My Epiphanies While Nearing 40

About a month ago, my friend and fellow blog grouper Melissa (Merrylandgirl) blogged about an article she’d read re: the epiphanies  one should have by the time they’re 40. I loved Melissa’s answers, her take on things. I loved the article, too.  I politely asked if I could “borrow” the premise of her post, and being the sweetheart she is, she said she was totally fine with that.

I’d like to present my own epiphanies, a few short years before the big 4-0.

You are not a role. I tried very hard to find where I “fit in”, especially with motherhood. The article mentions many different types of personas, like the low (or high) maintenance woman, a cool girl, laid back mom, tiger mom, etc. I really wanted to be someone who could maintain her coolness while being the best, most kick ass parent on the planet! With time and clarity, I’ve accepted that I’m doing the best I can. Some days I feel like I’m pretty kick ass. Other times, I know I could have handled things differently, better. I’m just me, and while I want to be a role model for my kids, I don’t feel I have to play a particular role in order to achieve that. It’s too much pressure!


Your weight is probably your weight. This is a tough one for me. I was 30+ pounds heavier before having children. I lost the 30+ pounds, maintaining a nice, healthy weight for several years, but the move to Arizona brought on a few extra pounds. I’m sure it’s all related to the move, adjusting to my new life, my new surroundings. I’m making a conscious effort to get back to my healthy weight, but I don’t feel the need to try to achieve the weight I had in high school or anything extreme like that, or compare myself to others. I’m comfortable with being, and living, a healthy, active lifestyle, for me.

95% of what other people do has nothing to do with you. So true! I used to worry about what others thought of me, if they were angry, annoyed, frustrated. The truth is, most people are living their own lives, doing their own thing, just like I am. They aren’t thinking about me, or what I’m doing, especially those who think less of me. I can think of a few people from my past who do. Their perception of who I am may not ever change, even with time. And really, who cares? If they are wasting time lamenting over me, that’s their choice, not mine.

Your body is for you. My husband would argue this one… and, he has a point. The only people who will ever see me naked- him, and me. Clothes on, I want to look nice on occasion, considering I don’t get to go all out very often and dress up like a woman. But, I don’t need to turn heads, unless it’s my husband’s.

There’s no “the one”. I’ve been down this road many times in my life, where I thought I would be with someone forever, only that wasn’t the case. Maybe it was my fault, or theirs, or we both damaged the relationship beyond repair.  That doesn’t mean I never loved the person, never cared about them. It only means in the end, we couldn’t make it work. I can honestly say I’m with “the one” for me, now, because he gets me, more than anyone else ever has. He gets me, and he’s still cool with me. Even with all of my annoying qualities.


You can get a lot of joy out of being ordinary. I don’t think of anyone as ordinary. We all have special gifts and talents, something amazing to offer the world. Even if those gifts are deemed as “ordinary”. Instead of being ordinary, I’d like to re-phrase that. How about, you can get a lot of joy out of doing ordinary things?

The people who show up are your real friends. That’s not true. Something I’ve learned the older I get, is that life throws us all a load. That could be work, kids, hobbies and interests. Sometimes, we can’t always be there, even when we want to be. There have been times I’ve had to cancel due to sick kids. Or, I’ve had friends who are swamped and haven’t been able to spend time with me. Even your real friends need a pass from time to time. If it gets to be a habit, though, where they never seem to have time for you or always cancel when you’ve made plans, there are deeper issues at work. I try to cut people some slack, though.

Oh, and another thing… I’ve cultivated some pretty spectacular friendships online, something I thought I’d never do. Some I’ve never even met in person. While I’m sure they’d love to hop a plane and see me, I know that’s not always an option. Support can be given in more ways than one, even if you can’t be there in physical form.

There’s no algorithm that guarantees a perfect kid. We always try, though, don’t we? To do all we can to ensure our kids turn out happy, well-adjusted. There’s no tried and true method to achieve this! I work on fostering balance for my kids. I limit screen time, as best I can, but I don’t freak out if they’ve gone over the time I’ve allotted them. As long as they are outdoors or engaging in other activities, have some free play time, I’m happy. Last night, my 10-year old played Sudoku, while the 5-year old requested we play the board game, Life! They made those choices on their own, without me trying to dictate to them on how they should spend their evening. I think most kids want balance, anyway.

Friendships are fluid. I agree. It’s the old adage, “friend for a reason, a season, or a lifetime”. Sometimes it’s the circumstance you’re in, a coworker, maybe. Or, you’re going through something and the person you’re spending time with is helping you through it. Then, you may have a friendship that’s been around for many years, forever standing the test of time. I’ve experienced all three scenarios, and it’s alright.

