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 ; )

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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.

 

 

Day 8 #Happiness

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Love.

The world moves for love. It kneels before it, in awe……..

Day 7 #Happiness

The country.

My boyfriend has a wonderful home. He lives about 45 minutes from me…just far enough up the road to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city. Where I live.

Today we are spending the day in the country. Peace. Quiet. Nothing but the sound of rain falling softly and the occasional cry of a bird.

I feel so relaxed it’s as though every muscle in my body has unclenched. Except the ones required to smile…

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Day 6 #Happiness

Because they don’t make a “Little Miss Acerbic”

This Little Miss character started out as somewhat of a joke. You see, for those of you who don’t know me in person, I’m what you would call a Handful.

I’m loud, feisty, opinionated, klutzy, competitive, driven, type capital A, and I can, in certain situations, lack patience. And tact.

Because I’m a gregarious dork, I talk with anyone and everyone. I have been known to drop bags of grapes in the grocery check out line and then yell the F-bomb without even realizing I’ve done it, to the horror of everyone around me. I have excused myself, gone to the Ladies Room and climbed out the window to get away from a bad first date. I swear like a truck driving pirate and I once told an ex that I wouldn’t date him again as an adult because I remembered him from High School and his penis, while adequately sized for someone who didn’t know any better then, simply wouldn’t do now.

I think all of this makes me rather an interesting person to hang around with, but for some reason people tell me they are a wee bit afraid of me.

The weak ones do anyway ; )

So, I acquired the nickname of Little Miss Sunshine from one of my bosses, on a day when I was in a particularly bad mood.

Gradually along the way, I accumulated some LMS stuff…someone gave me an old, grubby action figure of her they picked up at a yard sale, I found a t-shirt at Target that had her on it…which I actually love and often wear – thus earning me the nickname from my boyfriend even – though hopefully not in a sarcastic way, I buy stickers of her now whenever I can find them and put them in my new yellow Filofax…you get the idea.

It’s become a thing.

Well, today the same boss who originally started snarkily referring to me as Little Miss Sunshine the day I was having a bitch-fest at work, gave me the mug in the photo at the top of this post.

Why does this quality as today’s #Happiness item you ask?

Because, as he handed it to me, he said: ” You’ve earned this…because now you finally really are.”

Awwwww : )

Deep Thoughts on a Dreary Day

This piece was started some months ago when I was feeling down and lonely. It should be noted that I am neither of those things anymore, happily, but for some reason it keeps calling to me from the “Drafts” folder, wanting to be set free into the world.

Perhaps I shouldn’t publish it. It will probably turn out to be one of those posts that stir up a shitstorm and get me into some kind of trouble, but every time I think about deleting it once and for all, I simply can’t. I put too much of myself into it.

You’d think I’d learn about sharing deeply personal things on the internet. But I never do.

Sometimes you’ve just gotta write…

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

So, when I was four years old my mother and I came home from grocery shopping one day to find the front door of our house slightly ajar. Not open, mind you, but off the latch. Which it normally wasn’t.

My mother, holding the bag of groceries in her one good arm, pushed the door open with her foot. Apparently it didn’t dawn on her to be concerned that we had been burglarized, or that some miscreant may still be in the house.

The door swung open. Sunlight wafted in, illuminating the arc made by the now wide open door on the linoleum.

The kitchen was empty. The table, chairs and breakfront were gone. The light fixture hung awkwardly, centered over nothing.

It turns out, furniture wasn’t all that was gone.

Confused, I walked to the center of the sunspot, plunked down in the middle of the kitchen and stared at the void, wondering where we would eat supper. Hey, I was four.

My mother strode to the counter, placed the groceries upon it, surveyed the barren room for a few moments, looked down at me and said, “See that? Your father has left you”.

As the implications of those seven words sunk in, the four year old me began to wail.

Daddy was gone.

And he didn’t even say goodbye.

Not to me anyway. Forty-two years later, I’m still not 100% certain about the details of what went on between my father and mother prior to their divorce. Did she know he was leaving that morning? Did he just get out when he knew she wouldn’t be around to fight him about what he wanted to take? They have both told me their accounts regarding the demise of our family unit – and they are entirely different. So either they had wildly differing perspectives, or one of them lied.

