Sunday, October 9, 2011

7 Seconds of Bliss

At the conclusion of my last post I promised to return by Friday, at the latest, with something funny.  

Well its Sunday, I'm late.  I have a few stories to tell but my head is stuck in some heavy stuff as the result of my friends death.  

In a desperate attempt to hold your attention, I am reposting 7 Seconds of Bliss.  It first appeared in July of 2010.  

Because I am a deserving member of THE INSECURE WRITERS GROUP, I've tweaked it.  Interestingly, I took a lot out.  I used to try to stretch my work but I'm learning that less is more.  And because ongoing life experiences force growth, I've updated it.

7 Seconds of Bliss

Let's pretend that this is me. 

For the past 9 years the end of summer is reserved for Burning Man preparation.

Figuring out what to wear is half the fun.  I'm NOT one of the naked ones.  I make a lot of my costumes.  I start with a fun fabric and see where it takes me.  No patterns or logic required. The more outrageous the better.

This year I fell in love with a pair of pants I found on Etsy.  A ruffled, "forgiving" stretch pant.

The seller labeled them "fun and flattering" and I believed her.

When I can't locate the fabric online or in the city, I order the pants on Etsy.

The following day, the seller emails me asking for my waist and hip measurements. I wait for a "less bloated" day but when that day doesn't come, I dig out the tape measurer.

Alone in the house, I close the curtains, dim the lights and lock the bedroom door.

I am instructed to give my hip and waist measurements.  I know my waist is smaller so I start there. 

I am pleasantly surprised by what I find.  Not only am I capable of reaching allll the way around my waist, but with a measurement of 23 inches, I am only 2 inches larger then I was when I was in my 20's!

I remember wearing a terrycloth headband as a belt back in my aerobic instructor days.

So begins my 7 Seconds of Bliss...

I have been WAY to hard on myself.  Starving myself.  Denying myself of a little bit more of this or a bigger piece of that.  Tonight...I'm having cheese, and lots of it!!! And wine, plenty of wine!!!  With a 23 inch waist, why bother with the sit ups...I'm going to sit back and pour myself another cup of coffee - maybe put some cream in. I'm hungry, what should I have for breakfast?....  maybe I should get the pants in 24 inch waist, give myself a little extra wiggle room. 

and there... my 7 Seconds of Bliss ends.

I was holding the tape measure upside-down.

I have a 32 inch waist.

I measure again...
33 inches...WHAT?

I measure AGAIN
34 inches...relaxed
32 if I suck in
31 if I pull tight
30 if I hold my breath, stand perfectly straight, and pull hard

This can't be.  It must be a defective tape measure.

I start from the left and count each inch. They are in order.
I grab a ruler and measure the tape measurer. It lines up fine.

I skip breakfast that morning, have black coffee and stay on the treadmill for an extra 15 minutes.

And then I did something bizarre...

I stood in front of a full length mirror - naked.

I'd be lying if I told you I was pleased with my reflection. It is far from perfect. 

As long as I can remember, I have been unhappy with my less than peak physique.

In my teens, it was my small breasts.
In my 20's it was my big thighs.
In my 30's it was the cellulite on my thighs.
In my 40's it was the cellulite on my ass.
And now that I'm in my 50's...

I need to learn to appreciate my body.

This body allows me to stand and walk pain free.

And, I can run.  Not the marathons I used to, but I can still run.

And, I can twirl.  I've been twirling a baton for over 40 years.  Sometimes I light it on fire.

This body went to trapeze school and hula hooped down Broadway.

This body rides a bike through soft sand and blistering 110 degree heat at Burning Man.

This body recently fit in a very small box (see Out of the Box).

This is the body of a funky, free spirited woman who refuses to give up cheese and wears forgiving jeans.

At 52, I need to celebrate how my body has rewarded me.

In closing...

The last thing my friend of 37 years said to me, the one who died and who's funeral I just attended, was...

"stick that in your pipe and smoke it, you fat ass bitch" 

Well, this fat ass bitch is forgiving.
This fat ass bitch wore a double layer of SPANX at your funeral.

And this is where my next story begins.

Green Monkey Tales © 2010 Shannon E. Kennedy


  1. I think you are beautiful, inside and out. I, being a plus size woman, have made it my way, to just be a good person, a friendly person, and if others look at me like I'm a fatso, too bad for them. I don't need fake people in my life.

