Handsome Guy


I find wants to be interesting.

What creates the want in the first place? That desire for something different, something new.

Especially when what is is perfectly perfect.

Why do we wake up one day saying now I want X?

I've been going back and forth over that horse... should I get him? should I pass? I was uncertain. Unsettled.

Did I want a horse? Yes. Was he "the" horse? I wasn't sure. I even put it on my to-do list "Make a decision about Snickers".

Saturday morning I scrolled through some posts and found the prettiest little mare just posted for sale. One town over.

In talking with the owner she sounded just about perfect - 9 years old, started as a reiner but then so gentle she was transitioned into a children's lesson horse. Miles and miles of trail experiences and just the right size.

We make the trek over the mountain and I go for a ride. Around the arena, out on the trail... she was amazing. Half way through the trail ride I was sold and started making plans to bring her home, the things we would do this summer, the places we would go and the lessons we would take. I would help her out of her "school horse" shell and she would help me overcome my deep seated fears.

And then the owner, who originally had showed interest in doing a lease to purchase agreement, decided that there were too many people interested in her... so she was no longer interested in putting her up for lease. Sale only. Full price. Up front.

Disappointment rained down upon my head. Tears stung my eyes.

I tried different scenarios, contemplated methods of payment, fussed and fought with myself.

In the end I sent a message saying I'm sorry, I cannot purchase her at this time but if she happens to not sell, I would be interested in a month or so.

I felt good about the decision. I felt disappointed in the outcome.

Would I have loved to wake up this morning and see her out in my pasture? Absolutely.

Would I have regretted the financial impact of buying her when we are not quite ready? Absolutely.

We've worked too hard and sacrificed too much to get into a more stable financial position to just fall back into those bad financial habits over a "want".

I'm still disappointed today and I'm still proud of myself for making the right financial decision.

But I've also discovered two things:

1.) That the gelding from the other day is not the right horse for me. As amazing as he is, he is still a baby that will need years of development before he will be the steady horse I want.

2.) I really do want a horse again.

And who knows, maybe that pretty little mare won't sell and in another month or so she may just show up in my pasture... And if that's not to be, I'm sure there is another who will steal my heart just as quickly.

The Nature of Things

One of the questions asked during my acupuncture interview appointment was if I was interested in taking herbal supplements.

Sure I said. I'm not opposed to natural products.

How strange a thing that our culture has an opposition to "natural" whereas man made is consumed without a second thought.

Creating Boundaries

I met with my acupuncturist again today.

Session #4.

The amount of change in the previous 3 sessions has left me speechless. Seriously.


I didn't have an area of pain for him to work on today. He was shocked and happy that we could work on overall wellness versus pain.

What really stood out today was his enthusiasm for the lifestyle changes I'm making being tempered by the statement that he has not seen many people able to take care of themselves consistently over a long period of time. That eventually work would take over and create stressful demands upon me again so I should make use of any "breaks" in work to create bursts of self care. To fix myself up and get strong before work inevitably took over my life again.

That is a depressing possibility. And a cautioning statement to remind me to create boundaries for my work.

To set limits on the amount of work I want to do, when I will do the work, and what kind of work I will do.

And to feel good about those limits and not feel guilty for saying no to things that don't fit into my work boundaries.

Life is for living.... not working.

A Miracle Moment

I started out writing this post with the title - A Wonderful Stroke of Luck.

But if I'm connected with my beliefs then I must confess... I was blessed with a miracle yesterday. Which makes me so very thankful and brings awareness to the fact that miracles happen everyday, every moment, that I all to often take for "luck" or some other convenience not attached to the Divine.

That temp gun is reading 177 degrees... after the vehicle had been sitting for about 2 hours.  More on that in a minute.

Yesterday was a regular travel day for me - going "over the hill" to meet a client. About a 150 mile round trip by the end of the day. I enjoy it... driving is my "thinking" time and this drive is through a beautiful area.

Yesterday however there seemed to be a particularly foul smell to the air. It would waft in and then dissipate. I chalked it up to the occasional stretches of fresh road work.

On the way home the smell was more pronounced. I started to believe it was "with" me. Perhaps I'd hit a plastic bag and it was melting away on the exhaust? An unfortunate critter stuck up in the engine? Could it (Gasp!) be me smelling that bad?