A moot point really, because no matter what the facts were, at that moment on a sunny morning in 1970, a seed was planted into the fertile soil of my young brain that I’ve been working for decades to uproot:

Men leave.

I wish I could say that growing into an independent, intelligent woman with a decent amount of experience under her belt has taught me the folly of the  belief that sprouted that day, but life has only reinforced it.

One way or another, every man who has meant anything to me has left.

My father, the grandfather who raised me (dropping dead of a massive heart attack = leaving, to a teenager who had already been abandoned by the only other man in her life), two husbands, and every  serious boyfriend I have ever had, save two.

I’m from the old school camp that, if you love someone you stay and work things out.  So I don’t leave. Probably to my detriment in a lot of cases, but I have to know in my heart of hearts that I have done everything I could (within healthy, functional parameters of course) in order to find peace and move on appropriately. Once I do leave, should it come to that, I won’t ever go back…but it doesn’t happen often, and it never happens frivolously.

Given the example of my parents (and really the majority of my family…most of whom have at least one divorce on the books) I’m not entirely sure how I ended up in that camp.

Perhaps I saw what was going on around me growing up and was compelled to make the conscious decision that my life wasn’t going to turn out that way – which of course it did anyway – despite my best efforts.

I think I’m a pretty good significant other. There’s not much that riles me, I don’t play head games, I’m independent and self sufficient, I’m not a fighter or a yeller, I’ve never banished anyone to the couch,  I don’t want control over a man (his time, his money, who he hangs out with, etc), I don’t have a problem with sports, I’m at peace with porn/strip clubs/boys nights out/bachelor parties/female friends and I have a raging sex drive that leaves most of the men I’ve met in the dust, while at the same time being fiercely loyal and a serial monogamist.

It’s true, I don’t cook…but no one has ever left me stating my preference for take out as the reason.

The only relationship rules I have are these:  honesty, respect (which I am fully willing to earn) and fidelity.  And if you want out, just tell me rather than betraying me. Please with a cherry on top, no more betrayal.

That’s it. Not rocket science really.

Still they go. A lot of them cheat, which I find mind boggling given the fact that, unless I’m seriously ill, I have never rebuffed a partner. More than should, however, just vanish. Stop calling. Go away.

You know me, I love to conduct informal polls, so I asked the breadth of my female friends how many of their relationships ended because the guy just fell off the face of the earth. Not dates mind you…everyone expects a man to say “I’ll call you” after a date here or there and not do it…I’m talking ongoing relationships.

Most cited none. The highest number was two.

I’ve lost count.

One particularly memorable example was a guy I had dated all the previous winter. This is New England, so that’s about 5 months. He dropped me off one night, kissed me goodbye and said, “I love you…we’re going to have a great summer!”.

And he was never heard from again.

I was young (19). I thought he died. He must have, right? Who says they love you and then disappears?

Turns out, a lot of men do.

I ran into him 6 months later, in a bar, with another woman. I went up to him and said, “My god, you ARE alive!”  He had nothing to add.

So yeah, life experience has validated the conclusion my four year old brain came to, many times over.

The question haunting me all of my life has been this: Do men leave…or do they just leave me?

I asked my mother that once. She rolled her eyes and left the room. That was probably supposed to be an answer.

A high school boyfriend that I dated for like five minutes Senior year once told me I was unlovable.   He wanted to trade me in for my prettier cousin and I took issue with the fact that he was doing so on a trip we were all taking together. With her boyfriend there too. Whom I was supposed to agree to “swap” with.  This earned me the title of Unlovable.

Logically, I know he was just a dumb jock who was pouting because I wouldn’t roll over and let him treat me like something he’d scrape off his shoe, and he  said the first spiteful thing that came into his mind.

But every time someone leaves me, his words echo in my head. And I wonder if he was right.

What is it about me that drives men away? Am I too independent? Not enough of a damsel they can “rescue” or bunny rabbit they can chase? Am I too straight forward and low maintenance to seem worth being with?

Is it my penchant for the multiple orgasm?

Or do I, out of some subconscious need to perpetuate an unfortunate dynamic I witnessed in childhood, simply choose mean who are, one way or another, unavailable?

