Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I haven't ridden in several months—there was work, and then there was a stone bruise, and then there was a conference, and now there's weather. It's pissing rain outside but I've got a toasty fire.
I've been daydreaming about more land, a barn, a meadowbrook carriage, a new roof, and a Jersey cow, but do you know what? I'm happy. There's always another thing to yearn for, but I'm not restless anymore. Even without my favorite form of decompression—trail riding—I'm loving life.
Part of it might be my children's ages: no one is in diapers, everyone goes to bed on time, and everyone's capable of going on a hike or sleeping in a tent or helping with the chores. We had an active summer as a family, and it promised even better summers to come. Mr. Puddle Run has even agreed that we can take Fenway packing in the mountains after a dry run with backpacks (sans mule). Having a 900 pound bellhop to deal with our luggage makes backcountry camping sound manageable!
Part of it is having rewarding work. I love my job, and I'm good at it. I'm still learning, which feels great, and yet I know what I'm doing. It's wonderful, and if it continues to gain momentum then I can imagine doing this full-time next year when R starts kindergarten.
Part of it is knowing that a big dream—riding a lot, like I once did as a child—is almost within reach. It won't be long until the kids are old enough to let me go for a couple of hours here and there. I don't need to compete, to buy a fancy warmblood, or to take a lot of lessons, but I do need to ride often enough to keep fatty in shape. It's not like riding a motorcycle, where you dust it off and cruise down the coast when you get a free weekend. I fantasize daily about having my mule fit enough for a truly ambitious ride, but that takes a commitment of time that I just can't make right now.
Part of it is being happy in my marriage—my husband is amazing, and we're better together now than we've ever been. He and I have both changed a lot since we met, but we're changing in a complimentary fashion. We're growing together, not apart. He's happy in his work, I'm happy in mine, and we're happy together. He compliments me. My weaknesses are his strengths.
I wouldn't turn my nose up at a barn or a Jersey cow, but I've got a lot to be thankful for already this Thanksgiving.