Monday, September 6, 2010

Bucket List

Reza Keremi's "Horse Farm in Putnam County"
I used to have a to-do list like this:

Obtain Advanced Degrees from Ivy-League Institutions.
Get Rich.
Event at Advanced Levels.
Own a Sprawling Farm.
Build a Covered Arena.
Have as Many Dogs as I Damned Well Please.
Breed Gorgeous Warmbloods.

Now I have one like this:

Trail ride more.
Build, get, or find a cart for my mule.
Increase date-night frequency from 1x per year to 3x per year.
Plant fall crops.
Paint upstairs.
Sew new rabbit harnesses.

The difference between teenager-Marnie and grownup-Marnie might be that I have realized it's not the scope of what I do that makes me happy—it's what I do that makes me happy. I like trail-riding, schooling 21-meter irregular polygons in my pasture-flat-spot "dressage court," and popping over 18-inch logs. It does not correspond that I would like competing in the Tevis Cup, schooling one-tempis, and tackling an advanced-level Normandy bank better. I like working, and having professional respect, and being a contributing member of society, but it doesn't correspond that I would like working on the 35th floor of the Hancock building with an MBA from Harvard better. I like my dog, but I'm not sure that having an Irish wolfhound, a Staffordshire bull terrier, a border terrier, a standard poodle, a corgi, an old English sheepdog, and a French bulldog in addition would enrich my enjoyment of him. And, I like horses—but I'm not sure a fancy warmblood suits me. In fact, I'd rather enjoy my mule.

I still have dreams, don't get me wrong—I still look forward to improving as an equestrian, beautifying my home, increasing my earnings, learning and growing. It's just that I've let go of my fantasy picture of where that will put me. I no longer need it, and I no longer want it. I want this.


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