Saturday, September 4, 2010

Shifting Gears


I opened the gate to the pasture this morning, and a gust of cool wind wafted across my arms and face. It was a welcome relief from the incredibly oppressive heat and pressure that was in the air as Hurricane Earl came and went this week. My energy level quickened. I expected that Siete would rush from her stall the minute I pulled on the door, happy to be able to run in the cool breeze. Instead, she lumbered out slowly to investigate whether the small pile of hay that I dropped in the pasture was more delectable than the one in the barn.

It made me think about expectations. For me, the fall is always a time of great expectations. I feel this urge to race against the clock and accomplish something before the days get too short and the ground gets too hard. I want to create something new, meet the goals that I slacked off on all summer.

This week, I’ve been especially hard on myself, since I realized that I now have the gift of spending time alone for at least half of the day. My daughter started high school, and she gets on the bus at 6:30 each morning. My mom is no longer here in the house with me, and my husband was away on a business trip. So, I was all by myself, with many precious hours to do anything that I wanted and no one to tell me what to do. It paralyzed me. Of course, the heat was part of what was slowing me down, but also there was the demanding voice in my head that kept reminding me that I should be doing this or that. And the other little nagging doubter in me that kept questioning whether I could do it good enough to make it work.

I spent a lot of my day sprawled on the couch with my orange cat draped across my lap, staring at all the piles of things that I planned to do. Maybe I needed this gestation period to summon up my “windhorse energy”. This morning, I was concerned that Siete wasn’t prancing around, full of pent-up pleasure in the delightful breeze. Then, I reminded myself that neither was I. So I made myself relax and just be okay with the way things are now. It was such a relief to stop having these expectations. A weight was lifted. I decided to just go with the flow of what would make me happy, so I picked up a brush and while Siete munched on her hay I cleaned the shavings and dirt off her back and untangled her mane and tail. We’ll run around when we’re ready, but not today.

8 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

Sometimes it's good to simply take a break from all the responsibilities that weigh us down and do the things that make us happy. We really need to recharge so we can get back into the groove of doing what needs to be done or what is expected of us. Spending time with my horses always puts a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

Kate said...

To me, fall has always felt like a turning point, too. I also know that "too many plans" paralysis. But you did something - you picked up a brush and concentrated on that. I think allowing myself to focus, and calming down enough to do it, is the key for me - just like riding!

billie said...

LOL - I love that moment of aha! - about you worrying over Siete and then realizing that you weren't running around full of energy either!

I am alone today, as my kids and husband have taken off for the beach. I was a bit overwhelmed as they were walking out the door, thinking about all the things that have to get done around here in a day's time, but I decided I would just have to do one thing at a time, relax into it, and try to enjoy the day - high of 84, heading down to 52 or so tonight.

It's funny how we so desperately want and need time alone, but when we finally get it, it takes a bit of time to actually move into the pleasure of it. Enjoy!

Mrs Mom said...

Amen Victoria!

Nothing quite like a breather, and you've had it coming for so long. Glad you are now able to relax and enjoy the horses. They ARE the best rejuvinator, aren't they? ;)

deejbrown said...

It seems the body and the mind both demand rest during times of transition, whether it be a life style change or a brief vacation. I used to be surprised by this period of physical and mental neutrality but now recognize it as an important passage to creative living.

Ewa in the Garden said...

to be here, feel it and live it is best blessing, because this is the only thing we have. past is gone and we don't know what tomorrow brings

Merri said...

I had such set plans last winter about writing. "I have a whole 4 months to get this done!" 2 weeks later, "That's OK, I have a whole 3 1/2 weeks to get this done!" 6 weeks later, "I still have time, 2 months!" But every time I tried to sit down and do it, it was like my body absolutely refused. I finally gave up. The work didn't get done, but the stress was gone. If I had forced myself to do it, it wouldn't have been good anyway. Sometimes, the time just is not right for what you planned, even though you think it is. (or... am I just lazy???)
- The Equestrian Vagabond

John and Regina Zdravich said...

Yes, fall is about here, and I am really glad to see it arriving! You know, we can be too driven -- being on the couch with a lazy cat is sometimes the best way to spend our time! Gotta do that once in a while. Must admit, though, I am a little jealous....I rarely get time alone at my house....