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May 25, 2022

Episode 28: Pursuing Humor In Mid-Life and When Your Kid Goes To College with Sharon Brecher

Episode 28: Pursuing Humor In Mid-Life and When Your Kid Goes To College with Sharon Brecher

   Sharon L. Brecher is a mom-blogger, writer, illustrator, wife, and Miserable Mom. Her first book, Miserable Mom: The Do’s and Don’ts of Sending Your Kid to College, calls out the absurdities of this stage of motherhood with a wry sense of humor and a self-deprecating wink to her own place in the emotional merry-go-round.
   Sharon is a born and bred New Yorker, living in Southern California. She has raised two young adults (one in college and one recently out) and has an MA in Education. Sharon was the Educational Director of Futurekids and spent several years working as a consultant for companies like Disney Interactive and Disney Online, where she created educational content for kids and guides for parents.
   Upon an emotional return from dropping her oldest off at college for the first time, Sharon needed to process some unfamiliar and vulnerable feelings. With one kid out and one to go, mid-life was upon her. This new phase would require the honesty and humor she always internalized, to process life’s challenges. But this time Sharon needed to share with other moms out loud. So, she sat down at her computer and Miserable Moms was born.

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Transcript

Hi friends. This is Melissa. Welcome back to the pursuing uncomfortable podcast. There is a development I want to make sure you know about there's a blog that accompanies this podcast and it is found at Melissa Dot com forward slash blog, or just go to Melissa. Epcon. and.com and there's a button there that will take you over to the blog. On the blog. Each episode has its own entry and you can listen to that episode there, you can read the transcripts, but what's really exciting is at the bottom, you can leave a comment. You can ask questions. You can ask a question of me. You can leave a comment or you can ask a question. Of the guest. So let's make this a place where we can interact with each other and keep the conversation going.

Melissa:

Today. I am so thrilled to introduce you to Sharon Brecker. If you are in midlife and you are sending kids to college, or if you're a woman in midlife. And are experiencing those lovely symptoms that come along with midlife. Sharon is the person that's going to give you the comic relief you need. Sharon is hilarious. And i can't wait for you to meet her and learn more so let's jump in Good morning, Sharon it's morning out in Southern California. It's afternoon here, but welcome to the pursuing uncomfortable podcast.

Sharon:

Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be. Okay, it's going to be

Melissa:

fine. It is. And I want to confess up front. I am a little bit jealous. And when I say a little bit, I really mean more than a little bit like a lot jealous of your Southern California weather and the patterns for here. This is may and April lasted about 53 days and it was cold and rainy and windy the whole time. And then all of a sudden we were setting heat records over night. So, yeah, consistent, perfect temperature seems like a, the way to go.

Sharon:

Well, I'm sorry for, for, for what you're dealing with. Weather-wise for sure. Um, yeah, I, uh, I'm, uh, I'm originally from New York, so believe me, I get the, the crazy weather and the cold and you know, all of the stuff that comes along with actual weather, um, you know, it's kind of funny. Yeah. Where I am it's it tends to be pretty. Most days. So I can't really complain about the weather, so maybe I can package some and send it to you. That would be

Melissa:

fantastic for all of the listeners too. They could come back to you and you could send them a little note to there. That would be amazing. You're the best. So Sharon, you've let you, as you said, do you live out in Southern California? You have a couple of kids. One is out of college and another one is still finishing college. Can you tell us a little bit about your perfect treasures that you have?

Sharon:

Oh my God. Yeah. I mean, they're the best. Are you kidding? Um, they are, uh, one is, has finished college. Um, and one, as you said is, uh, still has another year to go after this one finishes up. He's finishing up his junior year. Um, they are. You know, they are the best. Um, I love them. They also make me completely crazy because, you know, they're my kids and I'm a parent and that's what parenting is all about. Right? It's about loving your kids more than anything in the world. And also knowing that they can make you absolutely crazy and that it makes life chaotic and interesting. Um, and challenging and all the things, um, and you wouldn't treat a second of any of it. And that's how I feel about my kids. I love them with all my heart.