  2. I almost spit my soup! you made me laugh and I really needed that today; funny and inspiring. I totally agree with you - we are never happy with our body or face, or hair, or ANYTHING...and always want what we used to have, eventhough it wasn't that exciting either. It never ends until we say it's done and we decide to think outside the box! I am sure you will look awesome in those pants - attitude and self-steem is the key.

  3. Oh, Shannon! I am SO glad I kept reading, to find out your "real" waist size!! LOL
    I almost stopped after I read it was only 23 inches! That made me feel sooooo bad about myself!! Thanks for sharing this, and in such a humorous way!! Yep, we women are never totally happy with our bodies, and that's a shame, but with age, I think we do learn more acceptance of ourselves and of others!

  4. Lol @ the upside down tape measure. That has happened to me before. I need to learn to start now to love and accept my body (I keep telling my husband I want breast implants lol). Enjoy your fancy pants.

  5. You go, baby! You are beautiful just the way you are!

  6. Life is too short to be worry about our wobbly bits! It's what's going on inside that's more important...and oyu seem to have that under control just fine :-)
    I'm sure you're fabulous and hope to have your spirit at 50!

  7. Ooooh those wobbly bits!!! Some men call them handles. I think lately I am too hot to handle trying my best to get rid of them handles. I have yet to meet a woman that don't have issues with her body. You are not alone girl, but you only live once, so enjoy the wine and cheese.

  8. Great post. I was so happy for you when I read you had only gained 2 inches of waist, and I thought "She does deserve to treat herself".. and then I laughed a little when I read you had the tape measure upside down.

    But no matter what your waist size, you can't cheat yourself, you have to treat yourself. But only in moderation.

  9. ScoMan was watching! I wasn't thinking about the male eyes ;) when I posted.

    Thank you Dazee - I agree, its most important to be a good person. When I was in my early 20's I lost all my hair - well not ALL my hair but enough that I had to wear a wig. People DID treat me differently, especially men and even the loss of my son has caused some people to treat me differently...but this is how we separate the good from the bad.

    OJ - yes ATTITUDE is key! I told the story to Miss Pegged at the office today. She was standing right in front of me when I told her I thought I had a 23 inch waist (we see each other everyday so logically she knows this can't be right)..when I told her how I had the tape measure upside down she laughed - and then I thought...let me see if I can write it funny. Sooooo glad you laughed!

    Becky, my new funny friend - ohhh I'm sooo glad you kept reading! (should I cut to the 32 sooner???)

    Ms~ I have a good friend who got implants and they look FANTASTIC!!! I think that as long as you are doing it for YOU and not to please anyone else then its a good thing. and really??? I'm not the only one who read a measuring tape upside down??? YES!!!

  10. THANKS fors reading and commenting Bossy, Nat and Alice!

    message for the day (combined comments)

    enjoy, in moderation, no worries, love and accept ourselves, focus on the beauty within. Thank you everyone!

  11. Okay I was waiting for the burning man thing but instead laughed My Ass(ets) right off. Great read and just so you know you are not alone. Us 50+ people are discovering all sorts of new things.

  12. are you sure you're measuring in the correct places? hips or waist? if hips are 34", then that's good. if 34" waist.....put a lock on the fridge, no more booze (maybe just some red wine), hit the gym. (a dose of tough love). i don't think spanx would be comfortable in the heat!

    if you do nothing, and order the 34", can i borrow your ruffled pants? even though they might be a little loose on me!

    look at me! look at me this year!

    love you,


  13. Haha, very funny! I'd be excited for a 32" reading on me. Hey Shannon, when are we meeting up at a nudist camp? (now she's going to scold me because we haven't met up at all yet, if I really exist) Check out that mirror every day. Get used to the visual so that you don't even notice it anymore. Trust me, there is nothing impressive on my body, but I don't care. I still love the comfort and freedom of being nude. And, be realistic. You're in great shape for your age.

  14. Are you a doctor? This was just the medicine I needed. Am going to a wedding soon and I've been fretting over my dress more than the bride. Why? Cause I wish I had the waist I had when I was 20, or 40.

    I'm older than you and still learning to love my body. Problem is the body looks worse each year, so loving it takes extra courage and wisdom.

    Thanks for this chuckle.

