Being A Country Girl Again Has Its Advantages

Written by Terri Crosby for In Care of Relationships

When I lived in Los Angeles for many years, did I have a clue how uptight I was? Naaaah.  Not even…. Sure, I lived in Marina del Rey on the water with a view of sail boats and stunning sunsets.  And I had a grand balcony for parties (and I did have GREAT parties!!)  And sure, my consulting office was in Venice, not miles and miles away, but a short drive from my apartment, and on top of that, just steps from the beach.  And yes, I took plenty of beach breaks in between clients.  And absolutely – there were great restaurants brimming with fresh California produce within easy walking distance of where I lived and worked! Rose CafeMy average day consisted of breakfast at the Rose Cafe while writing poetry, and getting to my office around 9 or 10 am.  I’d work for 3 or 4 hours, and then take a walk-by-the-ocean-with-the-sand-in-my-toes break.   I’d return to my consulting work, talking hour after hour with people about their lives, in this simple but beautiful office with bright flowers outside my window, and bushels of sunshine pouring in. All in all, pretty heavenly! And then in the evening, I’d go out with friends, or on a date with an actor or musician — they are everywhere — and that was fun!   We’d go on a sunset beach walk, or to a movie opening, a comedy club, or have a picnic and enjoy a concert at the Hollywood Bowl.   I also went to exercise classes (doesn’t everyone in LA!!), walked or biked along the ocean (the weather was always so beautiful), and went out dancing regularly.Terri Crosby past headshot 001 I even found my old headshot from way back when — flashback! — I’ll share it with you! In LA, admittedly, there is also the entertainment value of running into movie stars regularly.  It’s inevitable to eventually sit next to Susan Sarandon and her girlfriends at a coffee house, or walk by George Burns sitting by alone on a Beverly Hills park bench smoking a cigar.  You might run into Sally Field in Whole Foods, or notice Dustin Hoffman right next to you in his Porsche on Santa Monica Boulevard.  And Timothy Hutton and Mathew PerryIt just makes you smile! Then again, you could be invited to an Italian dinner, and it turns out it’s in the home of Sly Stallone.  There you are, sitting at his table, eating his favorite pasta, listening to Sly and his buddies tell their favorite Hollywood stories.  Or maybe you have a date with John Denver and run into Dorothy Hamill at the restaurant, where John thanks her profusely for giving his daughter skating lessons. Or maybe you go to a party, and you’re introduced to Meredith MacRae, a morning TV host (and former star of Petticoat Junction and My Three Sons), and a week later, she invites you to be a guest on her show, and many times again in the future. Or heck, you could even date someone who knows Steven Spielberg’s first wife Amy Irving, and be invited to a sit down dinner and baby shower at Steven’s mother’s house in the San Fernando Vally, in celebration of the coming arrival of baby Max!  You look around at the guests.  There’s Robin Williams and Richard Donner (Superman with Christopher Reeve).  And for a while, you sit next to Robin Williams on the sofa and he is painfully shy — you don’t know what to say (I mean what do you say to Robin Williams) but he doesn’t know what to say either, and that makes you feel a little better.  Then later, during the meal, the guests are toasting the arrival of Max, and joking about the trials and tribulations of parenthood, and Robin stands up and gives the funniest “so you’re expecting a baby” improv you’ve ever heard.  People are laughing so hard it’s a wonder anyone can digest their meal. These things happen — it’s part of life in LA.  It’s just the way it goes. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world, and I was fortunate, for so many reasons, on so many levels. That doesn’t necessarily mean, though, that I was cool, calm and collected.  Or that I believed in myself at my core.  Or that I knew my worth. If you had asked me at the time, I would have told you I was pretty happy and that I enjoyed my life.  I was having fun.  I was interested in what I was doing, where I was going, and who I was meeting.  I would have said I was a student of life and that I loved learning — that I was interested in improving and growing.  I wanted to know more, and understand more, especially about people and behavior and love.  I also believed that I was in tune with nature. But in retrospect, I can tell you that I was stressed in “striving-improving-reaching-’cause-I’m-not-enough” kinds of ways — and didn’t even know it.  I had no idea.  (And, no, most people don’t.)  If you had told me at the time that I was wound tight inside, even though my life on the outside looked just fine, I would have told you that you were wrong. Then, many years later, I left Los Angeles and moved back to the country. That was an awakening!Sunset orange yellow black My first hint that I was not exactly calm as a cucumber occurred while driving my car in North Carolina as if I was driving in Los Angeles.  It became immediately and abundantly clear that my city driving style was out of place in my new home. In LA, it’s normal to drive aggressively.  Everybody does it, so it’s no big deal — it’s part of the culture. Well, let me tell you, it’s different in North Carolina! People in North Carolina amble along in their vehicles (how dare they) and pull leisurely up to stop signs (c’mon, let’s GO) and take their sweet time turning corners and resuming speed (what’s the deal here?) and then on top of it all, they often drive the speed limit.  Can you imagine?  If the speed limit sign says 55 mph, they drive, hey like maybe 55 to 57 mph.  I had seriously never considered doing that. 80 Abbey Ln Spring 1But gradually, gradually, gradually —  after living with,  well, TREES… my well-practiced (chomping at the bit) mindset began to change. But for that change to happen, it took some BIG trees, mind you, to slow me down.  Not the small and perfect kind that grow neatly in a row on a city street or park.  I’m talking about the kind of tall that puts a crook in your neck and makes you feel a little dizzy when you look up to see the top of the tree moving in the afternoon breeze, because it’s so… far… up… there against the infinite blue sky. And my slow-down process required an abundance of azaleas and rhododendrons with stop-you-in-your-tracks colors.  Blooms that take your breath away slow you down — you know, you actually stop and smell the roses.  And then there were the regal trees that, having fallen to the floor of the forest,  supported new forms of life.  I stopped to examine them, and forgot all about being in a hurry. Time also slowed down when I spent time with white on tree trunk2my hands in the actual earth, spade deep.  I hadn’t done that since growing up on the farm in Iowa, and trust me I did plenty of digging in dirt back then.  But in my subsequent city life, I had only touched sterile potting soil in a flower pot purchased from the hardware store.  I had forgotten all about gardens. And further, my transformation required a good deal of time sitting quietly by a pounding waterfall on a boulder the size of the moon, feeling the power of the falls simultaneously with delicate mist on my face.  The sound of the falls alone puts your mind and heart into some other zone. … only then, after time with the lofty trees, the garden dirt and the pounding waterfalls,  did I calm down about driving in North Carolina. And that’s also when I began to remember the level of calm and quiet I had experienced as a child. In the country, it’s quiet.  Sunrise opens the door of the morning, and sunsets bathe the final hours of the day in color.  The ground breathes, and branches in the forest crack when they fall.  Wind blows across the valley and when you step out the door and sense it coming toward you, the feeling is brisk and energizing.  It’s a thrill when a fast moving rain storm sweeps the valley in front of you, in the direction of you, all over you.  When the energy burst sweeps your way, in that moment,  you feel wonderful beyond words. Yes, I moved to the country where a whole forest full of birds sing good morning and tall trees reach up pretty much forever.  There is peace in a mountain forest that I could not find in places with stoplights and streetlights. For me, inner quiet comes easier when wind whispers, the bright night stars blaze, and the hoot owl calls my name. I’m finally home…        

