Subourbon Mom


What’s Your Dream?
June 20, 2022, 10:04 am
Filed under: Middle Age, Posts, Sports | Tags: , , , ,

Here’s something I learned this year – you can keep your childhood dreams, but they’ll look a little different when you’re middle-aged. But really, what doesn’t look different as you get older? I literally am those people on the Progressive commercials that are turning into their parents: “We all see it…we all see it…BLUE!!!”  Don’t know what I mean? Watch this…

So, back to childhood dreams…

This summer I checked off two huge bucket list items. To most people they might seem frivolous or meaningless, but to me they mean so much more. For the first time in 35 years, I jumped a horse over little cross rails (for non-horse people, that means poles set at a foot off the ground). By jump, I mean the giant horse I was riding barely saw them and hopped over while I just tried to stay out of the way. I also rode in a small horse show trotting over poles just lying on the ground. Yes, I was the oldest in the class by maybe 30 years, competing against a few  people, most of whom were children and at least two who were your people training horses who barely knew what a pole was.  Did I forget my girth (saddle belt) and have to borrow one?  Yes. Was I freaking out?  Yes.

But I did it, and I couldn’t have been more proud of myself.  

See what I mean?  This doesn’t seem like much, in but in my heart those two things were huge. Let’s back up so you can see why – and why you should still pursue your dreams, no matter what shape they take as you age.

After a terrible year of deaths in our family this year, human and animal, the barn where I ride was and remains my refuge. Soon after the sweet horse I leased died in January from a sudden, terrible infection, I walked back into the barn to get away from the world. It was awful, seeing his empty stall and halter, but the barn has always been and always will be my refuge.

One of the horse moms (aka boarders) saw me and said, “I didn’t think you’d be back.”

Not come back? For a second, I was really offended. I had to regroup and remember that this nice woman didn’t know me as a child, creating notebooks full of fictional racehorses with breeding charts, colors, personalities and race results. She couldn’t know that for years I doodled horse heads all over my school notebooks; that I drew pictures of the horseback wedding I was going to have (shockingly that didn’t happen); or, that until I was 15, when I fell off, busted my shoulder and simultaneously found boys, the only thing in the world I wanted was a horse.

To my mother’s credit, a single teacher who made $30k a year, she somehow found a way for me to take lessons once a week and occasionally do a local horse show.  But a real horse of my own?  Out of the question. As an adult, I was able to satisfy my horse itch by being a horse show mom for years, until Daughter #2 was clearly able to do it on her own but let me “help” because she knew I needed to be involved.

Then came the end of 2021 and early 2022: three family deaths, one horse death and one horse near-death.  It was terrible, but there was a silver lining. Losing so many people and animals in such a short time made me realize time really is finite, and that if I want to achieve some dreams I have to put my phone down, get off the couch and figure out what that means.

A horse of my own may still not be in the equation, but now I take lessons. Do I want to be in big horse shows? Not really – I don’t need that kind of stress. My dream has changed into finding that balance between learning to ride better and riding for mental health. The two are not always the same. Some days its okay to just walk around in a field, to look at the bobbing head beneath you and find that simple joy. Other days, its feeling like flying as the horse you’re riding graciously allows you to flop around while it steps over poles. Whatever your dreams once were, don’t let them go entirely – find out what parts of those dreams you can still do, or how they might work in new ways for you.  Life is short and unpredictable.  Ask yourself, am I going to be mad next year, or in five years, that I didn’t start something today? If the answer is yes, then put your phone down, get off the couch and see what can happen. You might be surprised with what your old dreams look like now, and what it feels like to realize them.  

