When Your “Happy Place” is also Your “Sad Place”

I love my horses and I love spending time in my barn.  Its where I do my best thinking and, even though I often forget it and neglect to spend enough time there, hanging out with my horses truly makes me happy.

But its complicated.  While my barn is most definitely one of my most happy places, its also a sad place sometimes.

My horse, Stormy, turned 28 on June 13.  I was hanging out in the barn with him and, for some reason, my thoughts turned to my beloved first horse, Tori.  Pretty quickly, I was sitting in my barn, balling my eyes out.  I had to put Tori down on September 3, 1997 – that was a long time ago!!!!  But oftentimes it seems like it was yesterday.  Is it always going to seem like that?

Hanging out with my current horses – Stormy, my retired old guy; Slewy, my gorgeous off-the-track Thoroughbred I can’t seem to ride; and Holly, the kids’ mini – is certainly comforting.  But, sometimes I’m in the barn and I’m just overwhelmed with how much I miss Tori, how he was supposed to still be here with me (I know he’s always “with” me).

Compounding my sadness is the fact that I feel like I’m failing Tori daily by not riding Slewy.  Its as if all the time we spent together and all the skills he taught me is somehow being wasted.  That, though, hasn’t been enough motivation to get me back to riding Slewy.

Because Slewy’s not Tori.  They’re both Thoroughbreds and I put Slewy’s bit on Tori’s bridle, hoping that would help. They have similar personalities – sweet, kind, inquisitive, always in your pocket.

I just know that somehow, in my slightly nutty head, this is getting in the way of riding Slewy again.  And I’m just not sure what to do about it.  Logically, I think I would feel better if I were riding.  But logic doesn’t seem to have much to do with this.  If it were all up to my logic, I would have been riding years ago.

My happy place being my sad place makes it complicated.  And difficult to move forward.

Mired in “Do-Nothing-ness”

I was making progress on a few of my goals.  I was spending time in the barn, practicing Spanish (occasionally), walking the dog, feeling healthy, and, in general, just getting things done.

Yet once again, it has all come to a screeching halt.  It started with end of the school year activities, my son graduating from 8th grade, etc.  Then I got sick and was down and out for about 10 days.  Since then, I haven’t been able to get back on track.

I’m frustrated and upset about it.  But mostly, I’m just tired.  And not quite sure what to do.

Last week I took my son to the doctor for his summer camp physical.  I hopped on the scale . . . and was dismayed to find that I’m the heaviest I’ve been in a long time.  136.5 at 5′ 4″.  Ugh.

I haven’t been walking my dog so he has a ton of energy and is up all night roaming the house, which is keeping me awake at night.  So . . . not sleeping well.  Plus, we’ve gotten in this pattern of not going to bed until midnight or so and then sleeping in.  Also, not good.

I came up with the idea that I would be back on my horse by September 3.  That’s the 20 year anniversary of my first horse’s death (thoughts of Tori still brings me to tears, nearly 20 years later).  I lunged Slewy exactly twice and that was going on three weeks ago not.  So much for good intentions.

One of my new excuses is that its harder with the kids being out of school.  I don’t have a few hours to myself every afternoon.  And I’m a person who desperately needs a few hours alone most days.  But with the kids not in school, 1) they’re always around so there’s no down time for thinking, writing here in my blog or my journal, or much else of my own and 2) I do things with them (which I love and am not complaining about) – we go to the pool, go shopping, or who knows what.  So, again, very little time to myself.  Right now, this afternoon, I think is the first time since June 1 that I’ve had any time home alone.  And I’m spending it writing and playing Hay Day rather than really accomplishing anything.  But I’m so, so tired.  I feel like I just need to sit for awhile.

O.k., so no answers really.  Just complaints.  Often writing helps me to sort things out in my head so maybe this is a way to start again.  I don’t know.  I’m tired of “starting again.”

What’s Holding Us Back?

The other day, some of the ladies at work were, yet again, discussing their need to lose weight.  I laughed and said, “Yeah, you guys will lose weight when I speak Spanish.”  (Its o.k., we have that type of relationship so they weren’t offended.)

But it really got me thinking . . . this is a conversation I have with so many of my women friends.  The desire to do this or that . . . and the absolute lack of sustained progress.

It really got me thinking . . . What is holding us back??

In my last post, I asked “What would success look like?”  The question of “What’s holding us back?” is a little different.

I posed that question to my good friend and she answered, “Fear.”

O.k., but fear of what exactly??

I asked my Mom.  She answered that she doesn’t like to be noticed so she thinks that’s what’s holding her back from losing weight, dressing better, etc. . . . someone might then notice her if she were attractive.  To which I replied, “Well, maybe people are noticing now and thinking how frumpy you look.”  (O.k., so maybe that wasn’t very nice of me but I think it was a legitimate point.)

