What A Year

This has certainly been an interesting year. Some of it is still a blur. I have definitely had some interesting, although not always wanted, adventures. It was right around this time last year that my health was really declining at an alarming rate. I am VERY grateful to still be alive. Every morning I wake up and take a deep breath and offer thanks that I am still here, breathing. Every day is truly a gift! Not that I want to sound morbid or whiney but when you have a scare, like stage 4 breast cancer, it really drives home the fact that you really don’t know how much longer you will be around, not that any of us do. I don’t plan on going anywhere very soon but, I am going to live whatever life I have left!

I am trying to really notice and appreciate everything I have, friends, love, laughter. Lots of things have changed. Things that used to seem so important to me are not quite as meaningful as they once were. I had given most of my life to horses, something that I will never regret, I lived and breathed horses as far back as I can remember, but right now they are just my companions. No more rigorous training and wishful ambitions of fame and fortune. I have spent decades in the saddle and I cherish every moment. The sounds and smells at the barn are intoxicating and fill me with joy. Horses softly nickering or munching on hay. The sound of hoofbeats and snorting. The sweet smell of fresh feed, new shavings, and leather. The barn has always been a place where I find solace, my happy place. Riding, training, the discipline and physical labor involved in horsemanship is a form of meditation. I have spent many years in my boots and breeches. It is something I will never leave but it is different now.

Art. I am an artist. Everything I do is with an artists touch. I can’t help it, it is who I am. I have struggled for many years trying to make a living as an artist. It is not for the faint of heart! I love creating art, however I do not enjoy trying to market and sell my art. I have been wildly successful at times and I have failed miserably at other times. There is never any steadiness to it. You often end up feeling like a ship tossed about on the sea! “Oh we absolutely love your art, but no we don’t want to actually pay you for it!” UGH! Or “We would love to have you pay us to hang it in our shop.” REALLY? Part of creating art is wanting to share it with others, but at what cost? It is not fulfilling to me to create art and store it in my closet. I enjoy the creative process but I would still like to share it with others and have people care or appreciate what I do enough that I could make a living doing it, but alas this alludes me! Art is sometimes like speaking without words. It can also be like working without pay.

So, after a year of pain and struggling with my health I have no desire, at this time, to continue to struggle with these things, or much else for that matter. I just want to enjoy them. However the bills keep coming and I am not making any money right now. So, whats a girl to do?

Finding Passion

What is your passion? What is it that you know you just couldn’t live without? What is passion? Merriam-Webster says, passion is a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. All my life I have been driven by passion. For a very long time it was working with and training horses, that was my life I was totally consumed, I literally lived and breathed horses! The sounds at the barn, the stomping hooves, the snorts and whinnies fill my soul. The smell of hay and freshly bedded stalls, liniments and leather are some of the greatest smells ever! Horses, I just can’t imagine my life without them. Ever.

Then I got involved in art and it quickly became another passion. Painting and creating every day. It just felt like something that I must do. If I’m not creating something I just don’t feel right. I love experimenting and trying new techniques. I think I live a creative life. Everything I do from cooking to gardening is creative on some level. Right now I have been enjoying a new, for me, creative outlet, music! Well I have always loved music. I actually work my horses to music. But lately I am learning to play the cello and just recently I am starting to play the drums and I am loving it! It remains to be seen if I will ever be any good at it but I sure am having fun learning!

Since I got sick I have had to put some of these things on hold. I was physically and mentally unable to do much of anything for a while. I felt kinda like a zombie. As I am recovering from my treatment my mind would get ahead of what I could physically do. I was a little worried that my life would never be the same. I worried that I would never be able to do these things that I loved. But I think my body is finally catching up now. My doctor really doesn’t want me riding because my bones are a bit fragile at the moment. But I’m not sure how much longer I can wait. My “horse fever” is calling me down to the barn! Every day the urge gets stronger to get back in the saddle again. I am also feeling a crazy creative pull. I have to get my life back, I have to get going!  I have so many paintings in my head!  I am feeling better every day. I have been working on getting my house organized and in order. I have been getting my puppy, Tallula, settled into the routine. I have been getting back into hiking and enjoying nature. This is kind of a spiritual getting ready. Getting ready to start again. After being laid up for a while, every day is special. I am just happy to be alive, walking in the rain, gazing at the moon, eating delicious food, enjoying good friends! I feel it coming back, my passion is knocking on the door and I’m afraid I can’t hold it back much longer! I have a painting in my bedroom with a horse on it titled Unbroken Spirit. I was a little worried for a while but my spirit or my passion will not be broken!