I was prepared to write a clever post about how to take your speech disorder along to work. You know, in celebration of completing my first full week back at work.
But, I have something else to say first.
As great as it was to be back at work last week, I found myself mired in worry.
Real, true worry is much like a weight. It can be cagey. Sometimes, you can deceive yourself into thinking you’ve got it conquered. But it’s always there, and it can be crushing.
I’ve been worried about my mare. And though I’ve not talked specifically about her much in this blog, she’s a very special horse to me.
First, she had many opportunities to kill me as I fumbled my way around learning dressage on her – and didn’t. She had buttons I’d never seen and had no idea what to do with.
She has been a wise teacher, giving me only as much as I ask for – or was capable of asking. With her help and much instruction along the way, I finally learned how addicting a canter half pass can be, the true angle of a shoulder-in, and the power of a real extended trot.
More importantly, she tolerated my mistakes and my faults. Many times, I have been a less than perfect rider, but I have always tried to learn – even if it took me a few days after a hard ride. I can think of a few times where I apologized to the mare for losing my cool when I didn’t think she was doing it right, when most of the time I just wasn’t asking correctly.
Yes, she has taught me a lot. And this summer, she took care of me in a different way – being careful with me as I handled her after my injury. Enjoying time together just being – grooming, eating grass.
Now she’s sick. Laminitis brought on by a steroid injection. A pretty cruel twist, if you ask me. Here, I tried to do something for her – to take care of her, to soothe the discomfort she has from high ringbone…and in a rare case, here we are. Monitoring her like a hawk, x-raying what will be each week, worrying and waiting.
This worry. I have felt this way before, in an even stronger sense.
Last September and early October, my days consisted of a haze – as I spent my days in the hospital, dazed and in shock, not believing that my dad had suffered a major stroke. Not believing that he could NOT be with me. I spent two weeks by his side in the hospital before his body made the decision to leave us. Two weeks of October that felt like an eternity. I had tried so hard to be positive, to be hopeful. To do all that I could.
And still, it was beyond my control. Despite my desperate wishing, I could no more control what happened than I could stop the earth from turning.
So here we are now. I found myself wondering why I couldn’t cry more this week. I was concerned. I wondered what was wrong with me.
And that’s why.
It’s because I can’t control the outcome. I can control how I approach the situation at hand – to make sure my horse has the best care and that I do all I can to make that outcome – recovery – successful. But if anything, this past year has taught me that life will do what it does.
Sometimes that means we’re all surprised. Sometimes we’re crushed.
But you knew that already.