Looking Back But Moving Forward

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So many people look back at their life and wonder about the what ifs. They wonder what they have missed and what mistakes they have made and how their life could’ve been better now or if it could’ve turned out different. They sometimes regret the things they had done but more often than not it’s the things that they haven’t done and the things that they’ve missed out on that haunt them. I used to be one of those people but I learned that you just have to deal what you have in your life and either let some things go or strive for others but no matter what you just have to keep moving forward.

Look at where you are now and realize what you are missing and what you need to do to fill that space. If there are things in your life that are not helpful or useful you need to realize what is important to you and let go of the rest. We have been taught to believe that it’s just too late at a certain point in our lives to do some things but it never is and if you’re not happy there is nobody to blame but yourself. No matter what you’ve been led to believe no one can have control over your life but you.

So keep moving forward and only look back to see how far you’ve come.

Because reminiscing, on the other hand is a whole other thing. I reminisce about the good times I’ve had and think about certain things I wouldn’t mind doing again that would make me happy. In other instances I may remember things I felt I missed out on and do my darnedest to make sure I make those things happen. And sometimes I just reminisce about all the good I’ve had in my life and what I can do to make sure that continues to happen. I use my past to propel me forward and in the last couple years I am able to look back and realize how far I’ve really come and what other things I can do in the future to better myself.

Today I took time to reflect a little on my life, what it is, what it’s been and what I want it to be. I’ve looked back on the last few years… and previous blogs. While I don’t think I’m quite up to snuff on my writing as much as I’d like to be I can look back and be proud of how much I have moved forward in my life. I have so much more confidence and independence than I used to and I can honestly say I’m really happy.

I still live in the same town, but I have a good job and this fall I’m going back to school to work on finishing my Ag Business Certificate. My fiance and I are now planning a fall wedding in 2018 and after that are planning to move out of state, maybe to Nevada, maybe Wyoming, maybe somewhere else. We will just have to see. But things are moving forward.

Looking at myself now I am not the same sad girl who was afraid of change and hard challenges. I am no longer afraid of love making me weak and instead now see how much strength and courage it gives me. I now embrace the things I fear and I have grown more this past year than I could’ve hoped. So much has been changing and it thrills me. I’m so ready for everything the future is going to bring and I strive to always move forward in one way or another and I am always chasing my happiness and creating more for myself when the situation at hand isn’t ideal. Looking back I realize how different a person I am and how you have to keep moving forward.

I realize that the only way to be happy is to push yourself and be in difficult and new situations because you grow from them and become a happier person in the long run. You learn more about yourself and what you like versus what you don’t like. You realize what your made of which makes you even braver the next time you have to face something. You learn that even when things seem to be falling down around you and you are overwhelmed that this is temporary and you just have to do your best and push forward and you will be okay. You learn that you can handle more than you ever thought was possible.

I feel more excited about my life than I possibly have ever been and I look forward to all the good things to come instead of dreading the bad things that may or may not happen. Change is scary but for me, it’s scarier to look back on your life and realize you are in the same place you were in years ago and you’re still unsatisfied and unhappy. I’ll take those challenges and the nerves that come with them over that everyday of the week and twice on Sunday.

So because regret is the only thing I don’t want to feel when I look back on my life, I will keep moving forward… and so should you.

Horses

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Climbing through the cable fence I could already hear my horses’ hoof beats coming towards me. After a long hard day it’s good to know that my little Fiddle is always happy to see me. As he nears me he slows from his trot to a walk and looks for my hands resting at my side. I reward his enthusiasm with a scratch under his chin and on his forehead. I move quietly to his shoulder and he turns his head to meet me. I rub him some more as he investigates my strange nylon pants. Baggy but waterproof, they work perfectly for when I want to get serious about bathing my dogs.

I lean into him smelling his horsey scent. One of my favorite smells in the world, it never fails to calm me like vanilla calms most other people.

I wonder at this time how there are even people out there that don’t like horses, even hating them. Fear I understand. With their huge bodies and somewhat bipolar personalities I understand how some people could be fearful. But just not liking them.. they must not have ever had the pleasure of being around them.

