Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Life Lessons from Horses

Do you like the new layout? Can you tell I'm obsessing a bit?

I've been taking riding lessons for a couple of months now, and I love it. I saw a demonstration last weekend by a local woman who has trained three wild American mustangs over the past few years and I am intrigued. Did you know that you can purchase a mustang for $125? And here I thought I'd have to save forever to get my hands on my very own horse.

My husband was not pleased to hear this, since he's working hard to help me keep my head on my shoulders instead of in the clouds.

So, I'm visiting the mustang woman this coming weekend on her farm. I promise I'm not getting carried away. In fact, I'm hoping to find out whether this dream of mind has any basis in reality.

I want to know the truth about the time commitment, the space needed, the upkeep costs, the lifestyle required for caring for horses in a quality manner. I want to improve my horsemanship so that I am comfortable in horsey situations and so that I feel competent enough to do this on my own eventually.

In my lessons, one of the things I have to keep remembering is to "look where I want to go". This is such a wonderful life suggestion as well! It reminds us to leave the past alone and focus on our goals, to make progress toward what we want, even if it isn't happening for us in the present. It's a beautiful melding of being in the present and driving toward one's goals. It's something we're trying to live by as the unknown continues to loom.

And, of course, things continue to be complicated here. Donald isn't feeling fulfilled and secure in his current job. We have been here almost a year, and while I have worked hard to put down roots quickly and deeply, we are still restless and consider leaving. Will we ever stay put?

Are we finding that we are truly nomadic in nature? If that is the case, then we're going to have a hard time accomplishing several of our goals, such as home ownership. What are we actually looking for?

I would argue that we're moving towards what we want, yet we don't always know what we want. Donald dreams of teaching high school history. I dream of owning a ranch and horses out West. The real thing stopping us right now is the belief that we lack the funds to safely do these things and raise a family. While we know that we will never feel like we have enough money to have kids, we also feel like we're not secure enough to have kids AND make our dreams come true.

Are we the only ones putting our own dreams on hold because of the pressure/desire to have children? I highly doubt it. How do we move past this and figure out how to do it all? Or is my optimism unfounded and we truly do have to make a choice?

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