For more information about In Care of Relationships, click here.

About Terri Crosby — I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains with Eric, my partner of 15 years, two cats and a dog, and as many flowers and vegetables as I can plant.  I love really good food, good friends, good relationships!

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Terri Crosby

Helping you create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. Follow me on twitter at@TerriCrosby or read myblog.

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    pat

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    Loved this! I didn’ t know yyou were an Iowa girl too.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

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      Pat,
      Yep born and bred! We have more in common than we thought!

      Reply

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    shiner

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    WOW, I had no idea what comprised your life in CA. I knew of the beach, the balcony etc., but there was so much more to the picture. I for one, and know there are others as well, am grateful you landed here with the trees, waterfalls and of course dirt!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

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      Shiner, yes many years with a different life altogether! And now, I bow to nature every day (which is what I wanted) and of course dirt :–). You and I — we have a dirt connection! Ha! Nothin’ like it! Look at all the beautiful color that bursts forth because of dirt. love, Terri p.s. Sometime, I’ll have to tell the story of my date with John Denver.

      Reply

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    Leslie

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    Terri,
    This story is SO beautiful! I feel every word.
    The truth of LA and NC are so palpable and true.
    How glorious for you to be back “home” in that gorgeous land.
    Both my daughters are raising their families in NC.
    So I too have fed my soul there on it’s unending beauty and spirit.
    Glory be!
    Blessings to you, Terri.

    Leslie rosenstock

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

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      Leslie, I had no idea we had a North Carolina connection! Would always love to see you! I have a beautiful room with a view for you when you come. Love, Terri

      Reply

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    Holly Simms

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    When you tell about your date with John Denver, I’ll tell about my flight with him. I enjoyed terrific evenings as a stage manager and I met and worked with all sorts of famous people, most of whom were very down to earth and friendly. Now, we are HOME and it feels so good! Asheville is about my speed and I like that a lot. Love your photo! Holly

    Reply

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      Terri Crosby

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      Holly, I would love to talk with you about your stage manager experience/flight experiences. I really would. Let’s have tea…

      Reply

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Rise Up by Andra Day

What a great set of words for these oncoming days.

Rise Up

 
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh, oh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo
Rise Up lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

Read more

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
 
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
 
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
 
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
 
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
 
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
 
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
 
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
 
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
 
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
 
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
 
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
 

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

Read more

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Sometimes we ask intimate partners to do for us what is actually ours to do.

We ask our partner to give us the reassurance, love or appreciation we feel is missing in ourselves, with the hope that they will give us what we’re asking for—and then we’ll feel better. They’ll take care of our problem.

But when they do give us what we’re asking for, it can never be enough, because we have insufficient context for what they’ve given. We haven’t build the inner foundation to receive it, hear it, welcome it, believe it. They try to help, but their love for us falls into our void, our black hole, our love bucket with no bottom.

As always, there’s hope. Check out the video below.

Terri Crosby. http://www.incareofrelationships.com/.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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Terri Crosby

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