Melissa:

Love it, but things really changed for you when you were ready to send your first one off to college.

Sharon:

Oh, yeah. So, um, that was a very challenging time for me. Um, because when you are used to having your children in your house and much of your life revolving around them and their needs and you know, what their activities are and what they're going to eat. You know, all the things, um, you know, testing for college, everything, um, that's, you know, what you think about constantly? And not that I don't think about them constantly now that they're in college, but when my oldest was getting ready to go to college and all of a sudden I realized she was no longer going to be living under my roof. Um, that was. Incredibly emotional. Uh, you know, I didn't know what I w I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what it was going to mean for her. I didn't know what it was going to mean for my son who was now going to be home with me and his dad and all of the attention thrust upon him. And you know, what it, what it was going to mean for me, what it was going to mean for my husband. I mean, there were just so many unknown, so she going to be happy. Was she going to remember. Well, the lessons that I spent, you know, and my husband spent teaching her about drugs and sex and studying and laundry and everything. It safety, everything that matters. Right. And, um, you know, I think. For me. And what often happens is this period of time coincides with midlife, which is so unfair because both of those on their own can be incredibly challenging. So having them happen at the same time is just really messed up as far as I'm concerned. But, but that's how it is. No one asked me

Melissa:

and I learned that you handled it just like everybody else. You wrote a bestselling book, created a website, reinvented yourself. Uh,

Sharon:

you know, I, I thank you for saying that. I think that everybody has to find a way that works for them to get through everything in life. Right? Whatever it is that affects you, you gotta figure out a way, how are you going to deal with it? And I knew that I just had. So much emotion. I had so much going on in my head. I so much that I thought about and that I worried about that I was excited about that I saw around me, my friends were acting completely cuckoo, just like I was feeling and the conversations that I were having were hysterical. I mean, I had friends who actually. We're doing things like, you know, putting together collages and they were in like, you know, 90 of the 95 pictures that they were sending their kid off to college with. And in my head, I was like, well, that just sounds kind of over the top, but okay. And you're trying to figure out, but, but not in a judgment way, like, huh, should I be doing that? Or is there anything normal about that? Or how's your kid going to react to that? There's so much emotion. And I don't know that there is a right or a wrong way for anything. I just know what I did at what I saw. And I think sometimes I handle things really well and some things maybe not so much. Um, and I think that's because I am human as are where my friends around me that were acting out in crazy ways too. And, um, I had all this emotion and so the bottom line is I knew it was going to have to do something with that. Energy. And I didn't set out to do anything specific. What I did was my husband and I dropped our daughter off at college. We went home. I woke up super early the next day because I just couldn't sleep. And I had a lot on my mind that I just needed to kind of get out. And I sat down at my computer and I truly just started typing all these things that I was thinking and feeling, and it felt good. And I spent, you know, a long time just getting it all out. And he eventually was like, huh, maybe there's something here. Maybe, maybe there's, maybe there's a book in this. But I, I had a, um, a college professor who always said, show me, don't tell me. And that's always been something kind of sitting on my shoulder and my background is in education. So I, I really have always liked it. And I, uh, I had an idea for showing what I was feeling in kind of a fun bullet point kind of way. And that became illustrations that in the book, our do's and don'ts on how you should behave when you're sending your kid to college. And the dues are about what you should be doing. And the don'ts are the ways that I, and others around me. Actually behaved when we sent our kids off to college and, um, you know, it was, it was truly around that period of time. It was preparing your kid for college to dropping them off in the dorms to returning home without them, because it was that period of time where I was at my biggest, um, emotional anchor. And I had a lot to say about what was going on during that time.

Melissa:

Having experienced some of this midlife chaos. I can certainly understand how it is even more complicated, everything that happens. Well, I'm just going to put it this way. I was so hot and I was so angry for about a certain stretch of time. All I wanted to do was to cuss and to just strip off clothes and as a past. You know, that those options weren't really available for me at that time and not just uniquely me, but for a lot of us, you know, just going off on a streak of profanity and stripping down just isn't among the most acceptable options. So keeping that all together and navigating life it's challenging, let alone another emotional upheaval that goes along with it. Putting a kid in college.