  15. Lady's help me out here...
    Sam, you BLEW it when you wrote "your in great shape for your age"

    all the nudist comments were fine - no line crossed there. its who you are and I know you are harmless :) (you're harmless, right Sam)

    the last time I did public nudity was with Mr. Cooked - in Martha's Vineyard - the day after he asked me to marry him. I was in shock and cocktails were involved so it was easy.

    Myrna - you're right of course, the body does look "slightly more weathered" every year, this is another reason why I'm trying to enjoy how it looks now.

    Piko - okay, okay, I'll "look at you" but there is no way your waist is smaller than mine. guess I'll have to cut back on the raw meat, what do you think?

    Jules - soooo glad I surprised you with the direction of the post!!! yes, there are NEW parts - I'm growing some along my back (scary!)

  16. Beauty is just an opinion of someone else. What is beautiful or sexy is being comfortable in your body. If your gonna exercise do it cause it feels good. You are who you want to be & from what I've learned from your writing thats pretty great.
    Peace Mr Monkey

  17. There needs to be more blogs like this one...funny and "real life." The world would be a better place if the tape measurer had never been invented.
    Hi. I came across your blog through another blog I follow and have signed up as a follower. When you’re free, please do visit me and let me know what you think of my blog and leave a comment. If you like, do follow as well. I am always open to great new people and interesting websites. Look forward to hearing from you.

  18. You are beautiful in so many ways...forget the 23 inch waist.

  19. Girl, you are a hoot! When I read that you had a 23" waist my first thought was...I hate her!!!! If you're surprised at your body in your 50's wait till you hit 60!!! But you're doing something're accepting your body for what it is and reveling in the blessings of what it is capable of. Good for you. Society has too long tried to make us gals feel miserable if we don't look like the air-brushed pictures we see in the magazines...or the stars who have personal trainers 24/7!!! are cute as a button just the way you are. You are also funny, talented, and fun to read! PS: Over the last 2 weeks I lost 4 lbs...gained 2 of them back in 2 days. Now how is that possible???

  20. Your Friend FlickaJuly 18, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    Hey, Shannon--

    Did you really go to trapeze camp at Omega without me?? How was it? I was so jealous of your 23 inch waist measurement. Now I am relieved. Great story. I am working on learning to love my body, too. You are inspiring me.

  21. Throw away those measuring tapes!
    ...Dig in that cube of cheese, open up your laptop, key in the password,
    Sit back, Relax...
    And Enjoy the reflection of your ' Beauty'...
    Age is just a silly number.. I am
    Learning from You:)
    All the Best:)

  22. We always try to change ourselves, or the things we don't like, we diet, dye our hair, spend thousands of dollars on makeup, waxing, nails, hair care, blah, blah, blah.

    But like you, I am at the point where I am just fine the way I am, except dying my hair, I ain't giving that one up. LOL

  23. Green Eyes ~ I am contemplating dying my gray hair pink - my way of pulling away from normalcy and focusing on my creative edge.

    Thank you everyone! :))))))) now....what to write next ???

  24. Great post! Stay young in your heart and you will stay young!

  25. Great and hilarious post! You've got the right attitude about aging!

  26. LOL! I was going to write I hate you for having a 23 inch waist! Hahahaha... Then you realized you had the tape measure upside down, quite the senior moment! Hahaha. And you pulled a hamstring doing a cartwheel! So did I about 6 months ago trying to show my sons, ages 15 and 25. But this last week I'm back running. In a few months I'm going to celebrate the Big 5-0. You go girl! Fun blog entry! Rayo :D

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. SEEEE people!!! I'm not the only one who pulled a hamstring doing a cartwheel at or near 50! WHAT ARE THE ODDS! This is a great example of why I love blogging.

    And Marty... you ALWAYS know how to make me smile. When writers say "great post" or "well written" its.......well, its better than....well, almost better than hearing "your ass looks great in those pants!"

  29. I totally loved this post. Although I have to admit to hating you for a few seconds when you said you had a 23-inch waist. I couldn't figure out how that was even possible! Then after reading some more I was glad to see that you are "normal".

  30. I nearly choked on my Cheerios! Hilarious!

  31. Soo Funny! And I can sooo relate being a mom very close to 50. I am learning to love my's a hard thing to do.


  32. Having just turned 60 (last week) I totally understand what you're saying. But, sometime a few years ago I realized that I had never been happy with my body, never satisfied even when I was a size 4.

