Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Seems to me that the first time I heard that it came from the lips of Anita Bryant. Lots of stuff came from the lips of Anita Bryant, like if God had wanted there to be homosexuals he would have created Adam and Bruce. She suddenly stopped hawking orange juice after that one. Ahh, the seventies! I had some good times in the seventies. I wasn't the only idealistic person I knew. We believed that change was possible cause we were going to do it whether the government said it was okay or not. Which meant we were watching and waiting for better solar and an electric car that was more then a wedge that only one very skinny hiney could fit into.
The war was over and the returning vets fueled the back to the land movement. Mother Earth News which started out as a bit of an underground publication was becoming a very hot mag. Mother started a bartering system that was so effective that the government found a way to tax bartered goods..... just as soon as they found out about it. Mother also put a spin on the personal ad that was a decade before it's time. The commune was reborn, though in this country we refer to them as utopian societies.
There was a big push that everyone accepted as a good thing called "zero population growth" It just made sense that there should roughly be about as many people being born as were dying. Then the powers that be figured out that we weren't breeding as many good little consumers and the idea was left by the wayside.
Women burned their bras and finally there was an aspect of the women's liberation movement that the guys could get behind. It practically turned the five o'clock news into sweeps week. The big battle was getting out of the "pink ghetto" and finding decent paying jobs. Women returned to the factory where they hadn't been seen since their post war eviction.
Unions were still in full operation. People were still around that remembered what it was like without a union. They were the only watchdog organization that used any clout to keep jobs in this country. They warned about the lose of manufacturing. Reagan said "Don't worry!" as he slit the throat of the union. The first blow coming with the air controllers strike. Under his leadership we left manufacturing or should I say manufacturing left us? We became a nation dependent on the service industry.
Somehow, in the decades since the seventies, I have watched people become weak. People were once social catalysts. our actions drove our politics, for good or bad. People built their own homes, worked on their own cars, built their own boats, put in their own gardens. Now we either aren't allowed to do those things, we don't feel we 'can' do those things or we are told it's just not fashionable.
Then a funny thing happened on my downward spiral. I read a little article about a mustang named Nevada Joe. Joe was a Bureau of Land Management mustang who was trained by a guy named Pat Parelli. I looked him up on the computer. I started to listen to what he said and it didn't just pertain to horses. He never said that an old broad with a messed up neck, a bunged up back who can't breathe shouldn't be out doing stuff. He told me I could do anything with the right tools, time and technique. He told me I could go as far as my imagination. He told me that if someone wasn't traveling in the same direction that I was, I needed to leave them behind. He told me that what other people thought of me was none of my business. It was amazing what I could accomplish once the dream killers were gone.
Pat has seen me through two bouts of leukemia and a stem cell transplant. He has seen me through the death of my dad. He has seen me through this land purchase that was so scary that I almost wet my big girl panties and he has seen me through the process of building a house. Pat and my family are the biggest motivations in my life and though they do not know it they have all taken a pretty broken up person and turned her into a warrior woman. I fight for this place, the little farm, I fight for what I believe is just and I fight for my right to do things for myself. In this little way I suppose I am trying to revive the seventies. I want to empower the people around me too.
Today, you know, the first day of the rest of my life? Well, today I'm going to go get serious about my horsemanship journey, cause I've heard that Parelli stuff works on horses, not just old broads. Besides, I promised Stacey, and I always keep my promises.