Winter has hunkered down, here in the Midwest. In fact on Monday the high is in the negatives. I’m looking forward to experiencing a balmy twenty degrees…eventually. I know a lot of us dread winter. Rightfully so. We spend more time indoors. It’s cold. Bitter cold, often times. It takes as much time getting layers on as it does actually completing barn chores. Let’s try to put a positive spin on the winter. What if we looked at winter as this amazing time for rest, rejuvenation, relaxation and a time to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of life. Looked at winter as a time for the dreamers, schemers, planners, doers, go-getters…the overly ambitious ones who need that set time to re-plot, re-direct, re-evaluate and redirect their goals. Time to redirect or reset their sails to achieve more and greater things. The time forces you to really examine your inner self and what you want to achieve.
A great thing that comes with working with horses is that they know when you make plans and goals. The perfect example is trailer loading. Without fail, every time I plan to take my horse somewhere and set exact times for my horse to be loaded and then push off…it fails. If I plan for fifteen minutes for my horses to load, no doubt it’ll take at least two hours. Soooo… my goals have learned to be flexible. Majority of my goals have to do with horses, anyway.
It’s occurred to me, and only took just over thirty years to get this, that I only have one shot at this life. And, better late than never, I should live it for me. I shouldn’t let the thoughts of others, the actions of others dictate what I do or the directions I go. For too long it has. At the time of making some decisions, I may have said I was doing it for me but deep down I think I justified it that way so in some twisted way it would be for me. It is so exhausting to not live for yourself. It is simultaneously a fault and blessing of mine, that I want everyone around me happy. To achieve that I often sacrifice my happiness. I would go to the ends of the earth to make my friends and family happy….but I want to be happy too. Balance. It’s there somewhere, just have to keep finding it. Which maybe should be a goal of mine, to quit sacrificing myself and to pay attention to my happiness.
I am a firm believer that if something really lights your fire you should do it. Though all too often I don’t take my advice. My favorite quote EVER is from Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” When each of us “comes alive” it may inspire others to do the same. Imagine if the whole world was full of those of us who were following our dreams. Don’t you think we would be happier, willing to help others and give more? Happiness is contagious. If someone radiates happiness, you immediately smile. I want to follow my heart more. Maybe it would be more appropriate to say I WILL follow my heart more.
When you start to follow your heart, radiate happiness, and, as a result, find yourself happier don’t look back, just go. Keep moving forward Because at the end of the day when you recount your life are you going to look back and think, “I took all the chances I could!” or is it going to be more along the lines of “Oh, I wish I had done that?”
Because my blog is mostly about my horses, especially Frank, let me touch on what this has to do with him. I cannot, and as crazy as it sounds, describe the world this horse has opened up to me. No, we aren’t perfect. In fact, my last lesson before the holidays and cold snap, was intense. It was like Frank caught me in a daydream and was like “Yo, lady it won’t be easy…snap out of it”. Which I did snap out of it and got him to snap into it. But, he has given life back to my dreams. As an eventer, whenever I pass wide open fields or even a golf course, I just imagine Frank galloping through it. The dreams don’t stop EVER. It would be a serious fault of mine not to do something about this. Not to act on this. I really feel this horse has so much potential…it’s the craziest feeling. I even feel like, I have potential. I want to focus on that and cultivate that feeling, explore it and see what lies at the end of it. I want to feel empowered and supported to pursue this feeling. We don’t know until we try and I would rather try and fail then never give this a chance.