The last 6 months have had a fair bit of introspection, reflection and the odd pity party too. Some of you will recall I broke my arm. We also lost Yen. Quite unexpectedly and shockingly. We knew she wasn’t well and had been working with our vet team for two days to help her. Being Yen she never told any of us how critcally ill she was and she passed away here at home exactly the way she wanted I can’t help but think.
It would have been easy to throw my hands in the air, weep, gnash my teeth, and wail, and there were days I wanted to. I wanted to in the core of my being. We’d lost Sampson and Wiser in the fall. We’d euthanized Dora and Sally in the previous year. Two of our much-loved parrots had died, and two of our lovely hens. Work was challenging, and to be frank, life itself felt a little futile.
I napped more than I have in adulthood. I read books. I made soap. I worked hard on non-mobile aspects of my jobs.
I also made a very deliberate and conscious effort to take advantage of the opportunities presented by being laid up. I recommend this when you, as you inevitably will, find yourself in a similar position – be it your own well-being, an injured dog, a lack of money or holidays or whatever happens to sideline you.
What I did
I got engaged – that is I deliberately looked for opportunities to help people and animals. If it had been trial season here I might have volunteered at shows, instead, I made a conscious point to be available to people who needed me.
I grabbed learning opportunities. I signed up for the virtual clicker expo and actually participated in it as much as I could. I signed up for a positive horse training course with Quirk after checking being winged would be ok. It was. It was awesome. I continued to attend a training group and watched and supported others instead of training. All these things gave me more confidence in my own training. I saw different ways to apply principles I hold dear.
I practiced doing things without a dog. My handling got smoother as I tested hand flips for pivot work. That is carrying over into real work with a real dog in front of me. I practiced my tools, breathing, gratitude, visualization, and others. They all improved through the time I invested in them.
I thought. A lot. About a lot of different things. I spitballed with people I respected and contemplated a lot of different aspects of the work I do. I moderated and attended some fabulous webinars and felt good about being able to still contribute to other’s successes.
I took care of myself. There is an amazing amount of physical therapy involved in getting a shoulder functional again. I worked at it at least 5 times a day. It was not fun. So (with a lot of help from Big T) I made sure there was joy each day. I ate well, slept well and maintained my connections with people I care about.
I mellowed out a little, turned my octane level down and was so very grateful to the people around me who stepped up and helped make healing possible.
While I wouldn’t wish a broken humerus on anyone I am grateful to have experienced the learning that is part of that happening. I have long held that a break is not a bad thing. Taking advantage of them is important and healthy, I just hadn’t realized it applied to literal breaks too!