Sharon:

Yeah. I mean, absolutely. Um, you know, so I'm sure that you have experienced many of those similar thoughts where, what you are thinking on the inside is different than the way you can be behaving on the outside, inside you might've been pulling off your jacket because you were so darn hot, but you can't do. So instead you sit there smiling and you keep your jacket on and then wipe away the sweat and you try to keep your anger, you know, or sadness sometimes for me or whatever was in check and behave appropriately for whatever situation you're in. It's not always so easy. It's not always so easy. You know, as you know, I have, uh, I have an Instagram account. Oh

Melissa:

goodness. This Instagram account. If you were listening, you have to check out this account. You have to check it out, tell us your handle, where we can find it.

Sharon:

So thank you for saying that it's, um, it's at miserable moms and the Instagram account uses those same characters that I used in the book, um, to show. All mid-life stuff. Uh, you know, all this stuff that I deal with, all the stuff that my friends deal with, um, the categories that I tend to address are questionable parenting. So that's everything parenting as far as I'm concerned, um, midlife unfiltered, which is things like. Wrinkles and sagging boobs. And the fact that my husband and I have been living in the same house for, I don't even know how many years. And he still doesn't know where we keep the forks and we're sitting in traffic and the person in front of you won't go when the light turns green and it makes you crazy. And all things that midlife. A section that I deal with, which is a R a topic that I deal with, which is starvation and torture, which of course is the whole diet and exercise thing. And then holiday havoc, because nothing says being a midlife mom, like having to deal with all of the holidays. So I address all of these topics and I try to do it, you know, through my funny illustrations. Um, and I try to say something. What makes me tick or what I see around me or what makes us human or what we have in common, uh, on a daily basis.

Melissa:

And I have to say the first time I went to your Instagram account, I was laughing so hard and I wanted to laugh and comment on everything. And I thought, oh my gosh, she's going to think I'm just a stalker here. I got to moderate myself a little bit, but you like that interaction in your mind?

Sharon:

Love it. It's always so funny to me. And I don't know what it is. I think it's, it's, you know, the younger generation knows how to handle all of this. Like what's appropriate, like how much they should comment on things or not comment on things. And it's so funny because I get that what you just said very often, or I will have like friends. Take a snapshot of a post that I did and text it back to me with a comment about like what they thought was funny or how it made them feel or whatever. And I'm like, just, you can just text it, like that's okay. That's like what social media is, but it's fine. And I totally get it. It makes me happy to know that you felt that way, that you scrolled through and that you, you laughed out loud and. You could relate to a lot of vets. So I'm glad to hear that. Thank you. And please feel free to comment if you're comfortable doing so. And if not, I'll know that you're there

Melissa:

to tell you about my very first hot flash. Okay. I was in the middle of a sermon.

Sharon:

And that's a great time for it, by the way is

Melissa:

perfect. Let me tell ya. I got so hot. My glasses fogged up and I got, I couldn't see anybody. I know, preach from a manuscript, but I do have some notes there and oh my goodness. I didn't know what was happening. It was like, You know, when they do a countdown for a rocket launch, you got the alright, we're committed to launch and the sequence has begun. And the counters going, that's what it felt like. It's like, okay, something is happening in my core. And I don't think I can stop it. I think I'm kind of past this point of controlling this heat muscle that's inside of me. And I'm getting very hot. I can't see. And. Want to start cursing and flipping clothes off. And again, neither appropriate in the time and the context, but the funny part was all the women in the congregation. They were like, yeah, we know what that is. And all the men have this deer in the headlights look of, oh, no things are going to be different for awhile.

Sharon:

That's really funny. So. Okay. First of all, I'm so sorry that happened

Melissa:

to you. Don't be sorry. It just is what it is, is part of life.

