Thursday, February 21, 2013

300 Post and some musings

So I originally had a nice little post planned to commemorate the 300th post on this blog, and the two year anniversary of owning an awesome little mare who has done so much to change my life for the better, since the two dates happened to coincide rather nicely.  To do this, I planned on creating a video capturing Cadence's progress over the past 2 years- a big undertaking to be sure, but seeing as I started in December I figured I could easily have it done by valentines day (the day I bought Cadence).  However... exams hit, then snowstorms hit (changing the scheduling of exams and classes), then new semesters and new classes started, I got sick, had a birthday, and then I panicked.  With all that going on, I put off writing this post. This nice little plan and had gotten it into my head & I'd decided that it should be special, but since the video wasn't going to be done (and still isn't near done... I'm not even one year through it) I didn't want to 'waste' the post with inane blabber.  But as time dragged, I began to feel awful.  There was so much for me to say, but I couldn't write any of it without completing this 300th post.

This got me thinking of a few things, and before I continue perhaps I should state that the rest of this post isn't strictly horse related.  The first is how we put things off, and make 'excuses' for not doing things that are important to us because of a fear of failure, or a desire for perfection which ultimately leads back to that fear of failure.  Naturally, it goes without saying that this is an unproductive and 'negative' thing to do, and while I'd like to think I'm generally pretty good about engaging in these behaviours, I can definitely think of a few instances in which I've put off submitting important papers that I've spent a long time working on because I just keep tweaking little bits in an attempt to perfect the paper.  This idea of fear and creation reminded me of two videos posted on YouTube by vloggers Charlie McDonnell, Michael Aranda and Hank Green that basically talked about the same thing (and links are to the videos).  Hank's video is the most relevant, but all three were interesting and to a certain extent, provide context to each other.

Then, for reasons I can't quite figure out, this got me thinking about luck.  I noticed an interesting pattern recently: if I do poorly at a horse show, it's always my fault; but if I do well, it was 'just good luck'.  When going into a horse show, I put my faith in our preparation rather than good luck.  If we've got the skills down and are adequately prepared, theoretically we should never need 'good luck' to help us.  I mean a little dose of good luck probably won't hurt, but in my experience, luck only comes in when you maybe aren't quite as prepared as you could have been.  Its those times when that bank/skinny/coffin/corner doesn't go exactly as planned that good luck can carry you through, but more often those situations just inform you of weaknesses in your preparation, or chinks in the armour so to speak..   But the interesting part of that (to me at least) is that all of those notions slip away on the wind the second success comes in.

After Cadence won her first horse trial last summer, I felt kind of bad. I felt elated, proud, and excited as well, but there was this little nagging feeling that we didn't deserve what we'd won.  When Cadence and I won the next event, which also happened to be her first time out at a higher level, I felt downright guilty.  It felt like we'd cheated somebody more deserving out of the prize, and that just because we got lucky, and my green bean mare bounced neatly around the event, the person who should have won, was relegated to second place.

I'm not really sure what the connection between luck and procrastination is... other than the fact that they're both interesting topics.  And other than bringing attention to them, I don't really have any interesting insight on the topics.  Iwill probably still feel guilty when I'm successful at things, and say that I just 'happened to get lucky', and I'll probably continue to put off important things just because I don't want to mess them up.  However, I'm a firm beleier that in almost all areas of life, awareness is the first step to changing something. Whether its keeping your heels down, or avoiding procrastination, you have to be aware of the issue to correct it... so maybe this is a step in the right direction.

Anywho, thanks to everyone who reads this blog.  While its small (and frankly I'd not have it any other way) it still amazes me that people feel my scribbled notes and ramblings worth their while to read.  Hopefully now that I'm over this little bump in the road I can get back to blogging a little more regularly!  Cheers!

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