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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Find what you love

Image from www.designmom.com
Find what you love and do it. That seems to be MY answer to happiness, anyway! (I'm not so sure this philosophy applies to all—I've a friend, for instance, whose compelling passions are zombies, chainsaws, metal music, vampires, and the dream of chainsawing zombies and vampires to the tune of some heavy metal music. I'd advise him to stick with something a bit more practical.)

I've always loved animals. I've always been horse-crazy. My first word was cat. My first memory was of a dog—Danny, I believe—lapping my split pea soup right out of my bowl. Before I wanted to be a writer, I wanted to be a vet. Before I wanted to be a vet, I wanted to be a famous jumper rider.

It took a half-decade or so of adult life (college, motherhood, marriage—in that order, for me, since I am unexpectedly fertile and occasionally stupid) for me to remember what makes me tick. I love to RIDE. I love to have a little farm, a number of pets, a beloved animal sidekick that I trust with my life. Once that sidekick was Mirri, my cattle dog, and now that sidekick is Fenway Bartholomule.

And on writing? I've written for food magazines. I've written for parenting magazines. I've written on ecology and society and gardening and food. What I'm best at writing on, though, and what I love to write on more than anything, are animals. Poetry. Prose. Children's verse. Expository journalism. Anything—anything on animals.

I'm lucky that I've finally found my reset button. When I'm cranky, I go ride. I'm lucky that I have identified my "dream career," and that it will not take a miracle or a six-figure education to achieve the dream. I'm lucky, as a writer, that I have a constant source of compelling inspiration. Curled at my feet—inspiration. Warming my lap—inspiration. Hopping across my livingroom—inspiration. Standing on the milkstand—inspiration. Pecking through the barnyard—inspiration. Grazing in the pasture—inspiration. I am surrounded by what I love, and my life is a joy worth sharing.

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