Sunday, December 29, 2013

Barn Thoughts

In the quiet mornings when I'm in the barn, mucking Siaga's stall and whatnot, I have lots of time to think. Today I thought about some revelations found in a book I'm currently reading (Hiking Through: One Man's Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail) regarding how we spend so much effort trying to gather physical wealth when, according to the author, the wealthiest person he knows is a man he knows as Sailor, a fellow hiker, who had both his sons AND his wife pop into the trail at scattered intervals to hike a section with him. The author, Paul, who went by the trail name of Apostle, never knew Sailor's real name, and certainly never knew his social or wealth status. On the trail, everyone is the same.

"If you can't carry it in your heart or on your back, you probably don't need it" -Sir Enity, another fellow hiker.

Anyway, in the barn this morning, I was comparing this to my own life. My family does pretty well, somewhere in the middle of America's middle class. We have several TVs and computers and live on a small tract of land in the country where we have a car for each of us, a barn, a horse, a dog, and two cats. There's always food and electricity. But ultimately, it's the bonds we have between us, yes, the animals, too, that makes us wealthy.

Over Christmas, I found myself irrationally jealous of my friend, who I will give a trail moniker of "Blind" to. Blind had received for Christmas something that I have been wanting for a while. Her family is not nearly as well off as mine, but somehow, my family couldn't afford to give me such a thing, nor would I ever even think to ask for it. I was happy to receive enough money from my dad to buy my next bale of hay.... even though I was still jealous.

But now that I think back on it, even though I still want the game that she got, I also look back on how unhappy she is. I chose "Blind" to call her because she can be very blind indeed. She's always unhappy, even during the best of times. She claims she's always tired, EXHAUSTED, even, but she only works one part time job. The rest of her life is free to be hers. She has a family that loves her and a boyfriend who she brags about, many adorable loveable fluff ball cats, and several friends who love her to death... but she's still unhappy. She's blind because she ignores the many wonderful blessings she has.

I, on the other hand, am perfectly content to work my two jobs, both technically part time but one with almost full time hours, and attend college part time, AND have to come home and do my barn chores every night and get up and do them every morning. Ultimately, very little of my time is *my* time... but I'm still happy.

The difference between Blind and I is that she looks up, at all the things she doesn't have, and says she doesn't have the energy to climb up there to get them because it's too hard, while I look all around. I look down and see the people and animals who love me, my strongest support system, I look directly around me and see I'm right where I'm supposed to be, and I look up at my future hopes and goals and dreams... and then proceed to climb. I'm not leaving my loved ones behind, because they climb with me.

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