By the time I picked up Shane last night I was pretty used to the smell. He, however, was not. We weren't but a mile or so down the road when he exclaims "WHAT is that smell?!" To which I replied I had no idea but I'd been smelling it all day.

The regular evening duties took priority over the search for the offensive odor, we parked the truck and went on about our night.

About 2 hours later I discover the smell was still there - and just as strong as ever. Shane comes to investigate - nothing is found stuck underneath. I think perhaps some jokester put something rotten in the bed or backseat. Nothing.

Then Shane opens the hood. We are met with sounds of sizzling liquid leaking from a bulging battery. The temp gun shows 177 degrees ... 2 hours after it has been parked.

How much hotter it must have been in the hours of driving in the mountains.

How easily it could have (should have) exploded.

How very likely a scenario it would have been for me to be stranded on the side of the mountain road while my truck burned down.

A miracle.

Question of the day.... Dare I?

It's been almost 2 years since I said goodbye to my horses.

I thought it might be forever.

After all, I worked so much. I was not competing. I was not fulfilling the mold of who I thought an equestrian was.

My work-a-holic self yells - "You need to work! You don't have time to be a horse person again!"

When I look at this horse I tell that self to shut up...

This horse inspires me to dream. He stirs my imagination.

I've not experienced this with any of the horses I've seen or ridden since I said goodbye to mine.

I get goose bumps when I look at him.

When I walked into his barn for the first time yesterday he called to me with a soft nicker.... asking where I've been.

I was not looking for him. He does not fit the mold of the horse I'd created just in case I ever decided to get another..... And perhaps that makes him just about perfect.

Dare I?

Day 11 ... My work-a-holic self

(c) John Pinder via Flickr

I would love to be an artist.

Colorful, carefree, whimsical, a tad eccentric, unique.... a little bit of hippy, city, and country all rolled together with pine needles and a dash of sea salt.  Where art is as much about how they live and who they are as it is the items that they create. Such a persona, in my imagination, would create art that is interesting and stimulating, beautiful and organic, unusual and casual.

That is the artist I would love to be.

And yet, because when I look in the mirror I do not see "that" person, I define myself as not an artist..... or, at best, a wannabe.

This wannabe concept expands through all of my life - a mental definition and picture of what it means to be a writer, an equestrian, a gardener, a wife, a mother, a friend, a daughter, a niece, a woman, an embracer of life... and so many more areas.

What I do see when I look in the mirror is my definition of a worker. I fit my self-made mold almost perfectly and yet I can still make up areas where I should be a better worker... where I'm not quite good enough.  For the most part though, I fit that mold.

It is safe. I know how to do it. I feel successful.

Unfortunately, that worker definition comes at the expense of everything else. I'm coming to believe that being a work-a-holic is a defense mechanism I've created so that I do not have to face and tear down my definitions for the other areas in my life.

I'm too busy working to be a gardener.... Or am I scared I won't fit the mold of a gardener that I've created so I make myself too busy to try?

Sadly, I believe the truth is found in the later.

Where the real problem lies is in my creation of those molds in the first place. There is no one type of anything in life, and here I found I've created for myself a pass or fail test. I either fit the perfect (in my opinion) mold or I fail.

So on day 11 of my challenge to move from a work-a-holic to a life-a-holic I'm beginning to smash my molds. It's a work in progress.... I've created many molds.... so many that there are ones shoved to the back corners of my mind covered in cobwebs and dust and long forgotten.  Dreams and ideas and possibilities and experiences lost to negativity.

I'm finding them slowly... as I peel away layers of work responsibilities and create open spaces of time in which I have time to think "Oh I could do X"  that is when the negativity pops up saying "But you're not an X so you can't do that" ...  It is in that moment that I am finding those hidden molds and it is my opportunity to smash them.

Smash them I shall.

