Day 15 #Happiness

Things that throw you

Sometimes things happen that just…throw you for a loop. It seems this happens to me kind of a lot. At times it’s easy to laugh, shake it off, tell an interesting story and move on. Other times shit happens and even though you may laugh about it and tell the story, it stays with you like a bitter taste on your tongue.

Why is this making my happiness post today? Because it is precisely these times that I am uniquely able to clearly see who I am and what I need to do.

Being thrown for a loop seems to clear away the BS, dissipate the fog as it were. It’s like a wake up call. It’s a reminder….we’ve had loops before. We’re still here. We’re still kicking ass.

So I welcome a good loop now and again. They clean the air like a storm; freshen things up.

There’s only one thing to do when you realize you’re in one…put up your hands, throw your head back, scream like hell and enjoy the ride.

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Day 14 #Happiness

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Shooting

Finally, someone has the balls to teach me how to shoot! I went for the first time on Saturday and it was AH. MAY. ZING.

Fun, empowering, challenging. Suffice to say I’m hooked and can’t wait to go again.

Zombie apocalypse? Bring it! I’ll be ready : )

Day 13 #Happiness

Image

My hips

I’m not a skinny girl. I never will be; my DNA does not code for thin. And that is perfectly alright with me!

Someone asked me today, if I had to describe my body in one word, what would it be.

My knee-jerk response was almost “curvy”, which is not a bad choice, “voluptuous” was ok too, but both that and curvy seemed too…I dunno…mainstream. “Buxom” would also have worked, however I don’t really like the idea of summing the whole of my physicality up in the fact that I have big boobs. I’m sure you understand ; )

So I thought for a few moments and then replied, “zaftig”.

For those of you who don’t speak Yiddish, that means “juicy” or “succulent”.

Yeah. Perfect.

And I thought of this poem by Lucille Clifton, which I have always loved:

“these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places.
these hips are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top”

Oh yes they have!

My hips are by no means extraordinarily large, but they are the hips of a woman. From ahead of me or behind, if you see me walking there is no doubt about that.

In a world where “Plus Size” has somehow, mind-bendingly, become size 8, I am proud to be Zaftig. I love my curves and the fact that my body is soft and round and sensual, but still strong and able to do whatever I ask of it (including all those things that spin a man like a top).

It’s Friday night my wonderful female friends…get out there and let those beautiful hips of yours work some magic!

Live juicy girls…live juicy : )

Day 12 #Happiness

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My boyfriend’s neck

It smells like home.

Day 11 #Happiness

This sticker

I found it running an errand today; in a hurry, PMSing, frustrated by some kid who opened the door to his Kardashianesque Mother’s Escalade into my little car and then laughed, totally not looking for nor expecting to find something quite so cool…and perfectly timed.

It was the last one. It was a mere $1. And I love it.

“There will always be flowers for those who want to see them.”

Amen to THAT!

Life is good.

It really is that simple

Day 10 #Happiness

Heart shaped rocks

This one’s dumb, but bear with me…the purpose of these posts isn’t to wow the blogosphere, it’s to write about what makes you happy on a given day.

I have always liked rocks. Had a thing for them, you might even say. Everywhere I’d go as a little kid, I picked up “beauty rocks” and gave them to my Mum.  These were nothing more than bits of quartz or mica I spotted wherever it was we were walking, but to me they were pretty and well, my mom was pretty too…you get the idea.

And at the beach! Oh, the poor woman…I’d fill my pail with smooth or unusual beach rocks and yes, every one of them would have to come home with us. I actually still use a couple flat beach rocks to burn incense cones on.

Anyway, as I got a bit older and had discovered boys, I became fascinated one day when, out walking my horse after a ride, I stumbled upon a rock in the field that resembled a heart.

In typical teenage fashion, I was engaged in a crush on some boy who didn’t even know I existed. I picked up the rock, pocketed it and decided it was a sign. A little hint from the universe that maybe, just maybe he liked me too.

He didn’t, but the magic of that heart shaped rock stayed with me just the same.

For a long time, whenever I found a heart shaped rock in my travels, I picked it up. There were times in my life for whatever reason, I came upon quite a few. I actually collected them in a mason jar during my marriage, taking the abundance of them as a sign as I did in my youth. When the marriage ended and I relocated back to the east coast I took that as a sign too, and I dumped the jar out in the woods along a hiking trail before I left.

I hadn’t noticed a heart shaped rock since.

Until today.

This time, in my wizened middle age, I just photographed it; I didn’t pick it up…I left it there to perhaps bring some joy and wonder into the life of the next person to find it.