We’re not hiding anything. I did this a lot, growing up. I didn’t want people to see inside the chaos, so I put on the happiest of faces. It’s hard to do that with my children. They are very intuitive. I’m so much more honest and open now, emotionally, since having my children, then I’ve ever been in my entire life.

How about you? Care to share some of your own epiphanies?


Book Review: Post-Traumatic Brazilian Wax Syndrome, by Tamara Lyon

Reviewed for Chick Lit Central

Bristow Sparks is on the fast track, professionally. Having recently landed the interior designing gig of a lifetime, working for the famous (or should that be infamous) reality tv star Cherry Wyeland, she’s ready to commit to the heavy demands and long hours required of her. It’s not like Bristow has any other commitments to tend to, anyway. She’s declared herself a shut-in after her last torturous relationship. The best things in life are Oreos, sweat pants, and her beloved dog, Vegas.

Until Bristow finds herself magnetically pulled to the man who’s always wearing his bike helmet in their spin class at the gym. She loves watching him, and finds herself fantasizing about him. When Bike Helmet a.k.a Jack Hoffmann invites Bristow out on a date, which turns into an epic disaster, she’s wondering if there’s any hope for her romantic life. It doesn’t help matters when Cherry starts dating Bristow’s ex, reopening the old wounds she’s tried really hard to keep hidden and forget.

Post-Traumatic Brazilian Wax Syndrome begs the question: Will you step outside of your comfort zone? It’s the theme for Bristow, who even through past pains and awkward, strange situations has decided to let loose a little, and learn to trust again. Along for the ride are her insane family members, who end up putting her into some ridiculous situations that made me shake my head and want to throttle a few of them. If only Jack were on Bristow’s side, and would look at her as more than just a friend. Or, maybe he already does, and she just doesn’t see it?

“Post-Traumatic” was cleverly written and a serious page-turner. Tamara Lyon created interesting and unique characters who burrow deep into your psyche, the kind who you’ll remember for a lifetime and won’t want to let go of!

Book Review: Jennifer Scott’s Second Chance Friends

Review for Chick Lit Central

Jennifer Scott is a magnificent storyteller. She weaved the lives and stories of four very different women, each going through their own turmoil, into a delicate, intricate web of honesty and empowerment. It was interesting to learn about Karen, Melinda, Joanna and Maddie, women who might be the next door neighbor, or someone you’ve run into before a time or two and didn’t realize just how much they become a part of your life, and your own story. The women never intended to become friends, but perilous circumstances thrust them into something that ends up becoming all encompassing.

For me, character evolvement is an important attribute. Second Chance Friends doesn’t disappoint. No one is two dimensional and each woman lends into the other. There were moments where I was worried about the women, as though they were real-life people! In a way, I felt I was another character in this circle of women, and that’s what I enjoyed most from this novel. I felt apart of something important. I witnessed how good human nature can be when given the chance, and I really appreciated that. In a time where it feels more acceptable to wallow in negativity, it was refreshing to engage in positivity.

There will be many ups and downs throughout “Friends,” at times stressful, other times cathartic. I even got a little emotional a time or two, which is unusual for me when I’m reading. That’s a true testament to how well this story was written. It’s one I know I’ll never forget. I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a dose of realism, and believes in never giving up on your fellow neighbor, even in times of strife. A great read!

Quiet Time.

If you’ve been with me for a few years, you know I’m in good company on Thursdays. Check out this fantastic group of ladies,  giving insight on various topics.  After reading my post, click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

Last week, I saw this in my Facebook news feed:


It was posted by Laura Chapman,  an author I follow. I’ve read most of her books, reviewing them (and enjoying them) for Chick Lit Central. She’s been posting a lot of motivational writing quotes lately, the kind that makes you feel inspired.

When I saw this one in particular, it filled me to the brim with longing. There have only been a handful of times I’ve spent in a cafe, well, a Panera Bread, does that count? Sitting with a hot cup of cocoa, plugged in with my laptop, writing. When Melissa gave her topic choice for this week: Idealize what would be the ultimate “best time ever” for you. (Time and money are not an issue.), I thought of the quote Laura posted. How really, spending some quiet time, alone, writing, would be my idea of the best time ever.

I’d see my children off to school, like I always do. Kiss my husband goodbye, wish him well with his day. Pack up the laptop, making a conscious effort to remember the charger, because otherwise, I’m screwed. Since this is my “best time ever”, I’ve already magically squeezed in a shower and my house isn’t a cluttered, chaotic mess.

I don’t care where I go. I don’t even know where anything is out here, by me. I’m still feeling my way around the part of town I live in. I’m sure I’ll find something, even a Starbucks would be sufficient. Some place where I can sit and write, hot drink in hand, for a few hours. Or more.