Back to fear.  I know that for me and Spanish (because that’s an easy example), I have the immediate fear that people are going to think I’m stupid or sound funny in my beginning attempts at speaking Spanish.  Logically, I know the people I can practice with will absolutely not make fun of me but the fear is still there.

But what’s beyond that?  What if I did accomplish some of my goals?  Would I be able to internalize that success?  Would I be more confident?  Would people then expect more of me?  And, to my Mom’s point, would people notice me more?  Am I comfortable with that?  What would my husband say if I stepped out of my comfort zone and did well?  What would my friends say?  (I know “true” friends support you no matter what, blah, blah, blah).

Aaaahhhh . . . so much unknown!!!!  So maybe my friend was right.  Maybe it is fear that’s holding us back, plain and simple.

 

What Would Success Look Like?

As I’ve said in past postings, I have a lot of goals and have been unable to accomplish any of them.  I spend a lot of time asking myself why that is.  What would reaching any one of my goals look like?  Where would that leave me?  What would others think?  Would I be happier?  More self-confident?  Just simply feel better about myself?  What would success look and feel like?

Take my goal of being fluent in Spanish?  I know why I want to speak Spanish.  First, it would definitely help me in my work.  Many (most) of my client (or at least their parents) only speak Spanish.  I have interpreters at my disposal but it would be nice if I didn’t have to use them.  Second, if I ever lose my fabulous job, speaking Spanish would definitely help me get a new job.  Third, we travel and we love to travel off the beaten path.  Speaking Spanish would enable us to go more places and go those places more comfortably.

So there’s only benefits to being fluent in Spanish.  There’s really no downside.

I have the opportunity every single day to learn Spanish.  The interpreters at work are more than happy to help me.  These are ladies that I see every single day and am more than comfortable with.  I know that they’re not going to make fun of me in my first attempts as I learn.

Yet, do I practice with them?  Nope.  Do I speak a word of Spanish – even the words I know?  Nope.  O.k., well, I might squeak out a “Buenos Dias” in the morning and an “Adios” when I leave.  But that’s about it.

Why??????

I’ve got absolutely no idea.  But I’m hoping that someday, I’ll know what its like to realize the success of being fluent in Spanish.  I just don’t know how I’m going to get there.

Fewer Goals, Better Focus

I have a lengthy list of things I’d like to accomplish.  Unfortunately, I never make any sustained progress.  I’ll do good for a week or maybe two but then it all seems to fall by the wayside.  I’m frustrated by this and have been unable to find a solution.

Yesterday, it occurred to me that maybe I have too many goals.  Maybe I’m trying to accomplish too many things at once and therefore cannot focus and make progress on anything.  Here’s the current “goal list” (which has been the same for years):

Become fluent in Spanish.

Go back to riding my horse.

Train the pony to pull a cart.

Lose 10 pounds.

Actually do my physical therapy exercises twice a day.

Walk the dog daily, or at least every other day.

Get the kids to practice their respective instruments.

Focus on the positive – post a positive photo each day.

Do something on my “2017 List” – that’s a whole other list of things to do like “clean out my closet”, etc.

Make scrapbooks.

Decrease sugar; eat healthy.

I completely expect myself to make progress on all of those plus take care of daily life, which for me includes working as an attorney and all that goes along with having kids, a house, a husband, etc.

Is that unrealistic?  I’m beginning to think it is.

So, I’ve decided to try whittling down my goal list for a least a little bit.  I really struggle with feeling like I’m throwing in the towel.  But I’m hoping that fewer goals will equal better focus, which hopefully will lead to some actual progress and accomplishment.

I’m going to start with the goals that have to do with my health.  If I’m not healthy (which I am for the most part), riding, training the pony, traveling, and so many other things will be harder.  If I’m not healthy, it won’t matter if I’m fluent in Spanish or not.

Here’s the new goal list:

Walk dog – Exercise for me and the dog!

Do physical therapy exercises – PT was prescribed to rehab my torn Achilles and to hopefully prevent the other one from tearing.  Torn Achilles equals no riding or walking dog.

No eating right before bed – I’m not hungry so why am I sitting down with the entire carton of ice cream??  (I do love ice cream though.)

Decrease sugar, increase veggies, eat healthy – Hmmm . . . that’s all kind of vague.

Jump rope daily – My doctor strongly encouraged this for cardio and as a “weight-bearing exercise” to keep the calcium from leaching out of my bones.  Apparently I’ve reached the age where that starts to happen.  Currently, I can jump rope for 2 minutes before I feel like I’m going to die.

O.k., that’s enough!  See how my list just gets longer and longer?  That’s what happens to me!!!  Too many goals . . . unrealistic expectations . . . failure . . . feeling crummy about myself.

Its time for that to change.