    I looked at pictures of myself at that size and knew I probably felt 'fat' that day! It taught me to appreciate myself and my body for what it truly is, not what we've been programmed all these years to think it should be!

    Love your writing!

  33. BARBARA - I said the same thing yesterday.... 10 years from now we are going to look at pictures of ourselves and say "damn, I looked good" but remember how fat we felt. we really need to appreciate our health and if we are healthy and eating right and taking care of ourselves then except and love ourselves.

    Thank you everyone for reading! I am a happy monkey today!

  34. They have products for peeing your pants. Ha, ha. I am glad you are going to start loving your body.

    Happy SITS Day.


  35. Hope I can get there some day. I'm 38 and am still struggling to be okay with my body.

  36. LOL Too funny! SO great that you've learned to love your body!! =)

  37. You are hilarious and I love you!

  38. Love love LOVE this post. It's so true. I am 25 and I've battled with my body for the past 10 years. Diets. Exercise. Throwing up (Luckily I nipped this in the bud before it developed into full-blown bulimia. It was just too gross.)

    After birthing a baby, I can honestly say that I believe I look better than ever. I send naked pictures to my husband while he's at work. I walk around the house naked. I may not be *movie star thin,* but I love my body more each day.

  39. Those pants make your ass look great.... & Sam is real.-- Harpo

  40. Agreed. No woman is ever truly happy, having no qualms about their figure. If you're happy, that's what counts.

  41. Burning Man? That's some crazy stuff LOL My friend Jim Bunkleman goes to those. He and his wife Rhonda get down with it. They're well into their 50's.

    If you truly have a 35 inch waist I might be able to help. Come check out my blogspot. I'm almost 60 and can't say I have a 23 inch waist ( did you really have a 21 incher in high school?) mine is a respectable number:)

    Fun blog. This is my first visit!

  42. I totally understand what you're saying. Even at a size 4, I am so unhappy with my body and wishing I would have appreciated what I had back in my 20s... We need to come to peace with our bodies, and accept what REAL bodies (not magazine covers) look like.

    Every woman in their 20s should read this!

  43. I was thinking that a 23 inch waist was pretty amazing! Too funny! I loved you post. What a great place you have here!

  44. I loved your story! My cousin always goes to Burning Man. She sells jewelry that is "stunning, wearable art!"

    I applaud you for having the courage to look at yourself naked in the mirror. I tried it recently and became so upset, I cancelled my first massage ever!

    I came over from last Sunday's WOW post. You are a wonderful writer!


  45. YES... I updated this post.

    NO... I did not update my waist measurement.

  46. Shannon, thanks for the laugh. I am very sorry to hear about your friend. You, my friend, will be forever young!

  47. 23, 32, 50, 52, all just numbers. I agree with (almost) all the above posts, especially the ones that appreciate your honesty and humor and say, appreciate and accept you, inside and out you are beautiful, and I'm so proud to be your friend, in or out of the vagina....


  48. What a great, fun post! You truly are a beautiful person

    I'm dropping in from Alex's hop. Nice to meet you. *waves* I'm also your latest follower.

  49. Ah Monkey. most of us men your age and older appreciate the female form in all its manifestations. Don't forget that. Being female is what counts the most and a fun and playful attitude makes up the rest. You are sexy and fun and that is very appealing.

  50. ahhhh... thank you Ponder! I had extra spunk in my step thanks to your comment!

  51. thank you Heidi and thank YOU Monkey Gurl!

  52. Oh's a pleasure to read this. Self-acceptance is so vital and you GET IT!! Found an old picture of myself, that my cousin on FB posted and I was as slim as I ever was, yet I remember thinking that I was too fat to wear shorts! Right...even though I was starving and running all over the place in those days. We are lucky lucky women, who have partners who GET IT too. and.....and if we don't? We're still lucky as long as we love ourselves. xoxox
    Love, DB

  53. Hello there,
    I am just popping over from Alex's blog hop. I have been trying to do a few a day or when I get some free time. I'm sorry it's taken me a while to get around to you, it's just that there are so many phew!! So "hello" and great blog. I will pop by as often as I can. Good to "meet" you.
    Eve :)


Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison