I had a moment yesterday. Ok I had several moments but the one I am referring to made me stop and think. Yesterday was my 42nd Birthday. Some people have a problem announcing their age to the world but I don't seem to have that issue. I have earned every great, wonderful, exciting, horrible, crappy, scare the hell out of you, interesting, dull, non-descript moment in my life. In reality I am responsible for every adjective of those moments I just described. The good, bad and the ugly, not to be cliche. I decided a while back that no one should have to do anything they really don't want to do on their birthday so for me I decided to take the day off from work. It was a cold, rainy, dreary day anyway so why not stay in my pjs all day. Sounded like the perfect plan to me. I took my daughter to school in my pjs, fed the horses in my pjs aided with my winter quilted zip-up suit and duck boots of course. Mind you my definition of pjs does not swing towards the cute little flimsy lingerie you see on the Vicki Secrets commercial. Hey I live in a 150 year old drafty farm house and this is February. You are lucky that I am not dressed as Nanook of the North. I did however have on some thermal leggings and a t-shirt. Sitting on the couch under a blanket watching the rain out the bay window lamenting at the fact that it was cold enough to freeze the rain on the trees but the ground was just warm enough to make the rest of the farm into a cross between soggy grass sponge and mud pudding. Then it hit me... what a crappy day to have a birthday. Birthdays shouldn't be cold, rainy and muddy or should they? My birthday is in February the likely hood of me having a warm dry birthday are pretty slim. In fact I am reminded every time my God Mother comes to town I was born on a day just like yesterday. Cold, bone chilling, rainy day. This is where my moment came. Sure it is a crappy rainy winter day but for the most part I really don't mind. I would prefer not to have a week or so of these yucky days in a row but an occasional rainy day gives me an excuse to be inside or maybe trap me inside would be more correct. I would prefer Mother Nature spread the precipitation factor out a little more evenly but if not I will put on my big girl panties and deal with it. In reality I am very close to living my ultimate dream. Growing up all I wanted to do was work with horses and own a horse farm. CHECK! The second thing was be able to share my love and passion of horses with other people wanting to enjoy these creatures as much as I do. CHECK! Third thing is to share this passion with my daughter DOUBLE CHECK!!! She is quickly becoming a far better rider than I have ever been.
Somewhere in the last 10 years or so a dear friend of mine in the horsey community told me "Nicole you need to slow down, you are burning the candle at both ends. You will soon burn out if you don't." At the time I tucked that information away for a future reference thinking nahhh I will slow down when I achieve my ultimate goal of running a horse farm full time. As I got older my life goals and dreams changed a bit and had gotten off course. Unlike many of my fellow horsey friends that work with horses full time (I am admittedly jealous) I took a slightly different path toward to my Full Time Horsey Reality. Three years before I bought my farm (I leased a facility before this) I started a career in the Information Technology field. My 10 year plan was to buy a farm and set it up to be a full time working horse farm by 35. This was a goal I DID NOT achieve, a BLESSING in disguise. By the time age 35 rolled around I had a daughter to raise and I wanted to make sure she was provided for. As most horse people know the winter can be pretty unforgiving. Now understand while I love a good pot of pintos and homemade cornbread, not to mention mac and cheese or ramen noodles I don't want them to be a staple dinner item through the winter months. I did not feel it was fair to drag someone with no say in the matter through my winter fasting. (Kidding on the fasting part. I will NEVER miss a meal). So this dream while still obtainable would have to wait. My priorities had shifted it was no longer about me and mine but hers. In my 30's I made some decisions, VERY TOUGH ones and not all of them smart. As a matter of fact I can honestly say WOW some of them were STUPID. The old saying goes, "IF YOU GONNA BE STUPID YOU BETTER BE TOUGH." Thank goodness I am not short on tenacity and drive. Due to some of my decisions I am now faced the reality of debt. Wanting things now buying on credit.... blah blah blah you know the drill. I know I am not alone but I don't want to walk in their shoes either. I have enough manure on my own.
When I turned 40 I decided that I wanted to be out of debt by 45. That means EVERYTHING but my mortgage paid off by the time I am 45. I am proud to say I am on my way down the right path. Now mind you I still scrape by from time to time or have to borrow short term if my reserve falls short. Horses will do that to you. There is always the unforeseen expense or the next vet bill lurking around the corner. My dreams they are still there. I receive little blessings everyday to let me know I am on the right path. A note from a friend that I made her giggle with a post I made when she was having a bad day, somebody stopping me in the hall to tell me they appreciate my smile and wit, A random stranger that has heard about my accident asking me to speak with their daughter so she understands the importance of safety, compliments on what a lovely driven young lady my daughter has become, a pep talk from a friend when I am having a bad day, but most of all the hedge of love I feel from family and friends who truly get me.
Just so you know I have heeded my friends advice. I have slowed down somewhat, I have nothing to prove to anyone but my daughter and God. That comment may surprise you but I will tell you why it was made. The best shot anyone has of raising their children is to lead by example. As a parent you are either in or out of their life everyday. Even if you do everything right (which is impossible) there are still no guarantees. Your only hope is to be the person you want your child to emanate most. As far as God is concerned, it is MY BELIEF he is the very definition of LOVE. I believe he put me on this earth to do great things for others through my passion for horses on a grand scale. Besides raising an INCREDIBLE daughter my Ultimate dream for myself is to enrich others in a GRAND way through my passion for horses. Not just people who want to learn to ride but people who need something to focus on besides their own issues. I believe there is therapeutic healing for humans when you work with horses. This year I changed my farm's logo to reflect that. "Jumping H Farm- Where life's priorities are clear, When you take a step back it is not just about horses, its about Love, Life, and Learning." This will be my ultimate blessing. It may not happen today, tomorrow or next week but it will happen.
"IF YOU WALK DOWN THE RIGHT PATH RELEASING THE MANURE FROM YOUR PAST, THE ROSES OF YOUR FUTURE WILL BE ALL THE SWEETER TO ENJOY"
~ Nicole Huttar