My maternal grandmother died when my kids were very young. Then my maternal grandfather. Then my paternal grandfather. Then some years went by. My paternal grandmother died and just two years later, my dad, her son, also left. At times like this, despite your grief, you can't help but think..... "Holy Shit!! I'm almost at the front of the line!"
It's like you are heading towards a cliff that you don't want to look over the side of, and you just keep getting pushed closer and closer by unseen hands! It's like being five minutes into a dodgeball game and realizing that all the fat, slow kids that you hide behind are already out. You're going to get nailed! You find yourself waking in the middle of the night with every muscle tense and your thinking, "This is no time to waste time! I can't sleep! There's stuff to do! and I'M GONNA' DIE!!!" You are waist deep in anger, angst and analogy!
So the search for validity begins. There has to be more then going to work and paying bills and living next door to a guy you want to hit with the business end of a shovel. Soul searching!! Let me tell you self analysis can be completely over rated! I discovered that there was nothing I could do that would make a nest egg for my family. None of my talents seemed to have any monetary potential. And I hadn't even begun to scratch the surface of everything I wanted to try... Hold on! (Okay, at this moment, take a pause, insert a feeling of absolute crystal clarity, a moment of calm) TRY...... hmmm, this could be interesting. Try what? What did I want?
At this particular moment in time there was a convergence of sorts. PBS played a big part in it. there was a show called Frontier House. Three different families were plopped down somewhere in Colorado to see if a modern family could survive "homesteading". Well, the hippy part of my nature came out in spades and I found myself yelling at the TV. ( Why are you doing it like that?! Why are you wasting your time with those people? That's stupid! ) But then the series ended and it left me with a feeling of malcontent, but it had given me a very strong direction on what I wanted to try. Shortly after that, there was another PBS special with this awesome lady by the name of Barb Sher. She had a book and program called "Creating your Second Life after Forty" So now I had some direction and Barb Sher's program gave me the how-tos and survival strategies for going after the dream. I cannot stress enough the importance of Barb in this process.
There was one more layer that would make my quest complete. I KNEW if I was going to die soon then I had to die a horse owner. I know this will sound so stupid to so many people but you all have your "thing". There is the "thing" that you must have, do or be that is wriggling around in there, waiting for a crisis big enough, to make you brave enough, to let it out. So I started watching horse gurus on RFD-TV. For one reason or another they all fell off my radar, all except Pat Parelli. Pat had people with disabilities, age issues, expertise issues, you name it, being successful with horses. As I had quite a list of issues myself, I figured this was the guy to help me navigate these waters. He also had a different approach when it came to the human element. If you screw up, man up and take the blame, then make yourself better, so your horse can be better. ( this is my paraphrase, I don't think the Parellis would actually phrase it like that) With my mile wide social conscience, this really appealed to me.
Several months later, I took a blacksmithing class from adult ed. Then I took a reimbursement check and bought a welsh mountain pony. I named her Chloe. I was at the starting line for chasing a dream.