Ever find yourself drifting off the subject in the middle of a conversation? Or maybe just distracting yourself from finishing what you started? I remember, a few years back, listening to a lecture on how to keep yourself motivated by Dr. Stephanie Burns. She told her audience that it all depended on what kind of person you are...a person who likes beginnings, a student who likes to be out there in the middle or a super goal oriented person who seeks the goal at the expense of the path you need to take to get there.
Myself? I love beginnings. I always liked the first day of school. I loved the smell of my new box of crayons, all of the blank notebooks with lots of space for possibilities, my new clothes...all of it. And I still do. It's always exciting, finding a new subject to learn about and to do the research on. There's all the new people to talk to about it and websites to find and read. Even though I'm goal oriented, it was always the beginning I liked best.
The hard part for me is the middles...the vasty, boggy, get lost in the fog (also known as distracted) and wade in it up to my knees middles. Middles always seem so long, so unavoidable, so dull. I always "did my middles", especially because I wanted to reach the goal so I could start another wonderful, bright shiny new beginning. I like the adrenalin rush, the small bit of stress that puts me outside that comfort zone we all love to talk about, so I can learn something brand new.
When I can get to the other end of my day and say " Look at that! I learned something new today.", then I feel like it was in the "best day" category. "That was my best day ever!" I still get to say that ever so often and I still love the feeling it gives me. It's all I can do to keep from picking up the phone and calling a friend to tell them goofy things like " Hey, I learned how to make a poultice with a paper baby diaper soaked in apple cider vinegar and Epsom salts, some vet wrap and duck tape." Uh huh...you can imagine how exciting that is for most people, can't you? Or, how about " I know what Thrush smells and looks like. I learned that today when my donkey's hooves were kind of oozy and smelly."
It's new and I love to figure out the puzzle, how it works, what to do with all of the information I didn't have before. But then come the middles...the long, dusty, musty middles where the Thrush comes back and I still have to deal with it again. Course, I do it because the end goal of clean, healthy hooves is out there beckoning so (you knew this was coming!) I can start again.
This year has been one with endings I didn't want to get to and beginnings that still leave me in awe of how much there is to learn! I have another horse to play and work with. She isn't mine. She belongs to a friend and lives up the road a bit, but still close enough for me to get over to play with her a couple of times a week. Her name is Mercedes. She's helping me to fill that place in me that loves grey mares. I can't have one of my own right now so I get to do something that's second best...begin again with a friend's horse. That a double beginning! It's the first time I've seriously tried to work with someone else's horse when they weren't involved.
And there's Miniver. You might say she's one of my huge beginnings (pun definitely intended. She's still growing too, so she's going to get bigger!).
And there's Abby, my newest and youngest study buddy. She isn't able to make it out every week, but ever so often she comes to see us with her Grandma. She's a true natural with all of the animals. She loves everything about them...the smells, the bond, the interactions and even the hard work. She loves to muck out the stalls and sweep the barn! Now that's what I call a true horse-woman in the making.
There's new relationships to foster. (That's me, Nancy Doolittle)
And John who's just beginning his journey with Apache!
And....ta da!...my new study buddy group. We meet once a week and it's fascinating every single time. It's sort of like a wedding...something always happens! I'm a bit further ahead than they are so I've been having a lot of fun showing them the ropes (another pun intended!).
It's been a year for more beginnings than I'd realized before I started this story today. No wonder the year is flying by so fast! Whew...lots of "outside the comfort zone" time for me.
But if you go back to the beginning (there's that word again!) of this BLOG entry, you'll find that I've also distracted myself too by wondering a bit from what I intended to talk about.
I'm in the misty, vast, sometimes overwhelming in it's size middles with Lucky. And with Apache too since he and I still play together when John can't. I'm here, smack dab in the middle, trying to keep my head on straight and my focus on the goal. Although I can't let myself do that with too much intention since horses have only one goal...survival. If I get too direct line Lucky knows that and he responds by being evasive. sigh...
See what I mean? It's getting more and more complicated and Zen and anything Zen is going to twist your mind around.
So I've decided to treat everyday like the beginning that it is. I go to bed saying "Whew...did a lot today. Got all kinds of things done. Good for me!" And I wake up the next day saying " Hot dog! I get to start again. Doesn't get any better than that!" and off I go, through the gate , wading through the middle and ending again, sometimes in the wee hours of the morning because it's so hard to get my head to turn off. I'm having that much fun!
I'm not sure that's exactly what Dr. Burns was suggesting to us when she talked about keeping yourself motivated but it's working for me, at least for now.
I'm out the door to set the playground up in a new design so we can approach our games from another point of view. This is my middles time of the day and you, dear reader, are my distraction. And it doesn't get any better than that!
My fan club awaits!
I am, ever yours, Nancy, laughing