Archives for the month of: September, 2020

The happiest people in the world don’t wait for permission to create the life they desire.

Instead they create it themselves.

We have all heard the now overused words “unprecedented times”.  Have you ever stopped to think about what that means to you—to the everyday circumstances we encounter?

This time last year we all were going about our lives, most with no knowledge of what a pathogen transfer was.  Nor how it would grossly affect our lives.  Hand sanitizer was a novelty, face masks were only worn on Halloween and masquerade galas.

But with new restrictions our lives have dramatically changed.  Thanks to masks —We can’t see a smile in public any longer.  If you’re hearing impaired, reading lips is nonexistent.  Hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and cleaning supplies are valuable commodities.

We are working, learning and socializing from our living rooms.  Public gatherings are at 10 people or less.  Those that break the state’s mandate are given fines, or in some cases, jail time.

Unprecedented Times—

Some are enjoying the ability to be in the comfort of their home without having to make excuses for not going out.  Others are clawing their way out of the unhappiness or controlling environment of their homes.  Some are losing their minds—others are finding them.  There are those eating their way through the quarantine—and those utilizing the time to revamp their bodies and minds.

Whichever category you are—the meaning of unprecedented times varies.

For those whose lives are spiraling down what seems to be the darkest rabbit hole of all time, remember, everyone’s lives look perfect to us when our own lives are in turmoil.  With the existence of social media, this is magnified.

It is interesting to me, the one thing all of us have control of —ourselves.  How we think, what we eat, working out, hydration, manners, motion, actions and reactions—all up to us.  Yet the things people try to control are other people and circumstances out of their control.  It’s easier to try and fix exterior issues than things within ourselves.

If only people focused on themselves —their actions—as much as they do on other people.

Before a pandemic struck, those of us who relocated away from family and friends have known unprecedented times well.  If you ever want to build character—move to an unfamiliar city—no friends—no family.  It will test your resilience like you can’t imagine.  Some days you feel independent and loved and other days you feel forgotten and confused.

The emotional and physical strength it takes is difficult to describe.  It will define how tough you truly are.  To establish yourself in an unknown environment helps you grow into a strong person, but the process can come in waves.

Sure, you have phone calls, texts, Facebook posts, FaceTime and Zoom.  Those can only do so much on the days you need advice, you need a virtual hug, or you just need someone to vent to.

Some days you might feel like you’re losing touch with everyone in your circle.  You feel like everyone is living happily without you.  They call while going to dinners, cookouts, parties—all things you aren’t a part of.

Birthdays and holidays you miss—fun family photos you aren’t in.  Some days you wish you could drop everything and go back. Other days you’re happy for the new adventure.

The one thing to remember—Adventure helps you grow—establish yourself.

My first move to an unfamiliar place, there were days I realized upon leaving the office on Friday afternoon, there wasn’t another person I would speak face to face until Monday morning.  My GPS directed me home—which was a relief when I managed to find it again!  It was unprecedented for me.  That time made me resilient—afforded me the ability to be ok by myself.

It is in times of adversity a person’s true character comes out.

Eventually, I built a stronger —wiser me.

Don’t let the word “unprecedented” fool you.  Every new day is unknown—unprecedented.  Wake up every day with a passion to find new adventure—control what you can—focus forward.

Shoulda—Coulda—Woulda—never helped anyone reach a goal!

Small things matter.  Maybe a new pair of shoes.  Whomever said a pair of shoes can’t change your life—never understood Cinderella!

“What” and “if” when left alone are simple words.

But put them together—what if—and you have the power to dream, hope—to see the future.

“What if” has the power to create—open up the mind.  Create vision—dream adventure.

Change your life.

What if you changed your focus?  What if that focus created an entirely new adventure?  What if that adventure built a fantastic life you never dreamed possible?

Stay healthy!

 

This year has definitely been one of unique proportions.  Just when you think you’ve seen the best of the overwhelming situations—someone or something surpasses the insanity.

Has Covid brought out the insanity in people?  Most likely not.  Some people have an innate ability to hide behind whatever they can find to mask their shortcomings.  Covid supplied a convenient excuse.  Suddenly, everyone becomes hyper sensitive to personal hygiene—hand washing —personal space—and quarantine, which is just another word for isolating.

If you’re someone like me—who has been conscience of pathogen transfer and likes things clean—doesn’t mind being by yourself—and mostly cooks at home—you’ve been training for a national pandemic your entire life!  Live it up and thrive!

