Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's My Party and I'll Give Presents Away if I Want to

I’m turning 44 on July 19th and lucky for me, I’ve got nothing to cry about, except maybe a few more wrinkles and dimples that I didn’t have 20 years ago. But with each year that passes its hard not to look back and ponder the decisions I’ve made, to reminisce, think about where I am and what the future holds, to think about the accomplishments and yes, the failures.

I remember riding the bus for the hour-long trip to school everyday, staring out the window and being the star in the daydreams of my future. There was always adventure in those inspirational moments, many twists and turns, and oh, the drama. Inevitably, there were horses and I was a world-renowned horse trainer. There were sexy men with hearts of gold who swooped me off my feet. And the career woman who beat the odds in a male dominate world. I wanted to be anything but what I was and anywhere but on that school bus.

I had four major goals or vision for my life during those hours and years riding that yellow hunk of metal - they included the following:

1. Career woman
2. Barrel racer
3. Horse trainer
4. Published Author

The decisions and reminiscing:

1. Career woman - I went to college despite a school counselor telling me not to bother going because I’d never make it and a father who said I’d end up pregnant before it was all said and done. Jokes on them, considering that would never be possible, me getting pregnant that is. And not only did I make it through college, I did it with flying colors. Since graduating, I have done all the things I though a career woman would do. I’ve had the luxury of travelling all over the U.S. and staying in some magnificent hotels. I’ve worn fancy dresses to fancy dinners and drank some of the best Champaign (I’ll take a beer any day, thank you). I’ve given presentations to corporate staff and have sat in hour long meetings with customers from foreign countries. Was it as glamorous as the teenage girl thought it would be, at times—yes, but for the most part—no. It’s work just like anything else.

2. Barrel racer - When I was in my late twenties, I decided it was time to pursue this dream. I bought a 15-year-old seasoned barrel racing mare (Baby D), who taught me the ropes. We competed for fours years together and running some pretty good times when I had to retire her due to arthritis and the fact she’d gone blind in one eye. She’s thirty-two years old this year and looks like a spring chicken. She is doing great and enjoying life. Even though I don’t barrel race anymore, it’s still a dream fulfilled. I think about getting back into it, but it just hasn’t been the same since riding Baby D.

3. Horse trainer - This one is simple. I bought a yearling and trained her to replace Baby D. With the exception of hating to go in the horse trailer, she turned out to be an excellent all around horse. She is good in competition, but never managed to fill Baby D’s horseshoes. Where she does excel is with the little ones. Put a child on her back and she is the sweetest, gentlest horse you will find. I trained a horse. Goal accomplished.

4. Published Author - This one took the longest to achieve. More from lack of trying than anything, because once I tried things sorta happened pretty fast considering five years is nothing compared to the industry standard. It has been possibly the hardest to achieve because of the personal, emotional and time investment that it takes to write and then sell a book. And the time investment isn’t just your own, but your families, too. The time it takes away from them. It has been, however, the most satisfying, self-rewarding accomplishment because in writing I have found my passion.

Where I am:

Literally, right now? On my front porch, a cool breeze blowing across me and my laptop as I write. But in life terms—it’s all good. I’m still working the career woman angle until the movie deal comes through for one or all of my books. Hey, just because I’m 44 doesn’t mean I’ve stopped dreaming. I’ve still got my horses and I enjoy them even if I don’t barrel race or ride as often as I’d like. Spending time with them, watching them in the pasture and smelling them when I walk into the barn brings me peace. 

I have my dream home—a log cabin—and live on the farm I grew up on as a child. I have wonderful people around me—family and friends, many are both. 

I count on exercise now like never before and age defying creams all in effort to look younger than what I am. I’m playing softball again for the first time in 17 years, and that’s purely for enjoyment and because I missed it. 

God is a strong force in my life and I thank him everyday for the many blessings. I pray for strength to be the person He wants me to be and I hope one day to be worthy of His love and mercy.

What the future holds:

Who knows, right? It could all end tomorrow. Not the world, but my life or my life as I know it, but you can’t spend your time dwelling on that. You do the best you can and what’s meant to be will be. 

Work as if it all depends on you and pray as if it all depends on God.  

For my birthday, I’m giving away a FREE copy (e-book or print) of EMOTIONAL WARFARE and a $10 gift card to Amazon to two lucky commenters. Leave a comment below about a goal achieved or anything else or just leave your e-mail address to be entered to win.