Singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow is in a good place. Yes, she’s back on her
farm just outside of Nashville, Tenn., close to family and friends again after
keeping a demanding winter schedule that took her across the country and to
Japan. The rock-country crooner, 47, promoted two albums (Detours and
Home for Christmas), made the rounds of chat shows, and performed for
the new First Family in HBO’s “We Are One” concert at the Lincoln Memorial in
Washington, D.C. (No slacker, she played a few inaugural balls there, too.) She
was also a presenter at the 2009 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February.
Nine-time winner Crow’s Detours was nominated for Best Pop Vocal
But simple geography -- the slower, familiar pace below the Mason-Dixon Line
-- is not the only thing making this Kennett, Mo., native smile. The good place
Crow is enjoying right now is coming from within.
“I’m not nearly so hard on myself anymore,” she tells WebMD. “I’ve learned
to stop putting everybody before myself, and to say ‘no’ sometimes, which was a
huge lesson for me. I think women get caught up in that, forgetting about their
own needs.” Even with the international, bicoastal itinerary she’s just
wrapped, Crow claims she does “only what I want to do” these days, and that
“for every 10 requests I get now, I might say ‘yes’ to one.”
Crow’s other, more publicized, “huge lessons” -- game-changing events that
forced her to reassess her relationships and well-being, leading to a newfound
sense of serenity and self-acceptance -- came in threes: A very public, broken
engagement to world-famous cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong in
February 2006. The shock of being diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer a few
weeks later. And finally, becoming a mother for the first time the following
April. In just over a year’s time, she went from canceling a wedding and
getting a lumpectomy to changing the diapers of her newly adopted son, Wyatt,
and singing him lullabies.
“In a way, it was a wonderful life-shifter,” says Crow. The recent upheavals
helped launch the singer on her own winding road toward parenthood,
contentment, and good health.
For Crow, the painful breakup with one of cancer’s leading advocates is
forever linked to her own battle with the disease -- and to Wyatt’s adoption,
which she began pursuing while undergoing radiation treatments.
“I’ve had maternal instincts since I was really young,” she says now. “But I
had to let go of what I envisioned a family was supposed to look like. I always
saw myself with the traditional husband and the kids and the dog, but letting
go of all that created opportunity. The best thing I could do was to open that