Pride and Practicality

I have to say my horses make me proud. Today was another lesson day for both of them, and you could really see progress, even since last week. Drew. Damn. He just loves to learn new things, so it’s easy to sneak new knowledge.

The goal today was to work on turning right without crowding. He thought it was working on stopping and starting, then going in and out of cones without me following. I walked in a straight line and he had to weave. He didn’t get it at first with Tarrin but got great at it with me. Proud!

He’s a winner.

He also is now jumping higher jumps, which is really going to help his muscles. And today he did it calmly, so he didn’t have to re-do anything. He was cool as a cucumber. In fact he drifted off a couple of times when we were talking. Maybe he will learn to turn more straight and I’ll learn to turn correctly, too. We’re getting instructions!

Q2 Virtual Show ribbons

I’m also proud of these ribbons from the virtual show we did in May. It’s the first time he ever had competition. And I was very proud of both Drew and Sully. They were very close in their scores. This was a great show for Sully’s first one! Sara has done such a great job training her. I’m proud of her, too!

Dog play break

As for Apache, he was moody at first, but he got really excited and seemed genuinely happy when he managed to jump over the high jump twice, in each direction. I think he surprised himself!

And that boy worked his butt off today. His goal was getting under his haunches and stopping properly. He has really been reluctant to stop when he’s anxious. Well he practiced stopping a LOT. He did many of the things Drew was doing, but including lots of stopping. To his credit, he got the idea!

By the time we were doing the “approach the scary trailer” ordeal, he was paying attention and stopping on a dime. Screech! That’s real progress. The whole trailer approach is improving. It’s not there yet, but Tarrin says he’s starting to trust that I’ll keep him safe.

I’m also doing better with my ability to be calm and deal with his stuff. I’m proud of our progress, but feel bad for how wound up he gets. I did give him a nice bath, and I can assure you he had a nice roll later.

Practicality

I thought you might get a chuckle out of how I decided to organize all those Color Street nail polishes I have. I found that one of my shoe boxes fit them perfectly.

Ta da

I felt like decorating it, so I found my 2020 calendar of donkeys and used it to cover the shoe box. It’s certainly cheerful.

Howdy

The donkeys make me smile, and now it’s wY easier to see what polish sets I have. I also sealed the used ones in hopes that I can use them later by warming them up.

Ok. Fun.

And there ya go. Something random and not depressing! And because I want to reward those of you who read to the end, let’s enjoy the dogs on a pleasant evening.

Joy and Affirmation

This will be a quick one, but I can’t help but share how happy I am with the work we’re doing at the Pride Employee Resource Group I help run at work. We just sponsored a Q&A session with a trans woman who’s been a legislative activist for trans rights, and also works in the high tech industry. I was a little concerned, because the speaker has been a friend of mine for almost as long as I’ve lived in Texas. I didn’t want her to have a bad experience or feel unwelcome.

I’ll just share some lovely plants from around the office to separate my gushing pargraphs. Hydrangea.

Far from it! My heart is full of joy, and I feel like at least one little part of the world is becoming a better place every day. I served as moderator and asked my friend questions that we’d come up with, plus some of the 75+ attendees also asked really thoughtful questions, from which we all learned a lot, including the speaker.

Rock rose

People shared their thoughts and experiences respectfully, but we also laughed a lot as we enjoyed just being people getting to know each other. I really feel affirmed, welcome in my workplace, and and genuinely pleased at the kindness I could feel coming from all those square black Zoom boxes.

Japanese maple

My friend re-iterated what I always say, and what certainly shone through during today’s discussion, which is once you get to know someone as a person and you find things you have in common with them, things like gender expression fade into the background.

Beautyberry

Yep. The world is not all bad and people are not all afraid of anyone who’s different. I will try to keep remembering moments like this.

My companion on my stroll. He or she did not move as I walked right under the tree three times.

You Can Choose to Do Nothing or You Can Push Back

One of my activist friends, Jonathan K. Horstman, had a social action campaign a few years ago, focused on not just sitting around and watching our communities deteriorate. It was called [PUSHBACK] and I liked the idea and what his team was doing. While he’s off doing other great things in the community (as well as acting, doing music, and raising two precious children), I’ve been thinking about my own tendency to retreat when faced with pressure, setbacks, and lack of respect. What’s that gotten me so far? A big ole bag of seething resentment. That’s not helpful at all. I no longer want to retreat in a corner, because as Jonathan said:

So, yesterday, I took a bit of a blow, and decided that rather than sit around and stew about it, I’d put my energy into creating something good, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. That is not a new analogy. I did this once before when my team at La Leche League was deemed to be not embracing the new ways of working well enough. We just worked our asses off until we were told we were redundant. While I was sad, I was also proud of how hard we fought, how well we organized, and how respectfully we treated each other.

Nice shirt!

THAT is how I plan to treat my coworkers as we regroup and move forward. We will come up with a plan, do good work, and feel proud of ourselves, whether it’s acknowledged or not. I went from wanting to run and hide yesterday, to wanting to proudly push back and say we’re here, we are good at what we do, and we’re going to contribute!

I’ll be busy as a happy bee

There’s always more than one way to get things done, and it really helps to bear that in mind when you’re surprised by changes, re-prioritization, and such. It’s normal for that to happen, especially in the workplace, so you may as well, jump in, see where you can be of use, and find your fulfilment in doing work you’re proud of. That’s my goal! No more seething resentment when I don’t like how I’ve been treated. I’ll take it as an opportunity to find ways to win respect, at least within myself, because after all, other people’s opinions don’t define you, now do they?

Yes, I’ve been lecturing myself on Facebook, where there are cute graphics.
My coworker today was this beetle.

I hope my latest lecture to myself has been helpful. I enjoyed how Barbara said in a recent comment that she often needs to hear these things, too. Just like I need to periodically re-read Brene Brown, I need to periodically repeat things I thought I’d learned a long time ago. And that’s just fine!

What do you have to tell yourself frequently? I’d love some more pithy aphorisms!

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