Sharon:

Right? Right. I mean, it didn't happen to me in the same exact way, but I have experienced that, you know, exact same kind of moment of just being in a situation where. You can't stop it and you can't control it and it's happening and you're in front of people and you're like, what the heck? And what do I do? And I can't see because my glasses are fogging up, but, you know, I will, what I will say is in the moment, not so funny, but taking a step back and looking at it and being like, okay, kind of funny because. It's part of life it's it happens to all women, whether we talk about it or. Easier to kind of process. If you can see the humor in it, right. And know that you're not alone, like those women who were looking at you, like, I, I get it. I feel for you. I'm sure they were sending thoughts your way, you know, and just knowing you're not the only one had to have been helpful, even if they couldn't go up and fan you in the moment. Right.

Melissa:

And we had a great laugh about it after. So I love all of the work that you have out there and, you know, keeping it cool when you're burning up inside. Uh, that's just, it is what it is. It's challenged by, you know what? You don't have to let it define you talk to other women because they have a lot of good ideas and coping mechanisms. And again, I love the humor in your account. A yearbook is on the way it takes a while for things to get to us here. We're in the middle of a few cornfields in central Illinois. So the male's kind of slow even. When it's promised a delivery date within a certain window, it just takes a little longer here, but I can understand to get that book, but in the meantime, your Instagram account is getting me through. And I love, uh, some of the things I've seen, uh, don't laugh when you're crazy showing or when things are just kind of unraveling all around you.

Sharon:

Yeah. I like to say, you know, sometimes my crazy flips out. It. Does, and I've seen it happen to my friends as well. And I've seen it happen to people in the grocery store. And if you can just kind of, you know, it's like you said, you kind of adjust instead of judging it, you know, or trying to hide it. I think there's something about kind of calling it for what it is knowing you're not alone. And being able to see some humor in it when you can, not, everything is funny of course, but there's a lot that we just can't control that I think humor can help take the air out of.

Melissa:

Yeah. And I want to circle back to something that you mentioned much earlier in the conversation about. The tendency to suffocate, those that are left behind, you mentioned your daughter went to college and your son was still at home and you had to figure out, okay, how do I love him without suffocating him?

Sharon:

Yep. So, um, so yeah, so I think that as I talk about in the book, um, You know, my, my son was probably not probably I know, cause we've talked about it, thought, oh my God, what am I going to do? When my sister goes to college, you know, I've got these two on me all the time. And frankly, we were a little worried that we were going to suffocate him too. Can I show you one of the do's and don'ts from my book. Oh, so, okay. So here is one of the do's and don'ts in the book and I'll read it cause you probably can't see it all that well, but the do says do tease your youngest. Child that he will soon become the sole focus of all of your attention. And we're sitting in the living room and I'm texting him. What are you doing now? Ha ha ha. Hello? Are you there? And it's like a joke, right? The don'ts is don't actually suffocate him by materializing, during inappropriate moments. And I'm chasing after him saying, is this a bad time while he's in the middle of a baseball game, I

Melissa:

love that this picture here. Literally running, ready to touch home plate. And Sharon is right behind him. Hey, is this a bad time? Bad time.

Sharon:

Exactly. So it was those kinds of moments that he was afraid of it. We were afraid. How did I ever actually run, chase him down and do that? No, I, I, you know, for anyone who's listening, no, I did not run onto the baseball field and chase him down. Did I feel like I was doing that kind of thing sometimes. Uh, yeah, I, I did. I'm guilty.

Melissa:

We are not TMZ. I am not going to drill you down those details. No comment is appropriate. That's fine. I'm not going to dig underneath that. That's fine.

