Monthly Archives: June 2015

Life-is-better-than

The Truth About Goats & Happiness

baby goatsYesterday afternoon as I drove up to the Young Family Ranch, the bucks and llama grazed peacefully in the front pasture. And I felt happy.

It turns out it doesn’t take much for one to be happy. Thought perhaps it’s not as easy as the goats and llama make it seem either. Well, for them it’s probably no big thing.

For nearly eight years we’ve been gentleman ranchers with at least one or two goats living on the property with us. We sometimes milk them and almost always breed them. You know why if you’ve ever seen a frolicking kid in the springtime.

For the longest time, and I know this makes me sound a bit dim, if we weren’t milking them, I wasn’t sure what purpose they served. I mean, shoes keep your feet protected, rain makes the grass grow, dogs keep you company, but a non-milking goat? Even the llamas serve as protectors for the other animals.

I am not so sure exactly how things can be so hidden from me. My dear Mr Dreamboat surely scratches his head at me when the most obvious things are not remotely clear to me. At least until I get them figured out.

The goats, at least for us out here at the YFR, simply make you happy. Not just the frolicking in the spring and not just because I make some killer chevre when the mood strikes me.

No, the goats and the one sheep, along with the Great Pyrenees dog, the four horses, the colorful chickens and the sassy geese, at the end of the day they’re just there to make us smile.

What it takes to be happy is to look around and see all the things that make you happy. Simple as that. For the goats, it’s likely the green grassy fields, for me it’s the goats and for you it’s likely something else.

Without a doubt there are meek things around each one of us. What exactly makes you smile is far less important than that you are actually allowing yourself to do so.

Alice Walker said, “Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.”

And that, my friends is the truth about happiness. Now go find yours.

Like, share, comment, tweet and take a bite out of life like it’s the only one you get… Cuz you know, it is…

Caution ~ Woman Under Construction, Thanks, Caitlyn Jenner

caitlyn jennerFor several weeks now I’ve been writing a blog post in my head. Judging by my lack of posting, it has sometimes seemed it might stay in my head, never making it to the erstwhile paper of my blog. And then I saw a picture of Bruce Jenner’s transformation into Caitlyn and I was inspired.

The header of the blog-in-my-mind is “Caution – Woman Under Construction”. I bet Caitlyn wishes she’d thought of it herself, but it’s mine now, dammit. And I’m keeping it.

I write this knowing there are smirks and jokes being tossed out like the ugly red balls we were forced to use in the dodge ball games of our youth. I never liked the literal game and I like the metaphorical game even less. It is the game of bullies and cowards.

Whether or not you’re prone to criticism and contempt, the fact is, we’re all under construction in one form or another. We are having our edges broken off and we are transforming into something more… or less, than we were before.

Ms Jenner’s transformation is public and painful both emotionally and, I suspect, physically. Whether you like the idea of transgender or not, she is a beacon for change and a poster girl for bravery. As my friend Melissa once responded when I jokingly said don’t believe in guns, “Well, they exist whether you believe in them or not.” Pithy girl.

Caitlyn Jenner is the lighthouse for changes, big and small, public or private. Her cover girl photo gently nudges us, waking us to be ourselves, be honest and grab life in exactly the way our hearts dictate.

This speaks to me now as I, too, am going through my own transformations. Gratefully I’m quite at home in my assigned gender. My marriage remains the pinnacle happiness of my life and by external examination I remain largely the same as I was last year.

But looks are often quite deceiving.

I am changing and growing and scared and sometimes discomfited in my life. But I am not without resources. Like an explorer leaving the confines of her childhood, I am prepared with tools for navigating and emergency supplies. For the most part these include wisdom of the ages and the people I rely on most.

While Caitlyn Jenner is boldly and bravely walking the walk, each of us can take a page out of her book and heed the call to be our own authentic selves. And on those nights when not everything seems clear, easy or sure, we can simply remind ourselves not to make judgments, Caution, Human Beings Under Construction.

Like, share, comment, tweet and you do you, as a favor to the rest of us.