When I weighed 300 pounds six years ago, I felt pretty far from pretty. I wasn’t happy or healthy. I was depressed and anxious. I didn’t feel capable or confident, I felt I lacked some pretty serious skills. Empowered or inspired were certainly not on my radar.
Yet, here I sit this Saturday morning at 5am. I’m happy. The Farmer’s Diet and Detox hopefully has me on the way to being healthy. At least I do know I’m 146 pounds lighter and I don’t carry around so much depression either. I feel more capable and confident every day. I get so inspired by the humans I meet and the experiences I have. Homestead life empowers me every single day. The skills residing in the seven pounds above my shoulders make me feel proud, as I watch them grow every day. Oh yeah, and I’m pretty happy about how I look in my overalls these days too. But, there’s a reason that that statement comes after all the others. It’s because what makes me feel beautiful these days is how I feel inside. For me, being happy, healthy, smart, capable, inspiring, empowered, confident, and skill up…. is what makes me feel “homestead hot”. More often than not!
I woke up yesterday morning and made a handful of quotes over pictures of ours from this year. Posted them. I’d never seen this quote before, but I really liked it. (Here’s the whole post I got sent later about where this quote came from.) Went to some awesome friends‘ homestead for a visit and to drop off a rabbit. Came home to find Women Who Farm had shared this graphic I made… and it had got a little attention. This morning it has hit a reach of 85,960 and 923 shares.. and it is still counting. That’s our heaviest hitting post ever. We also got almost 500 new followers yesterday, thank y’all so much!!
Me thinks, I’ve stumbled onto an interesting subject! Do we all have some feelings about feeling pretty? Like I used to? Perhaps!
So, I just wanted to share a little story this morning–about the moment in my homestead life that is depicted in the graphic above. Anyone else want to know what’s going on there? And why it was one that made me feel like a serious homestead hottie?
It was early August of this year. We had barely had any rain all summer and everything on the farm was suffering for it. Yet, on that day–the skies opened up and it dumped what ended up being a few inches of rain in an hour. The Forager and I ran out on the porch, started squealing and dancing around in circles. We were so grateful. For about 30 seconds before we looked over at the rabbit colony–we got horrified and fast.
My rabbit doe Groats had taken advantage of the dry weather and dug herself a full on burrow to have babies in. I hadn’t been too worried about it until this point–because it was so dry and I knew they’d be up and out of there in a week or so. The whole rabbit paddock was filling with a river of water and fast. I panicked. We stood there for a second, talking about how could we dig it out without letting even more water in and drowning the kits. But, we just didn’t have that long to strategize and I realized that pretty quickly. I just put on my muck boots, grabbed a shovel and mattock and ran.
I didn’t even think about my clothes or my hair. I didn’t care about looking pretty. There was a job to be done. Permaculture had taught us so much about how to move water. We put in a water break and rerouted the path of it. We were able to quickly dug into the burrow. I found two gasping, mud covered, cold kits floating in a puddle of a burrow. I handed them to the Forager who ran them up to the porch to wrap in a blanket. I stayed behind and dove my whole body into the burrow to see if there were any more. There weren’t, thank God. I grinned so big I about couldn’t stand it. I was shaking with relief. The rain finally stopped. I turned around to someone laughing and saying, “DANG you look really hot right now, so I got the camera”. Click.
As I stepped up on the porch, I felt smart, capable and pretty too. I rubbed those baby rabbits in an screen printed onesie gone wrong until they were warm and dry.
I returned them to their mom, and tucked them back into a nest box in the hutch. She has seemed to learn her lesson and has never tried to bury her babes in a burrow since.
This was a couple weeks later. Fat, happy, healthy, and pretty too. I named them Shovel and Mattock. But, just a month later–I realized they were both girls and the names didn’t feel quite right. I’ve noticed girls can be sensitive about what they get called. Everyone can really, and I get that too. I didn’t know what to name them. But I did know, I sure didn’t need two more female rabbits. I held on to these two through several butchery days–because I just couldn’t do it. Their story was too epic, I liked them too much. I did actually want to keep one for breeding for next year. But what about the other one? So, I gave a couple new homesteaders I just LOVE a holler–and asked them if they were ready for a rabbit for their homestead. They were. I drove her there, just yesterday–while so many folks were loving this picture of me.
They don’t even know this whole story, but they decided to name her Athena–from my blog post last month about The Legend of the Eight Owls. It was just PERFECT. So perfect, I’m wondering if they would mind if I name her sister the same… since they both were born of a pretty epic tale. One of coming from poor circumstance, but surviving, thriving and going on to become great things. And, of course, I think they are both pretty too.
How we all feel about being pretty or handsome, it is so darn complicated. And everyone feels totally differently about it. Everyone reacts differently when they do or don’t get called that often. And here, on this blog–I’m always just sharing my opinion. And that is, that it is all about how we feel inside. If we are happy or not. Confident and capable or not. That’s what radiates out and makes other folks have a reaction. To me, strong and smart are both so sexy on anyone… and being smeared with mud doesn’t really slow that whole thing down.
So, I want to close with a section of an amazing quote that I got from a new Facebook fan of ours–who I’m now a big fan of! It seems just perfect and I love it so much.
“Neither “pretty” nor “handsome” has ever saved a life, invented something desperately needed, fed the hungry, provided healing care to the ill or injured, kept pollutants out of our soil, water, air, or bodies, kept someone from harming themselves or others, built or rebuilt the vast majority of the world’s governments or businesses, created a timeless or classic work of art, housed the homeless, kept an innocent person out of prison or from losing their job, made an original scientific discovery, taught anyone to read or write, raised or mentored a younger generation, saved a species from extinction, advanced our knowledge of the universe and how it works, and so much more!” –J.S.
Thanks girl, for making this farmer’s morning with your wonderfully wise words! I agree, completely. Let’s put the power on building people up for what is within and not just for what’s on the surface of their skin. Let’s make capability cool and smart sexy! I think the best thing in the world that we can all do is make people feel good about doing what they love with their lives–no matter what that is. If it makes you healthy and happy, then that sure makes you look real pretty to me!