Well, I watched my Tigers lose the national championship this year. But am I sad? Absolutely not! We were 3-8 last year and winless in our conference. This year everyone thought they were going to get a piece of us. Other than one regular season loss to a tough LSU team we showed up game after game against opponents who thought that we weren’t there to play. Then we would win. And when we won a big game it got called a miracle. Well, Alabama is never going to forget the one second that got put back on the clock for them at the end of the game only to have us run in a returned kick for a touchdown. Once again we were told we were lucky. But then we were the SEC champions and headed to the national championship. Sure, we had luck on our side, but “Luck is a dividend of sweat” – Ray Kroc. What was seen as luck by outsiders was the result of countless hours spent drilling for any situation that may present itself on the field. We in the Auburn family could see a running offense that was incredible and a work ethic that showed that our team didn’t have “quit” in their vocabulary.
The boys on our team poured their hearts and souls into this season. We come from a school that calls itself a family and has “A spirit that is not afraid!” That means so much more to me than just a football team ever will. I think we owe it to them and to each other to rally around family, enjoy the magnificent ride that this season has been, and look forward to what will surely be another great season next fall. War Eagle Ya’ll!
I have two horses. One of them is a spoiled pasture ornament that does a very good job of endearing herself to me with her good looks and diva attitude but is a bit too wild to ride, and the other is my go to good guy that isn’t quite as interested in people and doesn’t like to be caught but once he is he is as gentle and bombproof as a 1000 lb animal with a mind of its own can be. That trait endeared him to my eight year old son. He loves to sit up high on that horse’s back and see the world and feel the thrill of trotting around on a large animal. He gets excited just to go over and feed him and pet him. Because of this I decided that he needed to have lessons on ponies with someone more qualified to teach him to ride than I am.
My son loves his lessons on the ponies too. He chatters away at his instructor and grins from ear to ear as he rides around the arena. I can feel his pride when the instructor tells him he is doing a good job.
Today the lesson pony was a little naughty because she didn’t like the rain. The instructor told him not to worry, the pony was just being naughty because she wanted to scare him into getting off so that she could get out of the rain. My son’s response was to totally ignore the pony’s behavior and say “yeah, well the rain doesn’t scare me.” Just like that. No thought at all to an animal several hundred pounds heavier than him and capable of explosive speed trying to shake him so that she could quit working in the rain, just “yeah, well the rain doesn’t scare me.” It’s not that he is saying that he shouldn’t be afraid of the pony or that he doesn’t care how she feels, it’s just an acknowledgement of the situation and that what is happening externally is not a cause for fear. Because he didn’t fear the situation that pony tried to shake him for a short time but after figuring out that he was unperturbed she simply decided that it was less work to do what she was expected to do.
Now for me. If it had been me on horseback today I would have been anticipating that the rain would bother my horse. I would have seen the monster in every raindrop and have been expecting my horse to blow up. I would have spent the whole ride fearing the moment that the 1000 pound animal I was riding was going to explode and dump me unceremoniously on my rear end or worse. My horse would feel that tension and start looking around for the monsters that didn’t exist and it would have dumped me out of the feeling of pure self-preservation.
That’s a thing I do having lived long enough to feel what it’s like to be hurt. I project how my horse might overreact to a situation and my fears cause fear in my animal. I think that my friends might judge me and so I am not open with them and I give them a reason to wonder why I am not open with them. I’m afraid that I am not capable of keeping up with my schoolwork and I stress myself out to the point where it begins to affect my focus and I begin to make poorer grades. It’s not the fact that there isn’t anything to fear in the situations that I am in, it is that the fears I project on situations prevent me from seeing things as they truly are and I quit making good decisions.
I need to channel my inner eight year old. I need to quit fearing the external things that are out of my control and projecting that fear forward and realize that these are normal events and feelings that everyone has. If I don’t create monsters for my horse, they won’t be there. And if I don’t create monsters in my relationships and my personal life, likewise, they won’t be there.
Yep, I’m sure I’m bound for a few more unceremonious dumps on my rear end or worse, whether from horses or from life, but in the future I would like to know that the cause was real…that I didn’t create my own monsters.
Wow, I haven’t posted anything in forever! So what has happened since my last post? Well, I renewed my wedding vows with my husband after 11 years of marriage and I am over halfway finished with my DVM! I am looking forward to leaving the classroom and entering clinical rotations in a little over two months.
I have also started writing a book. It’s going to be a super geeky fantasy book although I plan to leave the elves, fairies, and wizards out of the story. I’m sure I’ll never finish it because I only get about a paragraph written every few days or so but it has been a fun and creative exercise for me after the countless hours I spend studying medicine every day.
May this next year be filled with love, adventure, and shenanigans!
