happiness

End of a year, end of a decade

Usually I don’t get too excited about New Year’s Eve. My birthday is in January, and instead I celebrate that as my personal new year. But this year, I’m quite mindful of the fact that we are closing the door on the most difficult decade of my life. I had a friend jokingly say that the 40s were supposed to be the “fuck-it” forties, where you do what you want, no matter what people think. For me it was kind of more a “fuck-you” forties – but lots of growth and change happened.

I stopped drinking alcohol and caffeine at the beginning of the decade as I dedicated myself to dealing with the anxiety disorder that reared its ugly head during my marriage. My (now ex) husband lost his job not once but twice, which had us move from Rhode Island to Virginia, and then him to northern Virginia without us. The rage and abuse went from a mild simmer to a full out explosion of hatred and eventually the kids and I were able to get out and return home to Alberta. Then my dad died, I got divorced, my son became very ill, I broke my shoulder, my mom died, and my daughter also became ill.

Through this I learned about Ayurveda, studied it in a course to become a practitioner and became connected with a healer who guided me through my life changes. I started attending church regularly in Virginia, made a connection to my pastor who was integral in helping save me and my kids, and for the first time really learned about having a relationship with God. I took a health coach course that helped my interest in healthy living return. I started riding again, which has always been my soul connection, it helped me learn how to be brave again, how to keep going, and how to enjoy life. And finally, I was accepted into a masters of counselling psychology course, and now I have some direction for my future.

I’m happy to say goodbye to this decade, but I’m grateful for all I’ve learned about myself and about my family – immediate and extended – in this time too. When I say how blessed I am to have the family I do, they’re not just idle words. They literally helped save our lives, and have held us up ever since.

So when I think of where I want to go next, what I want to take with me, it’s what I’ve learned from these last few years.

Love unconditionally and bravely

Keep your circle small

Love yourself

Love others

Love God

Be strong, but allow others to help

Laugh often

Happy New Year, may your life be blessed.

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happiness

Don’t panic

I had the most amazing thing happen to me today. I was heading out to catch my horse for my riding lesson and was thrilled to see him standing by the gate looking (I thought) intensely happy to see me. And perhaps he was, but not in the way I thought. I opened the gate and went to catch him, when he turned away from me and started walking towards the shelter. Usually, he is very easy to catch, so not being totally sure what was going on, I told him to stop, grabbed at his blanket, and tried to make him stay with me. He was having none of it and just kept calmly but stubbornly walking towards the shelter.

As soon as we got beyond it, he stopped and I could see why he’d brought me there. A horse had rolled under the fence and was completely trapped on his back with all four legs stuck in the fence. Fortunately, he was lying there calmly, but it was pretty bad and he desperately needed help. The other two horses were standing quietly beside him, almost like they were encouraging him. I called my instructor and she came out, cut the fence, and we tied and rolled the poor dude out. As soon as he was on his feet, he shook himself and wandered off completely fine.

I’ve never seen a horse behave like this, the horse I went out to catch absolutely saved this guy’s life, and it was done very intentionally. The other horses were so calm and I think helped the one that was down stay calm as well. It’s a good reminder that no matter what, panicking won’t help the situation.

 

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happiness

Afraid of changing

I’ve always feared change, and if not feared it at least not welcomed it.

And yet my life has been full of change. Big moves, saying goodbye to friends and loved ones as I’d prepare my family for a new life.

This last move, our move home, should have been the easiest one of all- and yet it was not at all. The entire bottom fell out of my world and I had to stop and reassess everything I believed was true about my life.

I’m tired of change, I want things to stay the same, I want to get comfortable. And yet that’s not how one grows. Change is essential for growth, and pain is often what forces that to happen.

But sometimes change is beautiful. Letting go, even when we don’t want to, opens up the possibility for new and often better things and people to enter into our lives.

Today I had a beautiful fall drive through Bragg Creek to get my girl. It was a perfect day for leaf peeping and that’s a great area to do it in.

I’m learning not to resent all the change, some of it I’m embracing, and some of it I’m getting excited about.

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happiness

(Reluctantly) embracing change

Today I was informed I was to ride a different horse in my lesson. Even when I rode all the time and was young and brave, I was hesitant to ride new horses. I’ve always been part badass brave and part chicken shit, but my confidence isn’t what it used to be. However I’m finding the more I’m riding the braver I’m getting – in the saddle and in life.

This new horse is huge! And he’s my instructors horse so he’s very well trained. After I got over my fear of heights I discovered I was really enjoying myself. It’s a constant challenge, these lessons, and I am always learning new things I can work on.

I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed with my program lately, going back to school at this stage of life has not been easy. Riding helps me stay brave in all areas of my life

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