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Monday, March 25, 2013


This weekend I was reminded of a very important concept and I wanted to share with you.

I am responsible for my happiness.  On the flip side, I am not responsible for anyone else's happiness. 

This sounds very simple and on the basic, theoretical level is.  It's applying it to the real world where it becomes complicated.

If I am miserable and unhappy than it is important to evaluate why.  And those answers should reside in myself, NOT someone else.  Similarly, if someone else is miserable, the answer resides in them, not in me.

Note the shirt I'm wearing today - it very much matches my mood
(BTW - quick diversion back to my "soundness and balance post": based on this picture can you tell which is my convex and which is my concave side?  ie, which side is over stretched and which is contracted in the saddle?  One shoulder is dropped and behind the other even though I feel like I'm sitting in my chair square and straight.  This does translate into the saddle.)

One thing that helps me find happiness is to remind myself of the following truths:

1. Life does not change.  If you aren't happy now, you won't be happy later when you (insert the promotion, job, life change, money amount, goal, achievement here).  You can be happy with a crappy job.  You can be happy even if the specifics of your life (marital status, specific career, school, absence or presence of kids etc.) aren't how you would have chosen it.

2. Happiness if more a state of being than a result of anything concrete.  Concrete things and events can bring me a specific joy, but they won't make a long term impact on my happiness.

Hopefully by the time you are an adult you can put together a list of things that make you happy.  I think that this list is important because, at least in my life, those things that make me the happiness are although those things that are the most easily pushed to the margins of life.  When I'm feeling unhappy I refer to this list and ask myself when was the last time that I did these activities, AND how can I incorporate the activities more heavily into my daily routine in the short term.

Things that make my list are:
-Practicing a musical instrument

Music? Yesterday I took 2 of my fiddles and hung them on the walls in different areas of the house.  It's super easy to pluck one off the wall for just a minute or two and then replace it.  Waiting for something to heat up in the microwave?  Pick it up and run through a song a few times.

Writing?  I have designated Sunday's as my creative writing time - I won't do any content blogging, but will work on my novel, whether that's actually writing a chapter and posting it, or working on the plot outline (which is what I did this week).

Knitting?  Stash a project somewhere convenient and buy sock yarn I'm excited about.

Running?  Take a duffel bag with running clothes and shower stuff with me every day and find 45 minutes on the drive home or drive to school and just do it.  If I didn't run yesterday, than today is a run day.

Riding?   Put some rides on the calendar - example: I don't have school on Friday.  This will be a perfect opportunity to go up to the Auburn overlook and do a bit of riding.  Because riding involves another creature, it's important that I don't try to shove my goals, frustrations, and expectations into a riding opportunity.  My rule of thumb is that if I feel rushed and stressed about trying to get a ride in, I don't do it.  I violated that rule on this weekend Saturday morning and I regretted it.  Also, because I considered riding in many ways my part time job for many years, I even hesitated putting it on my "happiness" list along with the other activities because although it makes me happy, it's in a different way and of all the activities on the list, it is the one that can actually make my mood and state of mind WORSE if I'm not in the proper mindset when getting on the horse. I'm better off doing the other activities to increase happiness, and make sure the horse is regularly incorporated than to use the horse to improve my mood in the first place.


  1. So true!!! I love this post:)

  2. A good reminder that life is all about how we choose to be.

    As to having riding on your happy list, what about changing that to just "spending quality time with my horse"? Even if your mindset isn't in the right place to ride, you can groom and give cookies and snuggle.

  3. A good reminder Sarah that horses are more than just riding and feeding! (something easily lost in the business of horse ownership.

    For me and my mare, while I may go into her pen for a quick "nose in the hair, deep breath in....." on a particularly stressful day, neither one of us particular enjoys fussing over eachother. Non-riding quality time for us usually involves turn out while I sit in the bleachers and study or a lead rope trail run. I've never had a snuggly horse or one that particularly enjoyed grooming...Im' not sure if it is me or them..... :)


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