By Laura Crum
Lately some of my fellow authors on this site have been posting about their goals. Losing weight, getting fit, getting their horses ridden regularly, getting their next book written. All great goals. People write in the comments here about their goals; I read mugwump’s blog and hear about all the goals people have with their horses. I am impressed. I wonder, what are my goals?
Uhmm…I’d like to lose weight, sure. Am I willing to diet? No. I’m way too much of a hedonist to diet. I love good food and drink. (Margaritas, anyone?) I do try to exercise regularly by hiking the trails as often as I ride them, but this is a goal I don’t often achieve. Last week I rode five times and hiked once. Hmmm.. My horse is getting fit, anyway. No, I can’t exactly call getting fit a goal. At least not a goal that I’m doing much to achieve.
How about writing my next book? Yep, I am writing my next book. I really am. Sometimes. And then I hear my fellow authors talking about how many pages they wrote last week. Oh dear. Some weeks I get a chapter done. Lots of weeks I get nothing written at all. I’m not a very disciplined writer. As the deadline approaches, I crank it out. That’s my pattern. I hope it works this time.
But yes, it is a goal of mine to finish book #11 in my mystery series and turn it in at the specified deadline. I’m just not motivated to do it in a methodical fashion. I guess this counts as a goal.
As for the horses, when I say I rode five times last week, you might think I was pretty goal oriented there. The unfortunate truth is that I ride when I feel like it, and the weather was beautiful last week so I felt like riding. And what sort of riding are we talking about? Nothing too demanding. My current riding is limited to cruising my little plug of a trail horse through the hills or along the beach in the company of my eight year old son. When you consider that I used to show cutting horses and compete at team roping, it sounds pretty tame.
Yep, that’s me in the above photos. Winning the cutting at the county fair on Gunner, a horse I trained myself, and turning a steer for my good friend Sue Crocker on Flanigan, one of the best rope horses I ever had the privilege to ride. (Sue is on Pistol, another great horse.) Those of you who have read my mystery series may recognize these horses; they’ve all become characters in my books.
This next photo was taken last week. We had an 80 degree November day and took the horses down for a ride on the beach. Big fun for me and my son, but not exactly in the same league as what I used to do with my horses. My goals with my horses these days? Use what’s left of my (much diminished) riding skills to have fun with my kid. Cruise through the landscape on a steady horse and enjoy it. That’s it. Not too ambitious.
The truth is that I really am fine with my relatively unambitious lifestyle, but every now and then, listening to others, I wonder that I seem so unmotivated these days. Am I content and tranquil? A zen horsewoman/ enlightened mama/ relaxed author? Or am I just lazy? I really don’t know.
I can remember the effort and energy I used to put into my riding and writing; I was pushing and striving, trying hard all the time. I’m much happier now. At this point all my pursuits flow relatively easily and naturally….but I’m sure not getting as much done. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I think my current goal is just to be grateful for what I have. My family, my animals, including my reliable little trail horse, my home, my pasture, my career as a mystery author, which still engages me, even my relatively healthy, if slightly too ample body….all these are things I am thankful for every day. Maybe I don’t need to worry about what I don’t have, seeing as I have so much.
You tell me….