There are posts that stick in my head, some that bounce around as blog fodder short-term, some that change how I ride, some that I internalize and use to change how I handle life. Usually I’m pretty good about referencing them within a few weeks of when they come up, if I’m going to blog about them. In this particular case I had to go digging through Funder’s archives to figure out what I was thinking of, and discovered it had been more than two years and it was still solidly in my head and in my actions.
It’s funny, the things that stick with you over time. Say yes to things unless you have a compelling reason not to. I am a shy introvert who has a horse that makes me more social. I have a solid dose of social anxiety. I’ve learned to work my way through social events, but if it’s a constantly-social thing, I’m probably going to end up with a migraine. I’m not always a social butterfly at the barn, and a good chunk of my barn time is spent being appropriately anti-social with wonderful friends who are equally anti-social in the evenings. Funder’s post was a bit of an ephiphany: I can’t control what invitations I receive, but I can control how I react to them.
I took Fetti to an obstacle challenge and hung out for the day volunteering.We rode drag for the ACTHA event. We went to the beach. When the opportunity came up for us to go to a multi-day ride in June, we went. I’m on the board for two local-ish horse groups.. okay maybe that’s not exactly what was meant, but it’s networking. I’m trailer-less and it gets me socializing and meeting people, so sometimes the non-horse stuff is just as important.
I’ve ridden with lots of folks at my barn at lots of different speeds, and regret almost none of them. (I catch-rode one horse for someone with minimal steering, questionable brakes, definitely lame. That lasted all of two rides and then I got to work on boundaries: no, I will not ride this horse until it is not-lame.)
And a step further for my mental health: it’s okay to decorate my horse for Halloween. I never got to do that as a child. If it makes me happy, it’s okay to do silly stuff like that. There might be totally cliche Christmas photos this year, but only if I can find satisfactory supplies.
I’m slowly, slowly teaching my brain that open invitations don’t actually mean ‘everyone except for Fig’, despite the fact that I nearly always parse them that way and have to constantly justify my participation to myself.
Fluffy, social blonde ponies make it hard to fade into the shadows. Our walk-rides in the winter double as social meanderings where we chat with lots of people.
Two years later, I’m still actively choosing to say yes whenever possible, and it’s pretty awesome.