Sharon:

Right. So, you know, I just, it was, there was a lot of, there was a lot of trying to balance what, how you raise your kids and how you live your life. And what's appropriate during certain times, and what's not appropriate and, and all of that. So that's just one of my favorite examples of, you know, the ways I wanted to take all of my attention. You know, put it on my son and very guilty sometimes, like I said, sometimes not so much. And the good news is that we're able to talk about that stuff. And so, you know, I, I, people ask me all the time, like, are your kids okay with this kind of stuff that you show? And the answer is yes. I would never say. First of all, I would never show, I would never portray something that would make either of them unhappy. If there's even a question as to whether or not it would be appropriate. I show it to them first. Very often they tell me it's not even funny enough. And you know, this would be better. You know, I, I like to joke that they're my unpaid interns as is my husband. Um, so yeah, so yeah, they're used to dealing with

Melissa:

betrayal. Your youngest went to college. I

Sharon:

mean how such nerve he has such nerve just so wrong. I mean, that's the thing, right? It's like you give them everything, you teach them everything. You can, you, you know, what you want is for them to grow up and be able to leave your nest and survive in the world and make their own impact and do all of the things. I couldn't be happier that that's the case, but that's not very nice. Like what you can't wait. So it's a very weird thing. You're, you're thrilled that that's how they feel. And you're also kind of like what the actual really, you can't wait to get the heck out of here just because

Melissa:

that's why I'm raising you and what I'm preparing you for. Uh, do you really have to do it? Yeah. And you know, of course, I'm sure they left most of their stuff at your house though. Oh,

Sharon:

totally. The stuff they don't want, but I can't throw it away because they might want it one day. So I just have piles of, you know, their junk everywhere, you know,

Melissa:

I have free storage and you have free interns, so I kind of balances

Sharon:

out. Exactly. Exactly. That's exactly right. It's

Melissa:

true. So when things are really kind of difficult for you, when you were really feeling all of those feelings and they were getting to be too much, you mentioned that you had friends that were going through the same thing and were those relationships what sustained you during that time?

Sharon:

Yeah, absolutely. You know, I think that. Being able to reach out to people when you need it is a really big deal. Right. And one of the things I talk about in the book is that, you know, often during that period of time, I was reaching out to friends who I knew understood what I was going through because they were going through the same kinds of things. Didn't completely reach out to the people that I didn't think understood exactly because that was just a little bit more challenging for me to, to have conversations with people who didn't get it. So I think that in life, if you can kind of figure out who can help you and maybe be. The how for what you need to get through in the moment. That's a really good thing. And, you know, I think most people are happy to be there. I mean, when my friends need me reach out to me and want to talk or whatever it is, love being there for that, because it's nice to know that you're needed and we can be helpful and you can make somebody laugh and all of that. And I think some of those, we just have to remember that we can do that too. So yeah, I reached out, I reached out to friends. And continue to reach out to friends all the time when I need to. And, you know, thankfully I am able to reach out to my husband and my children, um, you know, and my family that that's a very big deal and I don't take it for granted. Um, and just like, I don't take my friends for granted, so, yeah. And, um, you know, I guarantee I can promise you that just like I just told you about my friend who was putting together this big collage. I was saying and doing things that they were like, um, Sharon's finally lost it, please. No, don't do that. Or, you know, or, or whatever it was, but, you know, that's like, that's how we get each other through. Right. Not being alone all the time,

Melissa:

so, okay. I want to tap into some of your brilliance. I have some thoughts for when my son leaves for college and you know, maybe a little bit of. Do you okay. So, uh, first of all, the big vinyl wall art pieces of me, so that definitely a do

Sharon:

definitely a do. Absolutely. In fact, I'm going to show you. I

Melissa:

thought, and I thought I'd start with an easy one like

Sharon:

that. I think you should absolutely do that because I think there's nothing that kids want more than a big picture of their mother in college. If you can see this one, but that truly is one of my dues. It's it's on the don'ts. So, I don't know that I really recommended, but, but the do the do is help your child select some photos to decorate her future dorm room. The don't is don't make it all about you. And it is a image of me saying, look at the picture I made of us made of us. You can put it above your bed, in your dorm. And it's a picture of me and my daughter life-size that I expected her to. Not really, but expected her to print above her dorm. So yes, I completely relate to what you said, isn't it all about you and your mom?