If you’re someone who requires to be center of attention—doesn’t know personal hygiene —and must go out and about for a fix of social interaction—or to flee your home life—you might be one of those who are now drinking alcohol in large quantities while chanting at the moon from the yard.

For me, this year started off with a death in the family.  Anytime someone dies, it causes reflection on life, the future and not taking things for granted.  I try very hard to remember how short life is, not take it for granted and squeeze every ounce out of every day.  This year, even though in quarantine or wearing a mask, is no different.

Midway through the year, I had a profound wake up call.  Over the course of a week, the entire universe shifted.  A person whom I thought was a close friend and confidant, more like a sister—someone I thought I knew well—had a meltdown of mass proportions.  Beyond what any normal person could wrap their head around.  In the course of trying to get them the help they needed, their true core showed through.  It was in that moment, the Trojan horse was revealed, unveiling how truly toxic this person is.

Before the toxic sludge spewing from their mouth ended—my being adopted—a former painful  relationship—whatever could be used for maximum infliction were thrown out.

To watch someone you trusted flopping themselves around, swinging their cell phone above their head like a party favor, screaming, harassing, losing their mind, completely out of control of every part of their existence—blaming everyone for actions of themself—wanting to hurt those that are trying to save them from their demons.  It’s sobering to experience.  Was it Covid?  No.  Not at all.  It was merely a toxic person unveiling what they could no longer hide.

Eventually, the pitiful display became physical.  All you can do in a situation where a person is seething at the mouth to a point of foaming—ready to attack—whaling cries like a boar in the wild—is to keep your rational thought in tact—as they don’t have any.  Keep them from hurting themself and hope you aren’t forced to contain them.

In my case, it was pitiful to watch this person—fist like a child behind their head—stomping at me in full temper tantrum—leading with the face.  My instincts and training telling me, “square your feet—break the nose—drop the body”.  However, with my brain in tact, and a human more than twice my size moving in like a juvenile delinquent in a rage, I merely braced and kept them from harming themself any more than had already transpired.  I am human though.  Wanting that ridiculous fist above the head to hit me just once, so I could slingshot their carcass onto the pavement crossed my mind several times.

Even when we are collected and thinking—we still want some satisfaction.

If you ever experience anything like this, my best advice is to diffuse the situation as best as possible.

It’s been hard to wrap my head around how I trusted someone who is truly toxic.  Sometimes, even our best instincts are able to be numbed by deception.  Learn from those times and move on.  The more time you spend trying to find explanations for toxic behavior, will only be wasted.  There is no understanding of it.

I think of that person now with pity.  How sad it is what they have lost.  Never to recover from.  Remaining in the darkness.  Of course, they blame everyone but themself.  Of course, they are the victim.  A typical side effect of a toxic person.  Blame is much easier than self awareness.  No matter how many therapists, counselors or doctors you tell a fabricated story to, the truth in fact doesn’t change.  Nor does the reality.

Those of us left in the wake, get stronger.  For we have witnessed the darkness—realizing what we truly don’t want to be.  Thankful we are away from it.  Hoping it doesn’t infect any other unsuspecting people.

For awhile, I was disappointed—hurt—mad at myself for giving the benefit of the doubt to bad behavior.  One must learn to give themself some grace.  I truly believe there are more good people than bad.  It’s the bad ones that help us appreciate the good.

Take the time to learn from any situation.  With every door that closes, a new brighter one manages to open.  My world has become brighter.  The days are filled with smiles, laughter and in making great memories.  Cherish every breath.

Look to the people who have truly good intentions.

I remember several years ago, when I was doubting myself, a friend convinced me on a whim to complete a Spartan race with her.  She left out the part about going up and down ski mountains (did you know black diamond runs are very steep on foot?)….she didn’t know either and that probably wouldn’t have stopped us anyway!   We met incredible, inspirational and motivational people that have gone through unimaginable struggles.  I watched, learned and found myself humbled by how amazing people are!

My childhood friend who never ceases to make me laugh.  Can always remind me of the simple things to embrace and not sweat over things we can’t.

Many other friends who are our constant source of energy and strength.  You don’t need a large pool of friends.  What you need are people with integrity, whom you can trust have your best interest and no personal motive but to see you happy.

Never let the darkness take away your light.

Grounded people help you find important things when you have lost them….your smile….your hope….your courage….your self confidence.  It is within those moments you realize how blessed you are to have crossed paths with these people.