But I’ve been feeling giddy ever since, just like I did that first time, out in the field; punch drunk and light-hearted and full of exciting “what ifs”. I had forgotten over the last few years how great it is to feel that way.

Some days, life just rocks ; )

Day 9 #Happiness

Free will.

Oh yeah, there’s a story.

Back before the demise of my first marriage, my then husband asserted that if I would only join his church, all our marital troubles (which had nothing to do with spirituality by the way) would magically disappear and we would live happily ever after.

You know how I said I have the tendency to stay in relationships past the point of productivity? This was one of those times. In an attempt to save our marriage, I joined his church.

I know…never EVER change something as fundamental as your spiritual core values to suit someone else. I get it. Lesson learned. Teeeee-rust me!

Anyway, fast forward 7 years, to the day he tells me he’s leaving because marriage is “too hard” because you have to actually, you know, co-habitate with another human on a day to day basis and, like, talk to ’em and stuff.

The elders from his (now our) church come over to comfort me and assure me that I have a place in the congregation with or without my husband and that it is in my spiritual best interest to continue on as a member; after all I would need their support now more than ever, blah, blah, blah.

Um, okay. I was pretty much planning on never setting foot in there again, but I figured maybe they had a point – I’d never been through a divorce before after all.  So I decided to give it a try solo.

At the next church meeting, I was introduced by one of the elders to a recent addition to the congregation. A newly separated man who’s wife had committed adultery and left the fold. He was very well spoken of, the equivalent of a deacon, had three small children and was basically looking for a “good christian woman” to step in and assume the wifely and motherly duties. Not me mind you…just any suitable, female member in good standing.

And hey, there was poor abandoned Zoe…how on earth would she survive in the world without a man to take care of her? They tried to sell me on this guy like you’d try to sell a used car.

No thought was given to matters of compatibility, affinity or, dare I even say it, attraction; just a brother in need of a wife and a sister in need of a household head. Match made in heaven (pun intended), right?

Wrong. I went home, thoroughly freaked out, and wrote my letter of resignation (my term, not theirs) that night.

This is a religion that practices shunning, so once I quit, as it were, none of them could talk with or associate with me for fear my “deviltry” would somehow rub off. Which, as you can guess as a poser anyway, suited me just fine.

Fast forward again, this time 18 years, to today. I was leaving my local Post Office and who do I see in the parking lot? The matchmaking elder from long, long ago.

Now, despite my deviltry, I have aged pretty well and look very much as I did back then, save a few more crows feet and, well, the tattoos. He recognized me right away and actually altered his path across the parking lot, heading toward me at a jog. His arm raised, his finger extended, he gesticulated wildly, as if I were a taxi he were flagging down.

This honestly surprised me, what with the shunning and all, but then I remembered that elders could talk to us lost sheep, with a view to getting us to see the error of our sinful ways and come back.

Aw HELLS no…I was right by my car, so I hopped in and got my poor, misguided  self outta there, quickstyle.

On my way back to work I stopped at a local sandwich shop to grab lunch and who was hanging around my car when I came out? You guessed it. Was he hungry too or had he followed me there? Judging by his proximity to my car, probably the second.

My clams were officially steamed now.

He was smart enough not to loiter too close to my vehicle. I attempted to ignore him and just get into my car and leave, but he closed the distance between us and said, “Zoe, I need to speak with you. It’s about your soul…”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Not to mock his beliefs, but just because the whole thing was so effing strange.

It’s about your soul“? Seriously?

Shit like this only happens to me.

At least a million statements, ranging from witty to sarcastic to downright snarky ran through my head at warp speed. I mean, I don’t take kindly to zealots of any kind FOLLOWING ME. I even toyed with flashing him the ASL hand sign for Satan and winking, just to mess with him.

But no. I am a free moral agent. I don’t base my behavior on that of other people, or deities. I decide for myself what is right and what is wrong according to my own moral compass.

I took the high road (and the rational one, which seemed to be in short supply during this event). Not because I feared for the consequences on my soul, or retribution in some kind of after life, or because I cared one iota for this individual…or any other reason aside from the fact that I choose to be the kind of person who takes the high road.

I put my hand up and brought my finger to my lips (as in, shhhhhh) and he stopped babbling about the works of the devil, mid-sentence.

I said, “Shunning works both ways”, as I strode by him.

He stood there with his mouth agape. I don’t think he had envisioned the conversation going quite like that.

Giving him my winningest smile, I got into my car and pulled away.

Happiness  =  Free Will.

 

 

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