I was going to do a review of 2016, but when I traveled back in my posts, I realized that it was a year I'd rather not remember. I didn't make much progress anywhere in my horsemanship or my life. It was year filled with obstacles and setbacks.
If 2016 taught me anything, it is to make hay while the sun shines. The weather was atrocious. We only got about three weeks of tolerable temperatures in the late spring and a couple of random weeks in the late fall. Everything else was unbearably hot or unbearably cold. At the same time, the weather must have been much worse elsewhere in the world, because my neighborhood got slammed with a record number of winter visitors, only they stayed throughout the fall and spring as well. The population explosion led to a variety of problems for me and pretty much destroyed the lifestyle I previously enjoyed here.
Most of my joy stemmed from getting to know the less troublesome wildlife like Charity the wild bunny and Betsy the bobcat.
I also learned that trying to cure most of my pesky health problems is just a huge waste of time and money. I need to learn to live with my conditions and work around them the best I can, even though they prevent me from being able to ride my horses.
I had to train myself to shut people out of my life who drained me of my time, energy, and money, so that I could do something for myself every once in a while. In the future, when or if we get a few days or weeks of lovely weather where my dogs, horses, and I all feel healthy, I'm planning on shutting off my phone and putting my mail on hold. I've had so many precious moments stolen from me this year by inconsiderate people. I'm not going to let that happen again.
It wasn't a compete fail, though, because I definitely did draw the line with some people and they've taken a step back to give me my space. It's amazing how protective one can get of her time when she's over the hill and knows there's no going back to the young, energetic, healthy body she used to have.
Going forward, I'm hesitant to commit to resolutions since everything has felt so out of my control this past year. If I were in control, I would have ridden my horses more, finished and published my current novel, finished that knit top I've been working on all year, and finished my latest quilt. Instead, I spent most of the year fending off unwanted phone calls, unwanted appointments, health problems in both me and my pets, the effects of extreme temperatures, poop, poop, and more poop. A little pee too. Okay, a lot. Let's not forget vomit.
At the beginning of this week I vowed to not allow unwanted appointments to monopolize my January calendar. However, now, at the end of the week, I already have three unwanted appointments in January. One is for the horses, one is a medical appointment for me, and one is maintenance for our septic tank. I forgot that right around Christmas our house starts stinking from septic back up, and of course, that had to happen yesterday, right before a three day holiday weekend, so we have to smell the stench until next week. I'm making a note to have the same maintenance performed in six months so that we can stop experiencing this disgusting problem during the holidays every year. It's like clockwork. House smells like butt and urine? It must be Christmas. I wonder how long I've been blaming this on the dogs.
I'm not liking this house as much as I did when we first bought it. Who puts a septic tank right outside a kitchen and living area? At my old house, we never had this problem, because the septic tank was far enough out away from the house and it wasn't the kind that had a filter that had to be cleaned constantly. 2016 has truly turned out to be The Year of Waste.
But I suppose I can fantasize that 2017 will be different. Assuming that we do have some bearable temperatures and weather, and assuming that I have the good health to do what I intend to do, and assuming that nothing terribly tragic happens, I can tell you how I would like to spend the new year.
1. I want to do something with at least one horse every day that the weather, temperatures and my health permit. I started a horsemanship journal last year with the intention of recording every action I take that gets me one step closer to better horsemanship, and what I learned from it. It's a very sparse journal after 2016.
2. I want to make use of all my sewing and quilting supplies instead of just watching other people design and sew on Project Runway.
3. I want to stretch and exercise in some way for at least half an hour each day, not including all the physical activity I already do during barn chores and taking the dogs out every few minutes. If I can lose weight, I can get off some of my medications that sap my energy, and then I can ride more often. This time last year I had no problem standing up after sitting down. Now it is a very painful process for me, because both knees are shot. The less weight my knees have to carry, the longer they will last.
4. I want to finish writing and publish my current novel. I don't care if anyone reads it. I just want to complete it.
5. I want to experience peace, quiet, tranquility, total calmness and predictability for once. I think I deserve it. In other words, I want to be able to plan out my days and actually do what I had planned instead of flying by the seat of my pants reacting to a bunch of unexpected stimuli that sucks the life out of me. At some point here, I have to start living my life.
Happy New Year to all of you. May all of your resolutions come to harvest.