Wednesday, February 6, 2013

That'll leave a mark.

I fell off my horse tonight.  We were doing gymnastics, little jumps very close together, and I put him in wrong, so I came out wrong.  Like, dead flat on my back.  Split my boot, hit my head.  Actually, my teeth kind of still feel dizzy, and since I'm not sure that is an actual feeling I wonder if I didn't hit something else.
Johnni and me on a day when I managed to stay on.

And of course I wonder, oh why in the world do I do this?  Riding isn't something that I grew up around, I just started taking lessons about three years ago, and I regularly feel like I'm going to throw up (out of fear) while I'm in the arena. 

But still I go back.  And I love it, and my horses, and my friends who ride with me, and the way the world looks with my horse's ears in the view. So I know that tomorrow, or more likely Friday (because it is supposed to rain tomorrow), I'll be putting the saddle back on a horse and getting back on.

I've been trying for the last couple of days to come up with a post about margin--the extra space in my life.  Or the lack thereof.  The reason is that it seems to be a buzzword, either in my life lately or on the corner of the internet I inhabit.  A word I had only used related to notebook paper or economics suddenly popped up regarding time.  Edie's post about margin was interesting, about leaving space for things to happen--that's margin, where all the really good parts of life happen. But I had seen it on lifehacker and a couple of other sites, too, which escape me know.

I don't have margin.  I compulsively fill all the interstices of my life.  (Just throwing in an arcane materials engineering term there.  You're welcome.)  Darcy headed off to kindergarten--I opened the shop.  But it was too much for me. So I sold the shop, but then I started to homeschool.  But only one child!  The maximum disruption in our home--four kids, three campuses.  Then Darcy went back to school, but we bought the farm.  (Oh, I have never introduced my farm to the blog.  I need to do that.)  And running the farm is like running a little business.  At least I don't have responsibility for the daily care of the animals.  That really would be too much.

Nowadays I spend a lot of time pining to be on the farm, for a little free time to go drive my tractor (I own a John Deere--how cool is that?!) or play with the horses or just be.  But there is just no space.  I really don't have margin, especially in the late afternoon and early evening.  I know this is the season for busy-ness, but it is just so darn hard to keep that in perspective.

I wish I understood why I fill up my time so completely.  Even now, a year after we've bought the farm and everything is starting to run kind of smoothly, I'm in the middle of a huge and massively disruptive home renovation project.  I didn't know people planned kitchens for a year.  I'm doing mine in three weeks.

I'm not whining about my life, but I think I'm observing a pattern.  I don't understand about empty space, but I seem to abhor it in my life. 

So this post did end up being about margin.  I would really rather blog about my horse, Johnni.  After I fell, he stopped right beside me.  He waited til I got up, and then sniffed all over me.  He hung his head down so that we could talk, and he just wanted to make sure I was okay.  Good horses are like that.  They care.  Sometimes they are butt-headed, but the good ones care about their riders.  I didn't get back on him, but he didn't leave my side the rest of the evening.  Every so often he would just lean his head over onto my shoulder, as if to say, "I'm really sorry I couldn't keep you on."  What a good boy.

So right now, I think I need to go shake the arena footing out of my underwear and pour a glass of wine.  These dizzy teeth are starting to get to me.


John Fraser said...

First of all, I am glad you are okay. Thank God for helmets, and for moms who want to be good role models and who wear them for their daughters (and sons). Really, I'm glad you're okay. And I'll be praying for your teeth. :D

Second, margins. Man, what a bold topic. As an outsider - who can say nothing as to how it feels on the inside of you - I do say you appear to handle it well. Composed; in charge; ducks in a row; equation written in simplest terms. (One mathematician to an engineer) Very good of you to humble yourself and acknowledge the delicate balance you have sought and very good of you to acknowledge that the delicate balance might be missing something.

So as your pastor ... and probably not to be answered here in the public eye ... I have one question.

No, I'm actually not going to ask you how you are going to strategize a means of bringing margin into your life. That question would be too easy for an engineer. Here's my question.

Why do you as a person feel the need to fill up the interstices?

Yes, I did have to look it up. Really cool word. "The space that intervenes between things."

I also have to ponder. Did you know that some of the common synonyms for interstice are: discontinuity, hiccup, interregnum, and interruption?

Cheryl said...

I am a crazy woman about helmets. They are non-negotiable. Fortunately our trainer feels the same way!

The rest...I can't deal with now. But thanks for commenting. Always food for thought.

Mary Prather said...

I love the discussion here.

We need to have coffee and talk about margin. I actually think I'm getting much better with this. We are all a work in progress, my friend.

I'm glad your fall wasn't any worse, and you do have a wonderful horse. Amen to the helmets!