Thursday, December 5, 2013
An online daily putting "Hooray!" in your day
We continue our Happy Hanukkah wishes on this 8th and final day of celebration! Hag sameach! May your days be bright!
My Horse Is Not In the Stable
Fake-it-‘til-you-make-it has been my middle name. I have mastered the use of this life strategy for times when I have been emotionally spent, tired, frustrated, angry or sad.
“No one cares how you feel; just get back up on that damn horse!” he fumed, as he towered over me.
In less time than it takes to say “hi”, I can travel forty-plus years back to an event with my father.
At sixty pounds and fed up with my horse in the show ring, I jumped off of Scuppernong’s back (a good 5 ½ feet from the ground). With the snaffle bit coming out of the side of his mouth, I tugged him by the reins, to the side of the ring. I was mad that I couldn’t get him to follow my commands and I was done--done with the pretense of trying. My father was the show manager.
He greeted me outside the ring with a blustering, hissing and a redness that seemed apoplectic. He was not going to be embarrassed by his redheaded, hot-tempered 8-year-old. While the spectators were aghast by this show of chutzpah by a tiny girl and a humongous horse, they were also politely and quietly giggling in recognition of a boyish-looking little redhead who was frustrated and not about ready to let the brutish animal win. Dad wasn’t tickled by my actions, so he sucked every ounce of air in Kansas that day to deliver these blustery words: No one cares how you feel young lady: just get back up on that damn horse! That hiss has clung to me ever since that time.
I haven’t even saved it for special occasions. No! I have used it with common every-day stuff AND the big things in life. I’ve used that scenario as a way to set up nearly every breath I’ve taken.
Feeling a bit blue in the morning, someone asks “how are you holding up, Lee Ann?”
[No one cares how you feel; just get back up on that damn horse!] “Fine, just fine. How ‘bout you, sweetie?” I sing with a smile.
Lost, betrayed and angry after being unceremoniously “let go” from a job, the refrain loops in my head.
[No one cares how you feel; just get back up on that damn horse!] I push forward out of the pain, more alone, more afraid, more desperate, but even more determined and I speak these fast-forward-don’t feel-anything words, “I needed to get out of that place. I’m on to the next thing. Here I come! Yippee!” I put a great spin on it.
I am asked by a stranger, a lover, a friend, a mentor or someone who wants to help me, “what do you need? What do you want? How can I support you? The hissing fills me to a scream, like the art piece by Edvard Munch of the same name. I hold my head, even if it is only figuratively speaking.
[No one cares how you feel; just get back up on that damn horse!] And I get back up on that horse that I have come to know as accommodating, don’t-make-waves, don’t-ask-or-need-anything and say…nothing. Nothing! Or I offer the “oh, you are too kind for asking…” The words fade away and I never spit out what I’m feeling or what I need or want. God forbid! They might actually help!
A life that has not been fully expressed…and yet, I’ve pushed my way into academic programs, leadership positions, travel opportunities and adventures-galore with the “fake-it-‘til-you-make-it” determination. It’s amazing that I’ve succeeded as much as I have. I think of how much more I could have done and can do, but for that damn horse I carry around.
The story has corralled me into the smallest of pens. It has narrowed my connections. It has burdened me or as we say in the equestrian world, I’ve been saddled with it. The recurring story/video has caused suffering for me, and let’s be honest here, suffering for all who know me because I have been “faking it to make it”. I’ve made the story THE STORY of my life, which has run rough-shod over everything.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten some great mileage out of the story. I’ve got one helluva résumé. I’m tough as nails, strong, courageous, smart, sensitive, loving and kind—really kind. But the story is old and worn out, serving no to little importance. It’s an old horse ready for the pasture.
So I have a choice: keep the trope or gently let it go.
…Time to let the horse wear a simple halter and enjoy eating dandelions in the back forty. I’ll bring him in and clean him up every once in a while, but for now he’s not going to be taking up any space in the stable…
Did you know?
Kid President: 20 Things We Should Say More Often
Get your corn dogs and BBQ sauce and listen up to Kid President. I just love the duo that creates these Kid President videos: Brad Montague and his little brother-in-law, Robby ("Kid President"). Robby is 9 years old. He's full of life and ideas. Robby has Osteogenesis Imperfect (OI), a brittle bone condition which has resulted in him having over 70 breaks since birth. What's inspiring about Robby isn't his condition, but the fact that his condition doesn't define who he is. In spite of all he's been through he not only keeps going -- he dances!
Here Are the Books On Our Bedside Table
What are you reading? Check out these wonderful titles. (By the way, some of these "on our bedside table" are actually on our Kindles and Nooks, and other reading devices! What a world we live in, huh? Simply amazing!)
The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.
-- C.G. Jung
We have to dare to be ourselves,
however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.
-- May Sarton
“Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'
'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.
'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'
'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'
'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
-- Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
I care not so much what I am to others
as what I am to myself.
I will be rich by myself,
and not by borrowing.
-- Michel de Montaigne
Courage is the most important of all virtues,
It takes courage to lead a life.
-- Erica Jong