A trippy little trip

I spent 5 days not working.
I actually tried a bit of work... but the hotel wireless was down. So other than checking email on my phone (which, honestly, I did WAY too often), I didn't work.
What we did do was drive (a lot), stop and play in the river, order room service, spend a day at the zoo where we bought fudge and toys and a t-shirt, and spend a day at OHSU.
I didn't do my exercises - WHO can bring themselves to lie on a hotel room floor anyway?!
This morning I was back at the acupuncturist for round 2 of treatment - this time I was laying face down while needles protruded from my neck, shoulders and back. I imagined myself a silver porcupine...
Once I was sufficiently quilled I was left in the dark with some pleasant instrumental music tempting to lull me into dreamland.
My thoughts were racing - 5 days off and I felt behind. A deadline fast approaching, clients needing contacted, reports due - a meeting I scheduled too close to this quilling appointment, I was going to be late....I wondered if I buzzed the front desk if they'd hurry my appointment along and not leave the treatment in for quite so long. My thumb grazed the call button.
I'm lying on a table in the dark pin cushioned to the point that I shouldn't move or adjust myself - all because of my work-a-holic tendencies. Time to reboot.
What good is 5 days off if I'm only going to push myself into a frenzied state upon my return?
Becoming a life-a-holic is more mental than physical for me. Can I play in the river with my wee one without feeling I need to hop out every 20 minutes and check my cell?
That's what this month is about.
And with that concept in my mind I found myself relax into the table and the music must have been magic because the next thing I know there is a knock at the door and it's time to remove my silver quills.

Life-A-Holic..... Day 2

Day 2 of my 30-day challenge to go from a work-a-holic to a life-a-holic is wrapping up.

What have I done?

1.)   I slept in - my early morning call was cancelled so I had two options: To get up at my regular time and do other work or sleep to a normal hour. I chose the later and got up at a respectable 6am-ish.

2.)   I spent about a half hour on the phone with a girlfriend - who also happens to be a yoga instructor and a very kind person. She heard my tale and we set a plan to get me back stretching and limbering up these bound up muscles.

3.)   I made an appointment at an acupuncturist - for tomorrow! Something I've always wanted to do, never made time to do. Now I have a great reason... and it should be an interesting experience!

4.)   I went for a bit of a walk.

5.)   I've thought a lot about my definition of life-a-holic.... I do not have a definition... but I like the way thinking about it makes me feel.... I'm excited about the possibilities.

6.) I took a picture of an almond on my computer simply because it was fun.

7.) I played with publishing this blog from my phone.... freedom fron the computer! 

Thoratic Outlet Syndrome - 30 Days to Change My Life

So it seems that because I've been doing so much of this:

(working crazy hours bent over computer keyboards, smartphones, sketchpads, and the like)
And not enough of this:

(relaxing... preferably with a nice glass of ice tea!)
I've developed Thoratic Outlet Syndrome.
The doctor's rx - in addition to muscle relaxers 3 times per day and prescription strength Aleve 2 times per day - is:
Reduce the stress in my life
Walk casually at least once per day
Stretch at least twice per day

Well, I'm not so good at taking medications... the muscle relaxers knock me out... ya, I'd be relaxed - I'd also sleep 20+ hours per day. I take the Aleve - sometimes once a day, sometimes not at all. Rarely twice a day... Then I wonder why I'm still hurting.

The rest of the rx is something I can really get behind - less stress, lovely walks, stretching and ahhhhhhhh relaxing.
Yet honestly, who has time for that? There are deadlines to meet, projects to complete, people to see.... I have to do lists, and then other lists to organize my to do lists into categories of urgency.
Here's the kicker - I have always worked a lot and my goal this year was to reduce my workload in at least half by yesterday, June 30th.  Yet it attempting to do that, I have more than doubled my responsibilities. 
See, I like to be busy - I like new opportunities, I like change, I like to start things. As I started to pair down and eliminate this and that - a vacuum occurred and I filled up the "extra" time with more than was there before.
But, the things I wanted to do in that extra time were again put to the side - exercising, relaxing, enjoying more time with family, spending time in the garden... oh and laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and the like can be lumped in with this group.
Finally my body has said "Enough!" Apparently, if I'm not going to stop overdoing of my own accord my body is going to kindly force the issue.
And so, I'm launching a 30 day challenge to change my life.
July 1st - July 30th, 2013
30 days to go from work-a-holic to life-a-holic - and to define what that means for me.
My hope would be it means more family time, satisfaction, creativity, relaxation, and less deadlines, projects, numb hands and heating pads.
I'll keep you posted.