The thing is, I’m rarely alone. Definitely not while writing. Half the time I’m hastily typing while my kids are watching something on t.v. Or I’ve convinced them to play a game, which usually lasts for ten minutes or so. There’s constant chatter, interruptions, no one knows where anything is, so they need mom to find it for them. I’m surprised I get any writing done at all, really.

And when I do write at home, I often feel guilt. Like I’m not doing the other million things I need to do, the stuff that’s lined up on my to-do list. Not to mention not spending quality time with my kids. Which I know is stupid, considering how much time we spend together daily. I know I’m a great mom, but I still feel the guilt.

In my “best time ever” scenario, there is no guilt, only creativity. My children are well, everyone is happy. My oldest boy enjoys writing short stories. Maybe he’d come along and join me in my cafe excursions.  It can be something special we share together.

Another quote:


Totally true. Someday, I will figure out how to balance the loves of my life, so I can live my “best time ever”, every single day.


Book Review: Dandelions on the Road, by Brooke Williams

Review for Chick Lit Central

Twelve men…one woman…plenty of dandelions. Eva Merida has her life in order. She loves her job at the Furry Friends Rescue League and has a loving, supportive family. But she’s still missing that one special person to stand by her side. When she comes in third place on the local TV version of “The Bachelor,” entitled Accept this Dandelion, she nearly loses all hope for romance. Fortunately, the TV station decides to do a second season of the dating show…and they name Eva as the Bachelorette! With a plethora of dating mishaps recorded for TV, Eva finds herself falling for several men at once…including the show’s host. Will she find love at last or simply embarrass herself in front of the entire city? (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Brooke Williams has done it again!

As I’d mentioned in my review of Accept this Dandelion, the first book in the “Dandelion” series, I’m a closeted Bachelor and Bachelorette fan. I thrive on the drama and chaos that often happens on the show, which should come as no surprise. Finding love can often be a roller coaster. I could feel the emotional ride that Eva has found herself on, as the new Bachelorette in Dandelions on the Road. There are so many men to choose from!

While Eva searches for her one true love, the contestants and crew from the show travel the midwest, through Nebraska and into Iowa. I recently moved from Nebraska after living there for fourteen years, so reading about their adventures at Mahoney State Park, or spending the day at Adventureland was like journeying back home in a sense. Even if you’ve never been to the midwest, “Dandelions” is so well-written and descriptive, you feel as though you’re right there with Eva and with the various men who are vying for her attention and affection.

Eva finds herself in a conundrum, as so many of us do when we’re seeking love. While she feels herself falling head over heels for a few of the contestants, the show’s host has also found his way into her heart. Only, he hasn’t proven to her that he feels the same, or that he’s even interested. He’s all work, very professional, not someone she can see herself involved with, yet there’s something about him… she can’t get him out of her head! But, she can’t get the other men out of her head, either.

I loved Dandelions on the Road from start to finish, and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and charming escape. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out Accept this Dandelion, as well. In the meantime, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next book in this series, After the Final Dandelion. I can’t wait to see what Brooke has in store for us!

Friendship. Certain Restrictions Apply.

If you’ve been with me for a few years, you know I’m in good company on Thursdays. Check out this fantastic group of ladies,  giving insight on various topics.  After reading my post, click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

Shortly after moving to Arizona, I met a woman in the school supply section at the Target closest to my neighborhood. She was searching for multi-colored file folders, like me. We discovered that our children were both entering the same grade. We also found out we were neighbors, practically.

We talked for a while. I found out she’s vegan. She wouldn’t be caught dead shopping anywhere other than a Whole Foods or Sprouts. (she eats nothing but organic, and her children do, too) When I mentioned the tough time I had searching for a preschool for my youngest son, she recommended a place that she felt wasn’t “too expensive”, at $350/month. She also filled me in on the gossip and drama going on in my neighborhood.

She was pleasant. Friendly. Part of the mom crowd at the school. Our kids are even in the same class! Only, I wasn’t feeling it. I knew when we said our goodbye’s at Target, it would be a goodbye for good.

I’ve been struggling a ton within my friendships. I let go of a few. A few have let me go, too. It’s been a rocky, painful year. I’ve felt this huge shift in my life, and the move to Arizona only opened the gap wider. For the first time in a long time, I feel lonely. A little lost. It’s been a huge transition, more than I could have ever imagined.

I didn’t feel a connection with the Target lady. It wasn’t her all-inclusive organic ways or that she’s vegan. Or that her price point is a little higher than mine. I don’t mind our differences. What bothered me was the gossip and drama surrounding Target lady. She reminded me of some of the behaviors I chose to distance myself from when I moved to Arizona. I knew by joining forces with Target lady, I’d fall right back into that type of friendship. The kind where you’re always questioning someone’s loyalty. If they can so easily speak such harsh words about someone else behind their back, what are they saying about you when you’re not around?