Special thanks to my family, friends and especially Kimberly Anderson at Manakin Sabot Equestrian Center for their patience and encouragement. Thanks to Daughter#1 for telling me the truth and making me get up and do it, to Hubby for funding and taking pictures, and to Daughter #2 for listening to my blow-by-blow descriptions of each lesson. 🙂



On Turning 50 – It’s Halftime
February 11, 2021, 6:36 pm
Filed under: Posts | Tags: , ,

This week I turn 50 and like a lot of people do, I’m looking back going Girl, you played a sloppy first half.  Sure, there were a few touchdowns (marrying Hubby, having Daughters 1 & 2, making lifetime friendships), a lot of first downs (meaningful jobs, having my first story published) and even some ejections/rejections.  But that’s the game, isn’t it?

Just as Patrick Mahomes can’t dwell on the ridiculous number of penalties called during the Superbowl, and The Weekend can’t erase from everyone’s minds the jockstrap halftime show, you can’t dwell on the penalties you accumulate during your lifetime. 

I’m pretty sure most of mine were Personal Fouls, like ugly breakups, hurt feelings, and walking away from things I shouldn’t have. There was also some Encroachment, usually on the girls’ side of the line, but sometimes being up in somebody’s business is just a sign that you care. No regrets there. I don’t think anyone would accuse me of Holding (omg please don’t hug me….), unless it’s to say I sometimes hold a grudge.

But whatever the penalties, like any good team you have to learn from them.  So, here’s to hoping our second halves are filled with new plays, fewer penalties, more scores and downs, and lots and lots of cheering fans.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my halftime show won’t have a jockstrap or wardrobe malfunction, unless it’s because I’ve outgrown another pair of jeans. It will involve high-end bourbon, a fireplace, and hopefully the Fam and friends in whatever way we can be together. That’s the best beginning of a second half I could have.

Well, I gotta run to the fridge…the whistle just blew and it’s time to go back in and play!



When I am Old(er) I Shall Wear Clothes…

I remember the day I was with my kids in an antique shop, and I had to explain what a typewriter was and how it worked. They were interested for about twenty seconds, and then I heard myself droning on and on and on, like all older people do when they get a chance to reminisce about “The Good Ol’ Days.”

When I mentioned this incident to some friends, we began talking about the things that we will one day start doing to our kids to drive them crazy. So, while drinking our coffee on the deck at some un-Godly hour in the morning (because that’s when us Middle-Aged people get up now), we made a list of things to remember as we approach The Golden Years:

1. Make sure you have a hobby and stay busy. It will help keep your mind alert, and it will help keep you from driving the rest of your family crazy.
2. Go out and make new stories so you’re not telling the same ones over and over. It’s ok to tell the same family history stories over and over again—especially if you’re Southern. That’s how family legends are born. But make sure you have new ones, too. Otherwise, you’ll become one of those crazy legends. (I suppose that’s not half-bad, either–at least they’ll remember you).
3. Keep a list by the phone of things you want to discuss with people. When they return your call, you’ll have a better chance of remembering why you called them in the first place.
4. Don’t wear Velcro shoes. Those are for preschoolers ONLY.
5. Don’t talk about your sex life. Nobody wants that mental image.
6. Label the furniture and knick-knacks in your house. If it has a story behind it, write that down, too. Let your heirs know why it’s in your house in the first place, and maybe it’ll end up in theirs instead of an estate sale.
7. Clip your fingernails and toenails—enough said.
8. Make it a regular practice of being fully clothed during the day. Nobody wants a preview of what’s to come.
9. Admit you really can’t hear/see/remember things. Don’t try to work through them. In the words of Clint Eastwood, “improvise—adapt–overcome.” Get a hearing aid/glasses/notepad. (Refer to #3 if you forgot)
10. Stop trying to convince yourself that the Darth Vader wrap-around glasses are cool. They’re not.
11. Trim ear/nose/eyebrow hair. No one likes hanging out with a living chia pet. Grandchildren can help you with this. They love scissors.
12. Help protect the environment—turn down the heat and put on more clothes. Just because you’re almost done with the environment doesn’t mean the rest of us are.

Feel free to add to my list in the comments. Now, I’m going to post this list somewhere important, like next to my pill-a-day box. Then, I’m going to try to remember where I put the remote and turn up the t.v. I’ll bet it’s somewhere near the phone.




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