Melissa:

Well, of course, of course. And if dad wants it, whatever, we can get a little one of him too, you know? And another one, because your wisdom is shining through here. So I want to keep this scale on a recording of me reminding him, brush your teeth. Make sure you use soap. And how many days has it been since you've showered? Just college is hard. There's a lot to remember and things are gonna slip through. So I just thought, including some helpful things like that,

Sharon:

you know? Absolutely. I think you're brilliant. And I think you should do that. And I think you could record it and wrap it up and give it to him. Maybe they get his ringtone.

Melissa:

See, this is why we need to interview because I wouldn't have thought about that.

Sharon:

Absolutely. My pleasure.

Melissa:

So funny, I thought that, um, you know, and I would hate for him to feel homesick. So a pillow with all of our family together. In a portrait, but screen-printed on his pillow. So when he goes to bed at night, he can just fill up with,

Sharon:

okay. So here's the thing. You have the book in you. I think you should take all of these ideas and put them together because I love it. Yes, exactly. I think you should do that.

Melissa:

Okay. So pillow vinyl, wall art, and the recorded. Sharon. Thank you for all of this guidance. I know that this process is going to go so much better now.

Sharon:

Oh my gosh. I love it.

Melissa:

Hysterical. This is what comes from reading your Instagram account and laughing this inspiration. Oh my goodness. Well,

Sharon:

I'm really sorry. I'm sorry to your son. Who's now going to have to put up with all of this.

Melissa:

Oh, you have no idea. You have no.

Sharon:

That's so funny. You know what? That's good. It builds character, right? Well

Melissa:

let's hope. Yeah,

Sharon:

exactly. I

Melissa:

love it. Now going to college, when your kids go to college, that's one transition, but when a kid finishes college and then goes out and makes their way in the world, that's gotta be another thing altogether.

Sharon:

Totally. It's very, it's, it's so strange. And it's one of those things in life that, you know, you don't, until you, until you live it, you don't know what it's going to feel like. You can't even really imagine what it's going to be like. It's, it's very strange because I really thought that, you know, you spend so much time thinking about them, leaving your house and going off to college. And that's the really big change. But when they're in college, they're still in school and growing up and there are set holidays and summers now, whether or not they are doing an internship and they're not coming home or going on vacation with friends or whatever, that stuff of course happens and comes into the mix, but they still have a schedule. I school schedule when they graduate and they are working. You know, it's different than that, right? Because you don't get summers off and you don't get winter vacation the same way and, and spring break and all of those things. And all of a sudden there, you know, just there's a change. There's more. You know, independence and, uh, responsibility and all the things, you know, jobs and where they're going to live and relationships and all of that stuff. So it's a big change. Um, you know, different for everybody that may be another book one day. We'll see. I just

Melissa:

read a book about it to find out, okay, do I move every time they move? Do I buy a house in the neighborhood where they relocated for this new job? That's not appropriate,

Sharon:

right? It's absolutely appropriate. Yes. I love your sense of humor. I mean, you're, you're giving me ideas for my Instagram. I, you know, every time you say something,

Melissa:

I love it. I might be looking forward to the release of that. I have a window of opportunity here before I'll need it. So no. And then take it to get started on that. That would be fantastic.

Sharon:

Absolutely. Oh yeah. It's, you know, motherhood is just all about different stages. Right. And I think that, you know, whatever stage you're in, that's the hardest one, right. It's not what they say. You know, when they're little, it's really, really hard. And then when they, as they start to get and they go to kindergarten, that's really, really hard. Right. And then, you know, middle school, It's whatever you're in, it's new, it's different. And even with your, you know, second or third or fourth or whatever, how many you have, it's different because they're different kids and it's different experiences. And you know, it's a girl and a boy or an older and a younger, or, or they're just different kids or whatever it is. It's always, it's always new and exciting. It

Melissa:

is. It is. And you know, there is a pressing question that I feel I would be. Remiss. If I left hanging there, did your husband ever find where the forks are?

