In the morning this fall I have made myself sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while still in my pajamas and look out the window. This window has been my morning view for 2 winters now and it changes every day. I don’t have the radio on and I certainly do not have the TV on. The silence is fantastic. The crackling of the wood stove and the rustling of my boxer, Earl, are really the only sounds. I watch the birds flutter around, usually chickadees and blue jays this year. I watch for the fox that lives across the pond, last year he would entertain me with antics like jumping up and knocking snow off of tree branches and just being playful. This year I’ve only see him once and it was a quick peek I was lucky to see. If it’s snowing (which is my favorite) it’s like living in a snow globe. If it’s raining it takes a bit for me to get excited to head out – I like my water frozen! This view is usually what puts me in mood for whatever I have going on for the day.
I used to live in the big city. The hustle the bustle the need for more and the want for nothing was the way of life. I drove an hour to work in traffic, parked in a concrete parking ramp, walked into a basement office and turned on a computer. No windows, no view and yet I enjoyed my job because I was learning something new every day. Medical device research is a very innovative field and things are constantly changing, but living in a world where you are expected to put the job first and not enjoy your life was something I was becoming less and less interested in. There was just something missing in my life and I needed to find out what that was before I became an empty shell of a person.
The good thing about this humdrum life is I had a lot of extra time on my hands to spend helping others with their sled dogs. By that I mean I helped run veterinary teams for sled dog races. I had never had this much enthusiasm for anything in my life. From the first team that was dropped at vet checks at my very first race I was HOOKED. Like nothing I have ever felt in my life hooked. I couldn’t get enough. Books were read, web pages stalked, people met, I couldn’t get enough…. My husband at the time was very supportive. While he thought it was cool he didn’t get it the way that I did. His interest waned as did his support for my passion thus the need for both of us to move on. His jealousy of the sport was too much for our relationship and I didn’t even have any dogs yet!! My first step into being a musher….divorce.
People talk about weather and climate change and how it is getting so bad and how things are affected by our actions and consumption of natural resources. While I don’t disagree it really is hard to completely agree with everything that is said. Last year I had over 5 feet of snow, while my friends in Minnesota would have given their big toe for an inch. This year it’s almost January 2016 and I just got the significant snow fall of 4 inches from a “major” snow storm, while my same friends in Minnesota are enjoying enough snow to be on sleds! I think our lives change just like the weather! This is my humble opinion and I’m sticking to it! We can’t control either of them but we have to do the best we can with what we have.
I think being happy in your life is your ability to adapt to the surroundings and things that are thrown at you. Every day is a chance to learn something new, take a leap into something that scares you and to enjoy your life. I took a HUGE leap by becoming a full time musher and while I don’t regret one second of it, it’s not an easy life. I have had to learn to give up my sense of control and accept the fact that I have absolutely NO control over anything other than my choices on a daily basis. That has been a very big learning curve for me as I have always been a control freak, tending to mold things into what I want them to be. Towards the end of my “grown-up life” I was having issues with anxiety and depression because NOTHING was going the way that I had planned. This was a huge issue for me. I still have anxiety issues and occasionally a day where things are not glitter and rainbows, but for the most part I am able to talk myself through it and make it into a learning experience instead of a natural disaster.
I truly believe that the choices that I have made whether they are good or bad (and believe me there were a couple of horrible decisions …) have gotten me where I am today. Looking back if I had not made those decisions I would potentially still be in that dungeon office, living in the big city (which I really disliked) and not know the person that I am today. Even bad decisions are still yours and taking them could either get you thrown in jail or maybe just lead you to a life that makes you happy! Its deciding what you are going to do with those bad decisions, will you keep making them or are you willing to learn from them and make a better one next time?
All of this might be old hat thinking to some people but for me it has taken 3 years for me to get to this point where I can honestly say I am happy with how my life is going. It’s not perfect, it’s messy, it’s transient, it’s at times very lonely, but its mine. How I chose to live this life is one of happiness and just being ALIVE! I want to experience everything, I want to smile and laugh, I want to make others smile and show them that life is what you make of it not what someone tells you have to do.
I hear a lot of people say they are living vicariously through me and that actually makes me kind of sad. I don’t want others to want to live my life they should be out making theirs what they want! I hear a lot of people well I can’t do that because of this or that. If you wanted it bad enough you would make it work and if people love you enough they will let you do what makes you happy and still be there for you at the end of the day without question. Life is full of choices and making those that make you a happy person will only benefit you in the end!
Happy New Year’s everyone and here’s to making a few bad decisions to get to you the right place in your life!!