It’s true,  I will run screaming if I sense a guy is a Stage 5 Clinger, and that factors like long distances won’t stop me if I really like someone…well, and I did date that soldier who was about to deploy for a year…

Food for thought.

But I’ve also turned away from situations I knew would never lead to a committed relationship; the one who turned out to still be legally married the entire time we dated, the guy online who said in his profile he was divorced but confessed on our 2nd date to only be separated, the friend who kept hitting on me saying how good we’d be together when I knew he was an utter and complete player. I could go on an on.

So while I have certainly chosen poorly now and again, I’m not quite ready to subscribe entirely to the “I pick men who are unavailable” theory.

I honestly don’t know.

For a long time I was pretty hell bent on having a family. To “do it right” I suppose; to fix the world for that little four year old girl who went from wondering where she was going to eat supper to wracking her young brain to figure out what she did wrong that made her Daddy leave, by raising a child of my own.

That turned out not to be in the cards for me, and instead my path has been about learning  family isn’t necessarily DNA and that I have already raised a child…up off that devastating kitchen floor…and into a woman that I actually like.  A lot.

Still, all I have ever wanted is to have a man in my life that I knew – I KNEW – I mattered to.  Money, power, fast cars, trips abroad, shiny things…none of that means anything to me.

To love and be loved, that is my one simple goal. To become, as the rose became to the Little Prince, “unique in all the world.”  To matter.

Matter enough to be honest to, even when it’s hard. Matter enough to see past the quirks and flaws to the woman who loves with everything that she is. Matter enough to face the world together as true partners.  Matter enough to do what no other man has…

Matter enough to stay.

Filofax Sale-O-Rama

As hinted about last night on Twitter, I cleaned out the Filofax bin and have a bunch up for sale today.

In order to save time and effort, I am just going to list them below, rather than photograph each or hunt around on the internet for pictures of them…we Filofax addicts know what the objects of our affection looks like, amirite?

Should you have interest in any of these offerings, please email me at zeitgeistofzoe@gmail.com or DM me on Twitter.  We can then discuss price in private.

These items are located in the United States. Buyer will pay all shipping costs via USPS Priority Mail. International shipment may be considered. Any International shipment will be made via USPS Express Mail International. Items will be shipped out once payment has been received.

PayPal is the only accepted method of payment.

These items are sold as is; and it should be noted that most of the planners DO NOT have diary inserts (and the ones that do will have inserts from whatever year I bought them, which more than likely will not be 2012), so we’re talking just the binders themselves.

Sad to say, the majority of these babies have never even been used. All are in excellent new or like-new condition and have no ink marks, scratches or flaws.

This is a first come, first served kind of deal; no “holding” or making payments. Consider this pretty much like eBay…in fact, whatever you guys don’t snarf up will be heading to eBay; I just wanted to give my peeps first dibs ; )

Okay, here we go:

MINIS

Purple Finsbury Zip  SOLD

POCKETS

Olive Green Urban SOLD
Grey Urban
Aquamarine Domino
Black Guildford SOLD
Black Chameleon
Tan Chino
Turquoise Baroque  SOLD
Pewter Butterfly SOLD
Amber Metropol SOLD
Crimson Malden  SOLD

SLIMLINES 

Black Bond  SOLD

PERSONALS

Grey Domino SOLD
Gooseberry Domino (also Sharpie’d the band black on this one) SOLD
Aquamarine Domino SOLD
Olive Green Urban SOLD
Grey Urban SOLD
Pewter Butterfly SOLD
Red Finchley
Black Guildford
Turquoise Finchely SOLD

That’s it for the Filofax selections.  I also cleaned out my Franklin Covey bin, so I have a few of those up for sale as well (photos of these can be sent if you’re interested – most of them are currently not on the FC website, so I have no idea what models they are):

A small Orange 365 ring bound planner
Small Black Compass ring bound planner
Black vinyl Compact
Ivory Pocket Color Shrunk w/snap closure (note: this does not correspond at all w/FF pocket size)
Black leather Classic w/snap closure (1 1/4″ rings)

Happy shopping everyone!!!

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