I scratch Fiddles’ back and think back to all the things horses taught me, responsibility, trust, quietness, patience, hard work, balance, the list just goes on and on. Not to mention what they have given me, peace of mind, a safe place, joy, a friend to listen to my problems, they are truly the best therapy there is… at least in my opinion.

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I think about what Fiddle has given me. A challenge is one of the first things my pessimistic minds brings up but mostly he and I have a connection and despite my frustrations with him, I adore this little guy. He has given me experience and I think about what he and I had learned together this past year. We have taken trail rides together and recently immersed ourselves into the world of ranch sorting. We both have gained confidence and together we have grown. There is so much more for us to learn and as I slowly stroke his shoulder he turns his head around to look at me and I look in his eyes knowing that we are going to have an incredible life together.

I then think about the times I feared horses in defense of those people who are so afraid of them and maybe it’s because I had the chance to love them so much but fear never kept me from them. Eventually my love for them and for riding always brought me back to them and got me over my fear and even now if I get scared I push through because the more I learn and the more I ride the more that fear goes away.

Pushing through challenges, that’s what we’ve done together and that’s what horses have taught me. One of many important things, the list goes on and on. I realize then how much horses have influenced my life and made me a better person. I decide people who hate horses for no good reason other than just deciding they don’t like them aren’t people I need to concern myself with. Because as open minded as I am I finally decide there is just no good reason to not like horses.

 

Moving In

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After all his things were in the house and his stereo was hooked up there was music and dancing in the kitchen as there always is when he’s in the house and happy.

Moving anywhere is a big deal but when someone is moving in it takes it to a whole other level. People tell you all the things to expect when moving in with another person but every relationship is different. They talk about the lack of privacy and space and arguments that ensue once lines are crossed.

20170702_203056Last week my boyfriend started moving in. After five and a half years we are living together and I’m not going to lie, it’s a big deal. We are both a little nervous but excited and I’m eager to see how this is going to turn out. He doesn’t have many things of his own and I’ve been wanting to purge a lot of my own stuff for awhile now so this is the perfect opportunity to do so. I only have a three part plan at this point, clean out the junk, organize the rest, be happy.

Once the house is put together I’m confident it will be a good blend of both of us. After that we will have to see how it goes. I know we will be okay and we will always work it out but I’m under no delusions that we won’t fight or argue about how things are done or how we are living together after awhile. Some things are just bound to happen, so is life.

However, I was surprised by the amount of people who say that moving in together can be a challenge right off the bat because of personal space issues and arguments over each other’s stuff. So far this hasn’t been an issue, we are sharing a small house but there is one room that I never use myself because of the small space and lack of natural light, this however makes it a perfect space for my boyfriend’s video games. He has a room to decompress and I get the TV. As far as arguing over our stuff, as I’ve said, he doesn’t have much and I love having an excuse to get rid of things I don’t need anymore to make more room.

It’s very early but so far it seems we are adjusting fine. We both agree it’s still weird to be living together but we are both immensely happy. We both are waiting for that moment when things get tight and we may argue because although we are crazy about each other we know that most everybody argues and it may just be inevitable.

But for the time being we are enjoying each other’s company and I must say as an unexpected bonus, the house is cleaner than ever! That’s right, I hit the jackpot because my guy is an amazing cleaner! And some nights when the mood strikes us we turn up the volume on the radio and there is music and dancing in the kitchen because so far… we are really happy.

I’M ENGAGED!!!

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July 1st 2017. I’m just closing up at my job on Saturday, my supervisor is sitting in the chair behind me chit chatting, nothing unusual. He is off that day but sometimes even on his days off he comes and chats with me over a cup of coffee.

4:25pm rolls around and two fire trucks drive slowly into my work, lights flashing. This doesn’t seem too unusual as it’s summer and being a waste facility it’s not strange in the least to have small fires or even just false alarms. Even Danny (who was in on it) asks if I hear an alarm and we better go talk to them. We step outside and I don’t think a thing about it. However, when I saw my boyfriend in the front seat I just figured he was popping in after a fire to say hi, just to be cute.

