Saturday, December 31, 2011

My "medicine"

When I started this blog, I wanted to post very regularly, at least 4 times a week.  I was doing OK last August until a big event in my life changed my daily and weekly rhythm and I just let the blogging slip away. 

The big event was that we bought a horse for me.  His is my "medicine" and his name is "Doc" (I kid you not!)   I didn't name him, that was just a happy coincidence.  Speaking of "Doc" and "Happy", did you know that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are NOT happy?  (My husband told me that joke.)

I don't have any good photos of Doc yet as he is a big challenge to photograph on my own (he always comes up to me when turned out in the arena so I can't get him to be far enough away to shoot properly on my own) and when my husband comes to watch me ride, we have a boisterous 3 year-old with us who, thus far, has rendered the photographic effort to be, well, let's just say "non-productive". 

Here is a photo of us on the day the vet visited:
He is a very pretty bay thoroughbred, age 15, which is "middle-aged" for a horse and he is very sensible.  I love riding.  As a systems analyst, I am a professional "thinker" and it's hard to quiet my mind.  When I ride, there can be nothing else going on and my mind gets a rest.  If my mind wanders, Doc knows it.  Riding is a partnership between me and my horse.  We have to be in tune with one another.  He's very powerful, so I need to be sure we're communicating well and my focus HAS to be on him.  Not on anything else.  So it's a little vacation for my mind and I find it incredibly addictive for that feature alone.

My loving husband always encourages me to go ride and I am so thankful for his generosity.  He takes care of Joaquin while I ride and I'm usually gone for 3 hours each time--at least 4 days a week.  He got tired of me thanking him all the time and finally "explained" it to me.  It went something like this:

Me:  I know I've told you before, but I just want to be sure you know how much I appreciate your support with my riding.  It means so much to me, thank you.

Him:  (huge sigh...) Look.  I am a selfish man.  When I "let" you go riding, I always get back a happy wife.  I LIKE having a happy wife.  When you ride, you lose weight and get more fit.  I want my wife to be healthy.  I want my wife to be around for a long, long time.  For ME.  I like the way you look when you are riding and fit.  That pleases ME.  So this is really all about ME and what I want.  You don't have to thank me.

Me:  Oh.

Riding is also very physically demanding (I am learning dressage) and it's outdoors in the fresh air.  Not only that, but it is surprisingly social.  You develop a relationship with your trainer and other riders at the barn.  And you have a relationship with your horse.  Horses are amazing.  So willing to cooperate and so giving and sensitive.  I just love riding.  Today I had a really lovely "practice" ride (that's where I ride by myself and try to practice everything I've been learning in lessons) and it went really well.  I come home floating on another happy...and so "rested"...and so worn out from the physical demands.  Very good medicine!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Knit, Crochet, Reading...and kindness...

Joining Ginny today.  I knitted a simple wash cloth (just a square that was all garter stitch) and then crocheted this scrubbie type wash cloth for my husband.

My husband really likes them both.  He is always so encouraging and appreciative of my creative efforts.  He says it's because he's an art school graduate, but I know it's really because he is kind.  I appreciate his kindness and his fun sense of humor so much.  Here's a sample of his humor:

Setting:  A busy breakfast restaurant where a TV is mounted directly over my head.  He keeps glancing up while we are talking, so I give him "the look".

Hubby:  I'm just watching that game, you know, the one with the funny shaped ball.  (This is a reference to the fact that he knows nothing about sports and likes it that way.)

Me:  Soccer?

Hubby:  No, football.  Soccer doesn't have funny shaped balls.

Me:  Yes they do!  They have all those weird hexagons all over them so they look round, but close up they really aren't.

Hubby:  Oh, yeah.  I forgot about that...(deadpan) I love talking sports with you.

I am reading Nick Hornsby's "Juliet, Naked".  I rarely read novels, and I am really enjoying it.  I love how honest his characters' inner dialogues are.  And there is always a very subtle thread of kindness that runs through his books, which I love.  This is one of my favorite songs because I love the lyrics (particularly the line "in the end, only kindness matters") and it makes me think of Ginny and her blog.  We've never met, or even spoken--I only "know" her through her blog, which I love reading.

I want to be more kind.  I have been reading the book of John again to try to connect more with Jesus.  People were amazed by him and loved being with him.  I know that kindness would have been such a strong presence. I am counting on him to be kind with me.