Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Wish You Enough

I've seen this poem and some version of a corresponding story multiple times on Facebook but cannot find where it originated.... In any case, I think the poem has a lot to offer.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye"

I like the sentiment of "enough".  Not more than you need, not more than your neighbor, not more than is humanely possible to achieve.

I am frequently asked how I am involved in so many things and still "keep it together".  How I manage running a business, attend my three kids' events, volunteer on multiple boards, write this blog and still have a bit of time to ride my horse.

The truth is I don't keep it together.  Most of the time I feel like I am on the edge of a cliff with one foot over the edge, hoping the other holds on.  And I have compromised on what I used to feel were important things to get done.

For example, right now my sink is full of dishes but instead of worrying about it I am writing.   I am fairly certain they aren't going anywhere.  

A few years ago my husband came up with ingenious idea to stop folding clothes.  Instead each person in our family has a large bin in my walk in closet.   I go straight from the dryer to the bins and throw the clothes in there -- no folding required.  Its up to each person to take their bin to their room to put away their clothes.  And if they don't?  Well, they are putting wrinkled clothes on straight from the bin.

I can cook.  I cook pretty well actually.   But our family eats way too much fast food during sports seasons.   Sometimes three or four days go by without me cracking open my oven.   My entire house is rarely clean.   A room or two yes... but never the whole thing.

Last week I had a fancy party to attend and when I went to get dressed, I realized the dress I was planning on wearing was on top of the dirty laundry pile.   After a two second hesitation, I threw the dress in the dryer with two dyer sheets and a sprinkle of water.   That isn't much different than dry cleaning, right?

The point is that I am far from "having it together".   And I don't think that I am that different from most of my friends.  I hear from so many of them the disappointment they have in themselves. 

Just today I watched a friend's lesson and it was fabulous.   Her horse has come so far and its completely under her direction.  When she bought the horse, she was a gangly under-muscled horse with little training.  She has brought the horse to a beautiful, well-muscled horse who does a haunches in like its butter.  She is schooling third level and today they were such a fluid pair I couldn't tell where the aids were occurring.   But five minutes after the lesson she commented that she wasn't totally pleased with the medium trot.   Why can't we celebrate our success?   Why do we always want more from ourselves and our horses?

I recently attended a clinic with Steffen Peters and this was a theme of his clinic -- good enough.  When you have tested the movement, its time to move on.  There is no reason to school it over and over again ... or even necessarily complete the movement.

I've been thinking of this for a bit now in regards to Golly.   I had wanted so much to "get" the canter confirmed this year and in the process I realized that I need to celebrate what he CAN give me.  It doesn't mean that I can't continue to achieve and try and strive for more.   But I need to also celebrate what we have achieved and what he can offer.   He is sane.  He is loving.  He has a steady tempo and good trot.  He gets fabulous scores on halts which sounds like it should be easy but lots of people DON'T get good scores on halt!   I can't say I will be perfect on this resolution but I intend to do my best to celebrate him for what he is while we strive for more.

As my life became more busy I came up with a justification for why my house was not perfect.  While I used to freak out if my baseboards weren't clean for guests, now it became okay if toys were strewn everywhere, dishes were in the sink and crumbs on the table left over from last nights dinner.  My justification was that I was doing a service to my friends.  Rather than leaving my house feeling less about themselves because their house wasn't up to par, they could leave with the thought that they weren't all that bad...   their house wasn't all that different from mine.... maybe even better.  And I hope that my friends feel comfortable in my house -- free to put their feet up on the coffee table and relax with a cup of tea.

So as we enter a new year and think about New Year's resolutions, I challenge you to lower your expectations for yourself.   Celebrate your achievements and the achievements of your horse.  I wish you enough.  Anything  beyond is gravy.


  1. Brilliant post & so very true, I love it! And I wish you enough too :)

  2. Lovely lovely post! It's all in how we choose to look at things. Lately my dressage goals have necessarily gone to the back burner. Now, having a horse, and keeping him healthy and happy will have to be enough. Happy New Year to you!

    1. Hey... I just realized that based on some pictures that you probably are not all that far from me -- where is your farm?

  3. Thanks Tulavilla and Calm, Forward and Straight! I've read both of your blogs and have enjoyed them so I appreciate the feedback.

  4. I really enjoyed this post, it keeps things in perspective and also gives me hope for my future as a student of dressage and life! Thank you!

  5. Great post and so so true! Add the first time mama of an 8 month old whose this and clothing and diapers have taken over our small house, I've had to let go of wanting my house to look like the pages of Country Living. Looking forward to reading more on your blog!


I love to get feedback and hear about your journey-- please share!