14

Depressed? Water the Grass

Today I got the itchy crazy I’m going nuts, nothing feels right, yucky feeling, impatient, I’m going to scream, frustrated, depresseditis. Is that a proper sentence with proper words? No, and frankly I don’t even care. That’s just exactly how I felt today. I was in one of those funks you just get stuck in.

I was feeling bored with my routine, trapped by my life, and all out cranky.

Don’t get me wrong I love my family, but I’d just had it today .

I tried several things to make me feel better.
I sat on the couch.
I drank extra cups of coffee.
I turned music on and danced with the girls.
I cooked and baked and grilled.
I cleaned
I read.
I prayed.
I screamed.
I colored a picture.

But none of it made me feel any better.

Until.

I watered the grass.

I actually just started out to water my few flowers I haven’t managed to kill or haven’t baked in the sun.

And then I started spraying off the side walk where the chickens had dropped a million Poop bombs.

And then I started watering the lawn that is burnt by the sun. It was strangely relaxing. The water glinted on the halfway green grass and made it shine. My plants perked up a bit from the cool water, and so did my mood.

It gave me a cool down I desperately needed.

It gave me time to think.

What I realized is, when I’m feeling depressed, I just need to keep trying to get my happiness back. I have to keep going. I have to keep doing everything I can think of to move forward and shake the nasty feelings.

All the usual things that make me happy just didn’t work for me today…….but I kept trying….and my peace of mind finally came from something as simple as watering my lawn.

From the HK Bar to the world if you’re mood isn’t good, just keep trying. Keep moving forward, keep searching……

Sometimes the answer to greener grass is as simple as watering your own lawn.

5

Sometimes Silence is the Best Answer

Recently I found myself making a comment I thought was helpful to a close family member whom was struggling with an issue.

Despite being able to communicate through writing easily, I often mis speak. I often jumble my words and end up being nonsensical and ineffective in the point I’m trying to make.

In this particular incident, my family member spilled his proverbial guts and I was taken aback at the seriousness of his confession. I replayed the words I had said just moments before and physically cringed.

They hadn’t been helpful.
They hadn’t been relevant.

Looking back now after the fact I wish I could change the moment. I wish I could keep my words to myself and just offer my presence. I wish I could offer a big hug and a pat on the back.

Because the truth is sometimes when we try to say something helpful, or uplifting, or whatever, we do more harm then good. When we don’t fully understand the situation, our words end up becoming an annoying fly that the person bats away and ends up becoming an annoyance.

Even though my words were not said in judgement or anger I wish I could take them all back.

Sometimes when you don’t know what to say, don t say anything.

Sometimes Silence is The Best Answer

2

10 things that motivate me

I have been doing a lot of self reflection. I always want to be a person who is growing, learning, and changing. one of my biggest fears is not living up to my full potential.

Here’s a list I jotted down today while I was doing chores. I think it’s important to find what motivates me so that I can use that to push forward. I can use these things to motivate me.

1. Music
2. Knowing I can make someone smile.
3. Knowing my daughters are watching me and learning from me.
4. My husband.
5. Seeing progress.
6. Learning something new.
7.Food.
8. Cold weather.
9. Holidays/celebrations.
10. Money

7

Avoiding Financial Disaster; Financial Planning

Have you ever had a moment hit you so hard you knew you would remember it for years to come?

I had a moment like this a few days ago that made me re evaluate my financial future. It was a normal weekday here on the HK Bar. I was cooking breakfast, the kids were running around, and my husband sat at the kitchen table talking to me as I cooked. He was just home from his first job that he works from about 3 a.m. till about 9 a.m. and he was telling me he ran into someone we both knew. (We will call him Rick for anonymity). He said Rick has battled cancer three times in the past year. Rick was forced to sell his lucrative business, deplete his life savings, and sell his farm and almost all of his assets to pay his medical bills and living expenses. He had no insurance. He had no plan. And now he has no plan and no money, and a pile of debt. He is over fifty years old and is starting over at an entry level job for another company. He made the impressionable comment to my husband,

“I never saw my life turning out this way. I never even saw it coming.”

It is this statement alone that sucked the air from my lungs and made me re evaluate my own financial position.

I don’t want to be blind sided like Rick. I want to have a plan. Of course life is always uncertain, but why not try and cushion the blow a bit?

Anyone that knows me well, knows I mean serious business about my finances. We aren’t a family that is well off. My husband works three jobs usually, I work part time and also run our household and do jobs on the side when I am able. We don’t have brand new fancy things, but what we do have is payed for, well taken care of, and within our means financially.

Here are a few things I considered for my own financial future.

1. Save. Start saving, keep saving, and stick to your goals. Even if you only save a dollar a week, you are saving. Something is always better than nothing!

2. Know your retirement needs. According to the U.S. department of labor you will need at least 70% of your pre retirement income to maintain your current standard of living.

3. 401 K. If your work offers it. Sign up! Alot of times companies will have incentives that they will match what you put in up to a certain percentage. (That’s free money folks!) Its also automatically deducted, so less effort and its done. Compound interest and tax deferrals make a big difference in the amount you save!

4. Have health insurance. You never know when some major medical incident will happen. A car accident, a stroke, cancer. Anything major medical equates to big bucks.

5. Avoid debt. Don’t need it? Don’t buy it. Simple.

6. Emergency fund.  No matter what your income you should always have an emergency cash fund. Something you can get to easily. For those occasions like the car breaks down, furnace goes out, etc.

Of course I am no financial expert, but these are all things I put into perspective. I hope they help someone out there avoid a financial disaster. Or even just inspire thought about thier own financial situation and future.

3

Everyone Is A Critic

Returning to the show world after a ten year absence really opened my eyes to the social dynamics between “pleasure/show enthusiasts” and “barrel racers/gamers/speed eventers”.  Through adult eyes I see the relationships a bit more clearly. The reoccurring pattern I see in these relationships you ask? Everyone is a critic. The show people think barrel racers are rough, speed craving (OK so maybe we love the speed), idiot hot heads with no horsemanship skills. The barrel racers think the show people are fussy, uptight ninnies that couldn’t ride a non fancy broke horse as far as they could throw it. (Although not all people fit this stereotype!)

Whether you are a show person, or a racer, or maybe even the odd person that is passionate about both…… I just want to say.

Shut up! You are not an expert in all fields!

Is that too harsh? Quite possibly.

My objective is not to completely categorize people and point fingers about what disciplines are better or more skilled. I simply want people to respect each other and realize. We all have opinions. We all have our own way of doing things. We all have things we enjoy doing with our horses.

Sometimes it makes me sad to be back in the show ring.

All the harsh critics and know it all’s kind of kill my mood and take away the fun.

I show because its something I enjoy doing. I enjoy learning more about all different types of disciplines, connecting with my horse, and getting out there and participating.

However, I do realize people have different intensities of focus. This post isn’t meant to point fingers or raise tempers. It’s simply a plea for people to realize we are all different in our styles and levels, and to be nice to one another.

And if you have to be a critic. Be a nice one. Be the person that offers friendly observations or your own experiences. Be the person that lends a hand if you see someone struggling. Be the person you would want to be around.

It’s called sportsmanship.

And no matter what disciplines you ride, no matter what level you ride at, sportsmanship should be the one thing we as horsemen all have in common.