When he gets out of the truck in his full firefighter gear and walks over to me, I see his face and it begins to hit me. He kneels down on one knee, takes off his helmet, pulls out the ring all in one seemly effortless motion.

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My hands fly to my mouth but not before he saw my jaw drops and it was all I could do not to fall down. Tears immediately came to my eyes and I was so overwhelmed I could barely function.

“Honey, I love you so much. Will you please marry me?”

All I could do is nod my head for a moment. Say yes, he needs to hear the word. “YES! OF COURSE!”

 

 

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The rest of it is all a blur of tears, hugging, kissing and laughing. When the fire trucks drove away with my now fiancé in one I went back inside and frantically started calling all the people in my life who mean the most.

 

 

Fourth of July

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american-flagBreathing in the morning air, cool air fills my lungs. Later this afternoon they will be filled with thick, dry hot air but for now the morning is still fresh and crisp. Somehow it’s been a mild summer with only one week of temperatures over one hundred degrees, and today there is a breeze blowing through even in July. I look out my scale house window at the American Flag dancing in the breeze like every picture and video you see of it flying. I think how incredibly proud I am of that flag and the things our country went through to keep it up there. I then think about that group of men who got together in one room on that one day and took turns putting their John Hancock’s down on a little sheet of paper called The Declaration of Independence.

While we all still appreciate that day, the Fourth of July has become a day to barbeque, eating hot dogs, burgers and ice cream.. It’s a fun day to spend with friends and family. A great day filled with memories, sporting your red, white and blue, while running and dancing around with sparklers in hand. It’s a day to cool off in the pool and look up at the sky in awe as fireworks in all colors explode, fall down then slowly fade into the warm, dark summer sky.

While all of that is wonderful and boy, do we love our Fourth of July celebrations, let’s not forget that thanks to a few good men getting together in a room and signing their names, every day is independence day. God Bless America.

I Wander

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Everybody has roots, somewhere, somehow. We all have them, some are stronger than others and some run deep. We all have roots, but some of us have wings. Some of us are flighty, born to be gypsies who feel most themselves when they are wandering along the unbeaten path, traveling from town to town. Experiencing new places and meeting new people and feeling absolutely free.

Sometimes my roots feel like they are planted pretty deep but from time to time I still fly. I get to pack up my things and see new towns and feel free as I discover new places being only myself and knowing what I am doing is my own choice and I’m extraordinarily happy in those moments.

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When I’m on the road, I learn more and more about myself and I can see a preview of what this world has to offer and a small idea of how far I can go. When I travel it’s like new doors are open to me and I see all the opportunity that’s out there. I see how so many things differ from state to state and town to town. You begin to realize how unique and different each place can be the farther you go. You get to meet new people and get to know their point of view and the way they live and how special it all is. I am never so happy as I am when I am traveling.


I’ve never been happy when I wasn’t making my own choices and instead following what someone else wanted. If my family had their way they would dig a deeper hole and plant me even deeper in this place. But I have wings and I have my own ideas and it took me long enough but pleasing others won’t ensure my happiness.

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I believe it’s important to live your own life and not let someone else write your story. So I encourage all of you reading this to think of something you love and haven’t gotten to do and go out and do it. Life is truly short and we don’t know how much time we have left so although it’s cliché and been said a million times, live your life to the fullest.

As for me I’ll continue to wander down every road I can and go as far as I can possibly go. There will be hills and valleys, bridges and potholes but just like we must do in life I keep moving forward.  Because when I travel I feel most myself and things I couldn’t figure out before and problems I couldn’t solve before are some how a lot easier to figure out and things in my life don’t seem so complicated or confusing. When I wander I know what I want and where I want to go. When I wander, I no longer wonder, I know.

These Boys Won’t Stop Bothering Me

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I know, I know, cry me a river. There was a time when I would’ve died for that kind of attention and had wanted to kick anyone’s butt who complained about a thing like this. Well, not anymore. I have a boyfriend of five and a half years and I have a promise ring that I tell people is a wedding ring when need be. Sad thing is even when men find out I’m “married” they will most times still flirt. I consider this very inappropriate behavior because as far as they know I’m married and they need to respect me and my “husband” and stop flirting.

“Are you married?”

“Yes.”