Be grateful for the dark, toxic people—they remind us where we never want to be.  Maybe that is why, every so often, we must brush by them.  To appreciate our light.

Remember—on those days you are covered in dirt and sweat—tackling obstacles beyond what you ever  thought you could—sore to the core—but finishing strong and proud—the days you think nothing else could go wrong—yet something else does—keep your chin up—find your strength—breathe—hold your head up and look for the positive!

Never let anyone steal your light!

If you believe….you can achieve!

I’ve been an equestrian most of my life.   As a child, I begged and pleaded for a horse.  Finally wearing my parents down when I was 9.  Horses have been a passion of mine ever since.  The other day, I was asked why horses are so important to me.

It would be difficult for me to put into words everything being an equestrian has afforded me.  The love of a horse—the ability to develop teamwork without words—the trust involved with doing so.

It is common for children to want a pony.  A select few are privileged enough to have their very own.  I’ve been honored to have some amazing equine friends, confidants, team members throughout my life.

Horses have given me the ability to have a conversation —mediate—argue—and love— all without words.  It is a quiet communication based on loyalty—trust—patience—without it, you could have 1700 pounds of breathing, thinking power crushing down on you.

Most of my friends, I met through the stable.  My horse’s home gave me my human counterparts.  When you share the love of a horse, you understand the bond.  That understanding bonds you to others as well.

Responsibility came quickly when there were stalls to clean, mouths to feed and bodies to exercise.  Learning every quirk in each one’s personality.  Whether it was freezing cold or blistering hot, I looked forward to every moment in the stable.  The smell of the cedar shavings.  The unique scent of alfalfa.  The calming sound of the noise horses make.

Quickly I began to compete.  Going into the ring gave me purpose.  A place for my partner and I to test out skills together.  Each competition giving new skills to work on.  My goal, to win.  Eventually, that goal was toppled over and I began to compete against myself.

Lazy weekends became an anomaly.  There was always work to be done.  Hard work.  However, you see more sunrises and sunsets than you ever thought possible.  Of course they are from the alleyway of the barn.

There were mornings I ran late for school, but my horses were well fed and taken care of.  At times, reaching into my pocket to find remnants of the hay I fed earlier in the day.  My father doing random inspections of my car to make sure all was clean and tidy.  Having horses, chores and work did not lend excuse for an unkept vehicle.

My weekends were spent freezing or burning to death on the back of a horse— in the stable or in the show ring.  I gained confidence and friends, learning new skills —having fun and getting dirty!  Enjoying the work involved to become an accomplished equestrian.

I can’t remember my first date— but distinctly remember the day I took my first few steps of a canter, the first taste of a jump, first rosette, first win.  The day I met my first trusted friend who would remain my confidant, partner in competition— who would frustrate me the most—let me down the least and return the love I had unconditionally.  We won together—lost together—and my trusted friend held me up when my world crashed around me.

My human counterparts went to parties, on dates and attended homecoming dances.  I worked on my goals for the next competition.  Before I knew it I had transformed from a child begging for a horse— into an exceptional young rider fighting to qualify for ranked shows—fiercely competing on every course in every arena I entered.  The adrenaline from flying on the back of a horse —intoxicating.

Horses were more than just something to take up time.  It became my sport—talent—grounded me—gave me footing—put me through college—landed my hopes and developed my dreams.

Parents ask me what riding did for me and should they start their child in lessons.  When you give your child a pony, you give them more than just something to ride. You give them a sport, a talent, hope and dreams. Friends, a new family, a place to learn about life, room to grow as a person where they can push their limits, bravery, courage, and memories. They will have ALL of these things, simply because you gave your child a pony.

I can walk into a classroom and tell you which little girls ride.  Horses give them the ability to think on their own—make good solid decisions—compromise when necessary—never give up—believe in yourself—and never follow anything but your instincts.

I cherish my lifelong friendships as well as new friendships developed solely from the same passion for the sport.  I have an equestrian family with a solid grit and an understanding of the love only received from a horse.  We know the work involved, yet find it enjoyable.

One day, when I was home, my parents had several trophies they had found while going through boxes. I picked one up and realized instantly that my bond with horses ran through my veins with memories—both past and yet to be created.  It was in that moment I realized that everything given up and sacrificed along the way was worth it.

And it all started with the desire to have a horse.

Stay Healthy!