I haven’t written anything in a while. It seems I’ve bitten off more than I can chew right now in my life and I’m not finding the time. This isn’t uncommon that I overextend. I usually have stuff dribbling out the corners of my mouth. I hate saying no to things that might be fun because FOMO or YOLO or STUPID-O reasons. And then there are the things I HAVE to do, like work 40+ hours/week and help take care of the children, help manage a business, shower, etc.
The other day it occurred to me that the phrase “my kids are my whole life” kind of freaks me out. We say/hear that a lot from parents. Moms, especially. I’d rather that my kids are a huge part of my life (they will be, whether you’re up for that or not, that’s kinda how it works), but that I still have lots of my life that I’m nurturing, outside/in addition to my kids. It’s better for me to not have my WHOLE life devoted to their little wee highnesses, and it’s better for them. It’s better for our marriage, too. Also, someday my kids won’t need me to mom all over them anymore, and I need to have a real Sarah left to Sarah on.
I’m in a play right now. I couldn’t not go out for it. I knew it would blow out my already delicate life balance, but it’s Neil Simon and my part is just 1 act in a 3 act comedy so the rehearsal schedule is pretty light. It’s a great script, great director, great fellow actors who got cast. I got the part and was thrilled and flattered! Then I read the whole script and realized that, not only is there a bunch of smooching and canoodling (which is a problem because it’s a love scene and I have the maturity of a 5th grade boy) but it’s also a 40 minute dialogue between 2 people. One of them, me. You probably picked that up.
So I have to memorize a lot of lines. Now, my memory used to be pretty decent. I actually tried to be a theater major in undergrad. I did plays and Forensics speech competitions all the time. I auditioned for tons of shows with my big, long, memorized monologues with the worst of them. Then, when I failed at theater, I went on to get an undergrad in social work, where to pass those tests, I had to memorize law and psychosocial measures and stuff, then I went to PA school and memorized chart after chart of drugs and side effects and pathogens and all the nerves of the Brachial Plexus.
Then I had kids and got old. Now my head is stuffed from ear hole to ear hole (what are those things called?) with heavy cotton balls that don’t actually absorb anything because they’re already saturated with loud kid noises and useless snotty garbage. I remember the McDonald’s song from the ’80s. I do remember that. I remember too many Celine Dion lyrics, but never accurately or for an entire song. I cannot tell you anything about any presidents but I remember all the details of Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thorton’s relationship. Now I don’t remember ANY of the nerves in the brachial plexus, but I do remember that one time, 19 years ago when Robb was rude, that one time, in vivid detail.
My point is, new information is real iffy whether or not it’s going to stay inside. It has to somehow find a cotton ball that isn’t already plugged up with the impact of being in the center of 3 simultaneous conversations with my loving family members or with Kardashian kontent. I’m terrified that I CAN’T memorize the lines for this play and that I’ll freeze on stage and screw my scene partner (which we sort of are during the scene tee hee tee hee tee hee can’t stop tee hee tee hee hee). It’s over a month out and I’m already having nightmares.
But this is what I want, right? This is me doing scary, brave things to maintain my growth as a person, to not get stagnant in one grownup spot like lame moss on a dumb log. This is me maintaining my me and not ‘just’ being a mom. Me, trying to prove to myself and others(?) that moms can still be fully fleshed people with hobbies and shit. That kissing strangers on stage is a totally normal thing for a 35 year-old married lady with kids to do.
Big Mac, McBLT, a Quarter Pounder with some Cheese, Filet o’ fish, a Hamburger, a Cheeseburger…
No problem. I got this. Where are my keys?