“Are you happily married?”

“Yes.” Yes! God Yes! Now get away from me this instant you creep!

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No one seems to respect the ring anymore… or rather most men I come across don’t. To those few who have shown respect after they found out I’m “married” I in turn have a lot of respect for and I greatly appreciate them for that. But sadly they seem to be too few and far between and people don’t respect marriage like they used to a few decades ago. It’s honestly very depressing to me.

Now I know a few of you out there are going to think how overly sensitive I’m probably being because I can’t just take a compliment. I’m not talking about compliments because being complimented and being flirted with are two different things. Compliments can be appreciated and given to others in a respectful manner. Flirting can be unwelcome and disrespectful especially when the receiving end of the flirting is wearing a ring.

Also this is not just something that has happened once or twice. This is something that occurs at work almost everyday depending on how much makeup I’m wearing.

Let me tell you now. I do not need or want your attention in that way if you see me wearing a ring, I do not need or want your attention if I express that I am not interested, me being nice does not equal me flirting, it means I’m doing my job and trying not to punch you and at the risk of sounding cliché for Christ’s sake, no means no!

Have a good one folks! If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go find me a big stick.

Let it go

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Probably one of the hardest things for us human beings to do is to let go. Let go of our children to go live their life, a life we may not agree with, even a life we would agree with. Let go of possessions we may not need anymore that have begun to clutter our lives. Let go of people who no longer benefit us or are good for us. Let go of how you should think you should be or act and let yourself go and be your own person. Let go of some of our responsibilities holding us down and live our dreams instead. Letting go of the fear that always tries to hold us back. Letting go of doubt and choosing to be happy instead.

Letting go is hard and scary. What we think is safety and security, what is the same and recognizable is hard for us to leave behind.

But what I’ve discovered is that when you leave your safety zone and put yourself out there amazing things happen. There are always challenges and there’s always a learning curve. There is always a sense of fear and doubt about whether you did the right thing. You become nervous that you lost something you may want back later, that friend that wasn’t good for you, that old sweater you threw in the trash because of all the holes but it reminded you of your ex and the happy times you spent together when things were good, a job that was no good for your soul and made you feel horrible and depressed but at least it was an income, leaving the only place you have ever known and being afraid that you will fail in the new one.

You may have some stumbles along the way and feel like you are failing because you are embarrassed and feel stupid because you feel like it’s all taking too long and all you want to do is quit. But don’t quit because what happens next feels amazing.

You start to learn and get better at what your doing. You adapt and become more confident. All the battles with yourself and doubt that you’ve had had been extremely hard to overcome and it would’ve been easy to go back to what was familiar. But you didn’t.

So now you’re stronger, smarter and more confident. You feel more free because you let go of what was holding you back and you pushed forward. You are more capable and are in a better place than before and you may do it all again someday because sometimes we just have to keep pushing and climb that ladder. Every time that happens there will be fear and doubt and a desire to cling to what is familiar and safe.

Let it go. Because no one can hold you back but yourself.

Sorting It Out

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Life can be a huge tangle of problems, decisions and adventures and sometimes you need time to figure things out one at a time. Sometimes you need something fun and important in your life to help you realize what you really want. Because sometimes it’s just important to get back to the things you love and enjoy. Sometimes you just need to sort it out.

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As of very recently I’ve gotten into Sorting, a timed event on horseback where you sort cattle numbered 1 to 10 and get them into the next pen in numeral order. For example if you draw the number 8, you will have to sort the cow marked with the number 8 into the next pen, then 9, then 10, then 1 until you get them all into the next pen. One person pushes the cows and the other holds the entrance to the gate so more than one doesn’t slip through. Rules are simple but the work put in is a challenge. It’s a lot of fun and getting out and working on something I love brings me a lot of happiness and peace of mind at the end of the day.

Lately things had been stressful. I’ve been wanting to move but I know I have to stay and get a start on school, while simultaneously being frustrated about what I want to do long term with my life. The hard part is the things I thought I wouldn’t like have been working out for me and all the things I thought would make me happy career wise have been a complete flop. So what is the right choice and where do I aim my arrow? Do I go for something a bit more corporate or do I try to find a job where I can work outdoors? Can I do something that requires both?


