Sunday, February 28, 2016

Developing A Work Ethic

I was watching this video in fast forward yesterday and it cracked  me up.  I thought I'd save it that way and add in a little Keystone Cops music, especially for the "Cone Game."  It was fitting.  Leah and I are, obviously, still learning to communicate with one another.  (This will be my last video for a while.)


He who works with his hands is a laborer.

He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.

He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.

St. Francis of Assisi

Yesterday morning I fed the horses, dragged the arena, did a long session of T-Touch with Leah to check her body for soreness, rode Leah, switched out for Cowboy, rode Cowboy on the trails with my daughter and her horse, Cowgirl, and then took my shower and went to the Spokane Symphony.

It occurred to me that I have a full life.  (And, following your blogs, I know that you all do, too!)

I had been thinking all week about developing a "work ethic" in horses--how do you do it, how long does it take, what changes occur in their brains, but I realized that it has been more about developing a work ethic in myself, a change in my own brain.

There are a few things I changed about myself this month.  

1.) A 30 Day Happiness-Rewire-Your-Brain Project.  Every day, for 30 days, think about 3 things you're grateful for, write about something that made you happy in the last 24 hours, exercise, meditate/pray, and do some random act of kindness.  

2.) Exercise.  I'm not one to go to gyms.  It doesn't fit into my life and what makes me happy.  But my daughter-in-law has taught Body Flow for Les Mills--yoga, pilates and Tai Chi combo--for four years, and I've seen it transform her both inside and outside. I wanted to do it--give it a try--work on my balance, core strength and flexibility--my mind--but I didn't want to join a gym.  It turns out, though, that they offer all their courses ON DEMAND, online for about $12.00 a month.  So, I took the plunge, and I LOVE IT. I already have better balance, flexibility and strength.  Its works the whole body and ends with 8  minutes of guided meditation.  

3.) The 100 Day Challenge.  When I was 34, I had melanoma..and it shook  me up.  For about two years afterward, I had a heightened appreciation of everything in my life.  But, after a while, it wore off.  I did many things from then until now.  One was having an online radio/blog.  Those of you who have followed my blog, are probably aware of it.  I met lots of people through interviews--Cindy Meehl, Julie Goodnight, Pulitzer winner Claudia Emerson (my favorite poet who died one year after the interview) ...many amazing people who had accomplished so, so much in their lifetimes.  

But last summer it hit me that I was spending all my time researching and interviewing people who had accomplished a lot, while putting my own dreams on the back burner.  Three--almost four--years of my life--not wasted--but not in pursuit of my own gifts and passions either.    I instantly put the show on hold--maybe temporarily--maybe permanently, I don't know.  What I do know is that my time here on earth is limited, and I feel like I have so much to squeeze in to what ever time I have left, there aren't enough hours in the day.  The Challenge has made me accountable for TIME and my DREAMS and GOALS.  Besides my family, my horses are my greatest source of happiness.  I can't waste a day or a moment that could and should be with them.

4.) Guitar.  I love music, and my piano is right next to my horses in the hierarchy of needs, but this Christmas I got a guitar, A Big Baby Taylor.  I've been taking lessons online (love the internet!) and I'm amazed at how easy it is to learn....with the exception of the bar chords and the "Effing F Chord".  Whenever I sit down to rest, there's my guitar next to my chair...I must play it!  So, for anyone out there who has always thought, "I want to learn an instrument," it's never too late.  Pick up a guitar and hit the You Tube Universe!

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A work ethic--"the principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward."   

I would add to that, though.  A work ethic is looking at what you want to accomplish and being thankful, way down deep in your soul, that you have the opportunity to do it.


(Shiloh and Cowgirl after our ride.)

14 comments:

  1. I loved the video! You could see that you got a lot done, and the music was perfect.
    The older I get, the harder it is to get motivated, and taking on too many projects at once is something I used to be able to get away with, but now it has the effect of not wanting to do any of them. This year, I just want to keep it simple. Work Clancy, train the puppy, and draw a picture or two- that will be enough.

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    1. That's a lot to have on your plate, Shirley. You also do a lot of photography. You're a busy lady. I know because I follow your blog. ;)

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  2. "He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist."

    I guess then that most good Horsemen(women) are artists - I never thought of it like that before, but I like it.

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    1. I'd say most good horse people are artists. Any artist also has frustrations...lots of them. So, yeah. It works!

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  3. I think that for horses work ethic goes along with enjoying the task. If they are not having a positive experience then they are unmotivated. Much like people ;)

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    1. Very true, Teresa. It can be tough making it positive for them some days. I suppose that's like us, too. We have good and bad days at work--good and bad days period. (Can you tell I'm writing this on a bad day?)

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  4. I loved the video. I usually don't do videos on my own blog because it takes forever to upload them, but putting one in fast motion is humorous and inspiring. Also, seeing Leah in moving pictures makes me feel like she's a really nice horse. I like her personality. She seems content. I wondered what happened to your radio show. I remember I enjoyed it, but only thought to listen to it when you put a link on one of your blog posts. It's one of those things I needed to make into a habit in order to remember to do it. Cowgirl is a nice looking horse. It is inspiring to me to see you working toward your goals. I tend to review my day once everyone else falls asleep, and there are always a lot of things I wished I had done. I vow to take care of them the next day, but it doesn't always happen. I try not to be too hard on myself, though. I went to a party last night and someone asked me what I do for a living, and I surprised myself by saying, "I scoop up poop all day."

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    1. That's funny, but also something to be proud of--scooping poop all day. I'm sure it shocked them! Haha! I was asked what I do for exercise one time. I was like, am I serious being asked that?? But yes, they were truly wondering--either thinking why is she so out of shape...or why is she in such great shape..but since I wasn't exercising at all, I assume it's the former. Anywho, I said that I clean stalls every day. The one partner asked the other, what did she say? He said, she cleans stalls every day.

      Leah is a very sweet horse, and after having a painful morning with Beautiful Girl, she seems even sweeter.

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  5. I totally agree with everything you've said here. Great post! It seems there are not enough hours in my days to get everything done. I'm always doing something for others or catching up on housework etc. There comes a time when I think we all have to take charge of our time and do what we want to do and follow our dreams. Thanks for this post. I'm inspired. I'm going to start my 110 day challenge for myself and see how much I can accomplish if I set my mind to it.

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    1. At the very least, it makes you aware of time...even if you're spending it meditating and relaxing..at least you made that decision to meditate and relax. My days and hours were being thrown out the window, kind of, until recently. I have to say, though, when you're raising kids, it's tough....very tough. Or, if you're babysitting grandkids so your kids can work. Tough. There are all kinds of things that life brings our way. My sister is babysitting grandkids right now, and she had to give up a lot of stuff, but felt it was worth it for that long term relationship. I've raised my kids and I don't have any grandkids to babysit right now--except here and there--so I'm at a perfect time to do things I want/need to do. Time's a tickin'! Good luck with your goals. I look forward to being inspired by YOUR 110 day challenge. :)

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    2. Oops, meant 100 not 110! I'll give it a shot but don't think it will even amount to that much. Just a goal to work towards.

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    3. haha! That's funny! I figured it was just one step better than the 100 Day Challenge! You can do it!

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  6. p.s. Cowgirl reminds me so much of Dusty right down to her white sock! Gorgeous girl.

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    1. Ah, yes. They are both GOLDEN horses, too. You know the type. GOLDEN. Like, noble.

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