Thursday, December 16, 2010
May the Planets be with You
Recently, it seems that the planets are rolling around in the sky, conspiring to align in the crappiest positions possible for so many people around me. Every other person seems to be getting sick, or if they’re not getting sick, they’re dealing with sick relatives, or a sick or injured animal. Some are worrying about their kids’ problems at school, or about problems at work, or about how the heck they’re going to pay a particularly impressive mountain of bills at the end of the month. The ones with the most crappy planet alignment are dealing with all of the above, which seriously sucks. Come to think of it, I’m in the latter category this month. Mars and Mercury must really have it out for me.
Oh well. Chin up. Things could be a whole lot worse. Blessings aligned and standing by for assessment. The only way out is through, right?
The planets will realign, of course, as they always do, and things will improve. This time of the year tends to be pretty hectic, with everyone running around preparing for the holidays, which is pretty insane, really, as Christmas is supposed to be all about love and peace and hope, and not about stressing about decorating and what to buy who. The notion of “all is calm, all is bright” tends to only exist in the Christmas music the shopping centres have been force-feeding us with since late October. I used to quite like Wham’s “Last Christmas”. Now it makes me break out. In spots, not into song.
The crazy thing is that we all know Christmas is supposed to be all Zen and Silent-Nightish, yet with all the pressure it’s hard not to scurry over to the frantic, frazzled, dark side, be it physically or mentally. My frantic scurrying has been more mental this year, as all sorts of unpleasant recent events have shoved high-energy shopping sprees right to the back of my mind. And I’ve always been aware that there are more important gifts to give than material ones, but I always like to “give” in one way or another, and not just at Christmas. I love making things for people, and as I mentioned in a comment on Alison’s latest post, in the last few weeks, I’ve spent hours knitting scarves for friends and family. The clicking of my knitting needles makes watching Jack Bauer’s curtain call (we’re watching the final season of “24”) more productive, it’s also kept me from biting my nails down to painful levels, although the sorry state of my gnawed disasters suggests knitting with Jack has definitely not been enough. I wonder if Jack Bauer bites his nails…
Otherwise, Kwintus is fine. He’s been officially retired for a month or so now. His shoes came off about two weeks ago, when a giant dump of snow made going out into the fields with shoes impossible as he ended up teetering around on ice-wedges. He’s definitely a happy horse, quite full of himself, dancing around on his lead rope whenever he’s led from his stable to the field and back. He’s always delighted to see me, and one of the nicest images I have of him lately is him cantering towards through the snow after I called him. He stumbled once or twice, presumably due to a mix of uneven terrain and neck arthritis, but camouflaged his momentary lack of elegance with a series of bucks and cat jumps! Cute!
I miss riding him. I miss riding in general, and have no idea when I’ll be able to buy another horse, but as of January have been offered the possibility of riding a friend of mine’s dressage horse once or twice a week at another stable, which is great. Meanwhile, I can’t seem to stop myself from looking at horses for sale on the Internet, which is silly since buying anything at the moment is out of the question, not only for financial reasons, but also because I’m not ready emotionally speaking.
Also, I don’t really know what type of horse I’d want. Good dressage horses are so very expensive, and judging from the problems other riders around me are experiencing at the moment, they also appear to be increasingly delicate. In fact, horses in general seem to be increasingly delicate, developing all kinds of problems at a younger and younger age. My vet seems to think over-breeding is becoming an issue, as well as over-feeding during the mares’ gestation period, not to mention putting too many demands on very young horses’ athletic performances. What do you think?
And is it just a local issue (Western Europe) or are you also hearing about more and more horses failing to pass vet-checks during the acquisition process? With all the high-tech instruments now involved in vetting horses, I can’t help thinking we’ve got to the point where we’re looking for trouble, nit-picking on tiny weaknesses that might never turn into massive problems. But then again, I’m no expert, so I don’t know. Clearly, if you’re paying thousands or tens of thousands (not to mention hundreds of thousands, or even millions!!!) of Euros/dollars/pounds/et al for a horse, you’re going to want reassurance that the tiny flaw in his/her tendons/ligaments/bones/et al aren’t going to turn your investment into a very bad joke within five minutes. In this light, I totally get that the poor vets need to nit-pick in order to cover their backsides in case it all goes belly-up. I just wish things were simpler. Less stressful. Don’t you?
But I’m not going to worry about my future potential bankruptingly-expensive super delicate dressage horse’s nit-picking vet-check. Not now, at least. Nor am I going to dwell on the negative effects of those misbehaving planets. I’ve got a lovely warm house, plenty of delicious tangerines in the fruit bowl, and a nice man delivered a giant box of chocolates to my doorstep this morning. My little dog is feeling better (he had a parasite in his intestines, poor guy. He was soooo sick!), and my slightly bigger dog doesn’t seem to be cross with me for having him castrated last week (Ouch. I know. But it had to be done.) My daughter is home from University for a month, my son’s school holidays begin tomorrow lunchtime, and my husband is off work as of tomorrow evening for two weeks. How many more blessings does a woman need?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. And may the planets be with you!