So many times it feels like it’s one or the other but maybe there can be a balance of both. This past year, I worked and I worked and worked. My focus was completely work related and it didn’t bring me more joy and less stress like I had hoped. Finally this year I realized I needed to focus on having fun as well. Life is short and I want to make the most of it. So in addition to taking lessons I’ve started sorting. So far it has been so much fun and I get to travel a little more which is always a bonus. Going from one town to another is always exciting especially when it’s somewhere I’ve never been before. I’m surprised by how happy I’ve been lately and quite frankly it’s been a relief.  Now I enjoy work and I can enjoy the money more because it’s going towards something that makes me happy. So maybe it’s just all about balance.


So I’ll just keep moving forward and trying to figure out some things as I go. As for all those other decisions? I have some ideas and I have some options and I know I have a lot of work to do before I will get where I want to be. But right now there is a sorting today about 45 minutes away from where I live. There are some cattle over there with some numbers on them and I’m going to sort them out.

Lessons

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You never stop learning. Back in grade school I was so excited to one day be done with school because I was so tired of learning and working at it. Oh how ignorant I was. Luckily that only lasted a short time and by the time I got into high school I was so excited and eager to learn more and more. College was interesting because being able to not only take the classes I needed but the classes I wanted was extremely exciting. Just to be able to choose what you wanted to learn and not being forced into it made the things I learned very fun. And in that time I look back and realize how much I had grown from all those experiences and how it shaped the person I am today.

Fast forward to the present. For a while I had felt a little stagnant and had felt like I needed to keep moving forward and keep bettering myself. So this year has been a year of self evaluation, hard work, weight loss, knowledge and horseback riding lessons.

419354_513581218667674_441022406_nNow if you’ve been following my blog you will know I’m not exactly new to horses. In fact I have been riding for about 20 years now. However, I haven’t had very much formal training or lessons until the last five years. So this year I have been taking lessons and learning how to become a better rider for me and for my younger horses. A lot of people ask my why I’m taking lessons if I already know how to ride. Well, I tell them that there’s always more to learn and I want to keep getting better. Not to mention it’s something that makes me incredibly happy and fills my life with good memories. In fact some of my best memories include horses and the experiences I’ve had with them.

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With only about ten lessons under my belt for the year I’m thrilled with how much easier my young gelding and I work together now. Not to mention my improved posture and overall sense of confidence. I know I have so much farther to go but it’s amazing how much better I feel already. Doing something that continues to teach you new things and makes you happy is probably one of the most rewarding things I have found in this life. And then love, friendship, travel and all that other good stuff is pretty darn great too.

This year has been a much happier one for me. Partly due to me losing 20 pounds so far but I think a lot of credit goes to the fact that I’ve been investing a lot more time and energy into my horses. I think everybody has something that makes them extremely happy and for me that’s horses and it always has been. I don’t know if you’ve ever had that feeling in the pit of your stomach telling you that something is so right and perfect and you know it’s always going to be amazing. Well that happens to me whenever I’m at work and I’m dreaming about riding my horses instead or when I’m out in the pasture with them. So in that way I think it makes sense that I continue to take lessons and get better because I know I will always want to keep learning and pushing forward to keep getting better and better.

IMG_20170530_140040_646And although I’m planning on going back to school this fall to continue my education and I have been challenging myself to learn new things because frankly I think it’s important to, my passion is and always has been with horses. So I challenge you, yes you out there, reading this right now to dig deep and find your passion and if you already have then good. Now go for it, do it, exercise it and keep learning about it and from it. Because the things that make us happy are important.
I think it’s important to remember that, because as of last year I spent a lot of time chasing money, thinking it was going to make me happier and less stressed. But it didn’t. I was more stressed and less happy because at the end of the day I didn’t give myself anything truly good or have any happy memories to look back on and at that time I didn’t push myself to learn more than what I already knew. I stopped growing in that time and now I’m making up for it and happier than ever.

So remember what is really important; family, friends, passion, health, knowledge, joy and most important love. Because what is life even worth if we don’t try to fill it with as much happiness and meaning as we can?