If I could write my own Jane Austen type novel it would be a story of love overlooked and then discovered after a series of painful events of my own causing. And the love interest in the story would be my feet. Those good old dependable feet that carry me everywhere without complaint. The feet that suffer being squeezed into very cute but impractical shoes for the sake of my vanity, like this past Friday when I thought I could walk all over town in a pair of pretty red peep toes. Then, being the well-meaning but foolish heroine that I am I would go for a midnight swim and climb rocks and structures to jump into the lake and lacerate my toes and tear up blisters in my foolishness. The pain that I put my feet through would be so great that my feet could no longer endure what I was putting them through so they would refuse to let me walk on them any longer. I would pine for my feet and recognize how great my love was for them and how unfairly I had treated them and just when I thought they would never bear my weight again my feet would come through for me, carrying me off into the sunset. In my novel I would never mistreat my feet again. Oh, but this isn’t a novel, and we all know that I’m going to mistreat those feet again and again. All for the sake of my vanity and foolishness.
There is not much that I like to do more than sit around on a front porch and watch the comings and goings of the world around me. I usually prefer it to be my own front porch because I like to have the conveniences of a full pot of coffee nearby in the morning and a cold drink in the fridge on a hot afternoon. My porch has also become the spot for neighbors to stop by and chat when they get off work or when they are out for a walk. In fact the neighbors are usually the best part of my time spent on my porch. They chat to me about jobs, school, kids, other neighbors and politics and I have made some very good friends this way. I guess I could be considered the nosy neighbor but I like to think of myself as old fashioned and just trying to be a part of the community I live in.
I live in a neighborhood that is mostly rentals in what is a very nice little southern town and the people who come and go here are all just very interesting. And once I get used to what goes on in the place they move out and other people move in. There is a house down the street full of young guys who like to hold themed parties and one night their backyard was full of people dressed as robots. The house next to me was used as housing for an entire crew of migrant workers for a while. Every morning a truck would come pick up about half of them for work and the other half would sit outside and drink beer and listen to salsa music all day. My friend that owns the cab company in town loved them because he made a bundle of money off of them since not a single one of them owned a vehicle. The elderly woman across the street from me rents out rooms to a few people. One of those people is an older guy with a foreign language degree. The woman won’t let him have a pet in the house so he brings dog treats to my dog whenever he sees us out and speaks in french to him. I’ve shared some wine with him and listened to his stories about living in France when he had a young French woman for a fiance.
One house that I just love watching is the one diagonally across from me. It’s a student rental so there have been a few sets of people already in and out of it and they have all been fascinating to watch. The last set of tenants always seemed to have some sort of gypsy hoard going on and had a perpetual yard sale in thier front yard. It turned out that they had a side business of cleaning out vacated rentals and got to keep whatever was left behind in the houses they cleaned which they then turned a profit on by refurbishing and selling. I think they may have gotten the boot after thier place started looking too much like the set from Sanford and Son. The current tenants were a little disappointing when they first moved in because they seemed so normal but in the past few months things have been getting interesting.
My interest in those current tenants started with the buckets. They started bringing home tons and tons of those five gallon painter’s buckets. Then they planted tomatoes in the buckets, which is normal, so I forgot about it. The buckets kept coming though. There was a tower of buckets building up as high as the porch roof. Then came the goat. I was prepping vegetables for dinner when I heard some very distressed bleating and ran outside to discover the neighbors had just brought in a goat on the bed of a pickup truck which they all admired and then led into the backyard. This isn’t the rural area I moved from where things like that are just par for the course, and I have never seen nor heard that goat again. And then just yesterday there was a U-haul brought by to load up and take away the tower of buckets. An entire U-haul for about twenty stacked buckets. Why pay all that money for a U-haul to take those buckets away?
What in the world are they doing over there at that house? I suppose I could just go ask them and discover that all of thier activities are perfectly normal, but right now I am enjoying the mystery. Maybe goat parts were in those buckets. Maybe other parts were in those buckets. Maybe they are growing more than just tomatoes in those buckets. I don’t really know but the whole thing has a very Hitchcock “Rear Window” feel to it for me. I bet those innocent looking young college girls could pull off the perfect goat crime.
One day all of the story will be revealed but until then I think that I will just sit on my frot porch and continue to watch the world go by.
-My Spirit Animal is a Unicorn
My friend the ninja and I have a once a month or so phone date that usually involves me drinking lots of wine on my end and her engaging in beer drinking antics on her end. Now, our friendship spans back to our 8th grade year when everyone is in that horribly akward period of thier life and desperately trying to be cool and accepted. I was the new kid in school and had my one and only chance to be cool myself. We had this whole warm-up dance routine in P.E. class that was absolutely ridiculous and made everyone look even more gawky than they already were, and I was hopelessly trying to master the dance moves while silently cursing the cute blonde in front of me who was dancing through the moves like it was her national cheer championship. During a spin-around move this girl behind me says “You should kick that girl in front of you in the ass. Just say oops afterwards, you’re clumsy so you’ll totally get away with it.” I knew by her comment that I had found my soul sister. My chance at middle school coolness was over but I gained a life-long friend who is just as weird as I am.
During our last phone date while we were cracking up about all of the absurdness of life and kids and husbands and making plans for other silly activites I came to a realization. We had to make a blog to record and share this stuff. I know that there are other people out there in the world who aren’t interested in trying to become the stereotypical suburban, soccer mom type set. There are people who love the off-beat and generally find most things in life worth laughing about. They are our people and this blog is for them.
-My Spirit Animal is a Unicorn