Sharon:

So, um, I'm so glad you asked that. And with me staring at where the forks are, he was able to figure it out, but has definitely been asked me again for sure. You know, even if, not specifically about the forks where we keep an eye. So I'm like, Hmm. What's thing. The works if you were, if I were a betting woman, I think maybe in the same place. So, you know, it's, you know, I think it's those kinds of things, whether it's the husband or the wife or whoever you're living with or whatever that forgets all of these things. I just think it's, they're pretty common things that happen in many schools that we can all relate to and, you know, they can be irritating in the moment, but there was a pretty darn hilarious when you think about it. So

Melissa:

in about whatever partner you have in your life, they're going to have quirks. Luckily we don't, it's a little better to navigate. That's what people did well, that would just get complicated.

Sharon:

You know, it's funny. It's funny what you just said, you know what I will say? And it's true. Like, I like to joke around that. Like, I don't have the porks or like you just joked around the truth is I think a part of the reason that. Kids don't care about what I post. And when I say don't care, I mean, it doesn't bother them. They don't feel like I'm saying anything so revealing or horrible or judgmental. And my husband the same way, because generally speaking in my, in my books and my book and in my post. If anyone's really being made fun of, it tends to be me. You know, it's really myself that I am judging or laughing at or making fun of because it's. I don't think that anybody else is doing anything so crazy or out of the ordinary or terrible, or any of that. It's my reaction. It's my emotional, you know, thoughts that I, that I'm judging and that I think are pretty darn funny. And that I think that other people in my situation may be able to relate.

Melissa:

Absolutely. And that comes through the best humor is the self-deprecating humor, but it's, especially if you have a healthy sense of self and you do have a healthy sense of self, so it's your, it makes it able to be enjoyed then knowing that you are who you are, but you can find all of the, the silly and the humor in these things. It makes life a whole lot more fun for sure.

Sharon:

Yeah. Yeah. And when, you know,

Melissa:

But you do appreciate it.

Sharon:

Yeah. Well, thank you. And that's what it's all about. Right. You know, when people, you know, the, you know, the stories that you just shared made me feel heard and seen and known and good and included. And that's what I am hoping other people here feel when they hear my stories or see my illustrations. Because knowing that you're not the only one that feels this way is really comforting.

Melissa:

And the goal of this podcast is to encourage people who are facing difficult or uncomfortable life experiences to find the support and the inspiration that they need to lean into those things and to overcome them. And I think you're a great inspiration that when we can just take a moment, even if we can't even, maybe our situation, isn't one that's humorous at the time. If we're fighting something that. You know, an illness or something like that, but having that moment to just laugh. Yeah. Boy, that is such good medicine.

Sharon:

Yeah, absolutely. And recognizing things for what they are. You know, one of the things that I talk about in the book is that I lost my mother to cancer 15 years ago and she. Incredibly close and it was awful. And I think that the letting go when my kids were going to college, brought up some of those feelings of letting go. And I talk about that and thank God and in a completely different way, but it doesn't mean that some of those emotions were there. And I think that. Identifying it, I kind of calling it what it is and being like, ah, you know, that makes sense. Um, can just be really healing and helpful and get us through and, and realize we're not alone because other people go through it too. And even with that step back and be like, oh, okay. I can see why some of the craziness and some of that, and laughing is a good thing. And my mother taught me to laugh. So that's a good thing.

Melissa:

That's a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing that. And there's so much truth there that each new experience in life kind of builds on those others that we've already experienced. There's wisdom that weaves through all of those. So, yeah. Well, Sharon, this has been a blast. We are going to have to do this again sometime. But I would love to give you the last word today. So what would you like to share with folks as we close out the podcast?

Sharon:

Um, well, I guess I should. My Instagram is at miserable moms. I would love it for anybody to take a look and join me on my crazy journey. Uh, the book is called, um, miserable mom, the do's and don'ts of sending your kid to college and it can be found, um, either on Amazon. At Barnes and noble or on my website, which is miserable, moms.com. And, uh, you know, the biggest message is that we are all in it together. Let's take a step back and learn to laugh and, you know, that's, that's it

Melissa:

beautiful. And all of those links will be in the description in the show notes. So thank you, Sharon. Be well, go out and enjoy your beautiful weather and we'll talk again.

Sharon:

You too. Look forward to it. Thanks for having me.