The Sara from her younger years wouldn’t have cared. I was never discriminatory. I didn’t have any set standards for what I was looking for in a friend, because I never related friendships to actual relationships. Relationships take work, like dating someone, having a boyfriend. Friendships just happen and everything falls into place, right?

With age comes wisdom. I’m more guarded now. Choosier. I have certain criteria, conditions if you will, which led me to the blog topic for this week: Is there anything in your life you’d consider to be conditional?

I want to invest in healthy relationships with people. It doesn’t mean the person has to be “normal” (not that anyone has a real gauge for what normal is, anyway) or have a personality just like mine. That would be boring. Being healthy means our friendship isn’t a toxic one. That neither of us feel stifled. We’re not continually disrespecting one another. That we can communicate honestly. We don’t use manipulation or passive-aggressive behaviors to win some invisible battle. We don’t create massive amounts of drama. Where neither of us feel like door mats.

While I’m looking for these conditions in a friendship, I’m also trying to practice what I preach by continually working on cultivating those conditions within the friendships I have. I mean, let’s face it. I’m far from perfect, and haven’t always been a good friend, either. In finding out what I need in my own friendships, it’s helped me to work on being a better friend to others, too.

In a way, I feel as though I’m friend dating! Meeting new people, seeing if we’re a good fit for one another. I’m a self-professed people collector, so that’s no surprise to me. I’ve always held my friendships in high regard, like family. Never wanting to let anyone go. But now I’m tightening the belt straps a little. I don’t need to have a plethora of friendships in my life. What I need is to surround myself with healthy friendships, even if that means my quota dwindles. It’s not about the number of friends you have, it’s the quality of life they bring to the table, and what you bring to theirs.


It’s Hard For Me To Say I’m Sorry

If you’ve been with me for a few years, you know I’m in good company on Thursdays. Check out this fantastic group of ladies,  giving insight on various topics.  After reading my post, click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, Denise asked us to write about a time music touched our very souls.

I’ve been surrounded by music lovers for most of my life. My father loves to tell the story of a young Sara bopping to “Video Killed the Radio Star” when it first aired on MTV. I got my 80’s music fix from him. My mother loved the 80’s, too, although she’d often throw in a little 60’s or 70’s, dancing a little shimmy while we listened to Heart or Led Zeppelin. I listened to my first Pearl Jam song while visiting my favorite aunt, and my grandparents were all about the oldies but goodies, with a little old school country sprinkled in.

Music has propelled me through so much in my life, a staple. I remember listening to angsty angry songs while dealing with break-ups, or blissfully enjoying romantic tunes while falling in love, with everything in between. I’m one of those types who enjoys the lyrics the most. I have to know what the meaning behind the music is, the purpose. The reason. While music can often be a roller coaster of emotions tangled up within the lyrics, no song has ever hit me harder than “Hard to Say I’m Sorry/Get Away”, by Chicago.

I was just a child when I first heard it. I can still remember lying on the floor, in front of the big music player, the kind that had the record player on the very top, duel tape players and a radio underneath. It was towering over me, long glass doors holding a plethora of records and tapes. I could see my reflection when I’d lift my head up, peering in, looking at my somewhat distorted facial features.

The radio was on. I don’t know where my mother was. My father had moved out. I was a statistic, another kid in the divorce camp. That familiar piano intro began to play, and soon Peter Cetera’s voice took over, smooth and melodic.

I began to cry.

I still can’t pinpoint why this song made me cry. Whenever I try to focus on the reason, I’m flooded with bits and pieces of jagged memories from my youth. I have a feeling it centered around the divorce. Even at the age of six, I was listening to the lyrics. I understood that Peter was singing about a broken couple, and I’m sure I wanted nothing more than to have my broken parents back together again.

Wow. Even while writing this, I’m teary-eyed.

Whenever I’d hear this song, no matter where, I’d cry. It was a Pavlovian response. Usually by the first chorus, I was full on sobbing. My mother didn’t know how to deal with me. I think I can recall a time I visited my father, and he’d try to make me laugh and tickle me when the song was playing in the background, to get me to cheer up. I can remember laughing and crying all at the same time. By the time “Get Away” would start up (the song that immediately follows “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”) I was done. There were no more tears and I could carry on with my childhood like a normal kid.

I don’t remember when the crying subsided for good. Avoiding the song helped. When I’d hear the familiar tune, I’d change the station. I have a Chicago CD somewhere with all the greatest hits on it, but I never play that particular song. I’m sure I would do all right, but just thinking about it grabs me in a way no other song can. It’s like an old wound I’m rubbing salt into, little by little. A long-lost owie on my soul.





A Mom On The Run

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