means I nearly died. 85 degree heat with 63 percent humidity only cemented the fact that he was trying to kill me. He made me run. That’s right R-U-N. I only run if something or someone is chasing me. I am not a pleasure runner, there is nothing about those two words together that make sense to me. When I hear that someone loves running and can’t imagine a day without it, I look at them as though they just spoke greek and expect me to lapse into the language. I don’t get it. I have never had the supposed “runners high” that long time runners get, I was once told “just wait sometimes it takes awhile, then you get a runners high and you can’t stop”. Look, if I didn’t get it after six years of running in the military, it ain’t happening.  I am beginning to believe that this supposed runners high doesn’t actually exist but is just hype that runners came up with to try and get the rest of us to suffer with them; you’re not fooling me, I am on to your scheme.  But I digress… basically my son made me run and I spent fifteen minutes after we were done, grilling him about why he is trying to kill me, To be completely honest the grilling session lasted longer than fifteen minutes because I was trying to breath in between accusations I was throwing at him. His only reply was “I am actually trying to make you live longer, because I love you”…yeah right, like that’s a viable reason.

Ended my day sending a text message worrying about feeling left out in a group of friends I have, to the wrong person. Before you ask, yes, I sent the text message to a friend in the group I was worrying about. Sigh. The beauty of this error is that my friend responded in the way that only she can. Her text read ” stop worrying so much! Don’t worry be happy!” As an expert level worrier, this surprisingly made me laugh out loud (lol for you millennials out there) and actually stop worrying. About that particular falsely made up issue anyway. On to the next….. These imagined issues don’t worry about themselves, people.

May 24th 2020

I am a 38 year old wife and mother to a son who is leaving for college. He is my only child. This means I am about to be an empty nester before I turn 40. 4-0! What the hell am I supposed to do now? I have spent the last 17 years as a stay at home, sometimes working, mother. My biggest priority and job was to take care of our son and help him achieve his goals. His goals were lofty and ambitious which means the job was relentless and took everything I had to help him. Brilliant person that he is, he knocked his goals out of the park. He’s going to play D1 rugby and attend a prestigious honors college. It’s going to be a truly amazing adventure for him that I can’t wait to watch him take (no seriously, I am really excited for him). I don’t want to sound selfish but here’s my issue….. what do I do now? I literally have no clue what is next. Which is both exciting and terrifying (that should be the tag line for mother hood if we are being honest). The fun part is that you get to come along with me while I clumsely navigate my way through this next stage of my life. The one thing I do know is that it is going to be emotional  it’s going to get weird and it’s gonna be one hell of a ride.

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”.