Once upon a time, a loooonnnng time ago, there was a frazzled princess who lived in the kingdom of Vermont, on 200 acres, with the states’ largest sheep flock, who also worked at Ben & Jerry’s (which was 45 minutes away) and also ran a brand new farm to table restaurant, who was also the chair of the board for the Waldorf school which served her two darling children. She read a lot of books in the bathtub because...multitasking, and she listened to many hours of NPR because this was life before podcasts and streaming. One day, as she made four breakfasts and 2 lunches, after doing laundry and before dropping off her children at daycare and arriving at work at 8 a.m., she wiped her brow and listened to the radio. A woman was being interviewed about her piano playing - she’d been playing for 30 years. That’s a long time, right?
Except that, she was ninety. Ninety! Meaning that she took up the piano at sixty!
It may be time for me to take up a musical instrument or painting. Or...horseback riding.
My cousin, who is 59, is currently taking riding lessons to prepare for her bucket-list ride in May 2022 - The Great American Horse Drive. It’s a horse drive, where Sombrero Ranches will move about 400 horses from their winter pasture to the ranch across sixty miles of open range, highways and back-roads. She’ll experience “the thrill, raw energy, and untamed beauty of hundreds of horses thundering across the range”! How cool! And so brave!
Her Aunty Harriet (my stepmom) infected Lynne with the horse bug when Lynne was just little. My step has always been a horsewoman - there’s a magnet on her fridge that makes that clear - “Born to Ride, Forced to Cook”. Harriet was a champion endurance rider back in her youth, and she is not a woman to be messed with. I try to remember that when I am concerned that she is 79, living solo and still taking care of two Arabians every day. Umm, badass.
So, Lynne’s story came to mind when I was reading the It's Never Too Late series from the NYT recently. This one was all about a 65 year old woman who’d never really been on a horse but always had the longing, who was finally taking lessons to make her horse riding dream come true - after a double mastectomy. She said “That changed things. That’s motivation. You have to follow your dreams when you have a chance because you don’t know how long you’re going to have the chance.”
And isn’t that the point? No matter what your journey has been, isn’t it time to follow your dreams and make something happen? Maybe it’s your first garden, or first dog, or skydiving, or travel to some exotic spot on the planet, or your first social media account, or your own money, or a new partner, or pouring your whole self into an artistic endeavor, or moving to Amsterdam, or a destination yoga retreat. It’s YOUR dream. It’s enough, because it’s all yours, baby.
When I was texting with my cousin about the horse drive - all exclamation points on my part, she said ‘I doubt I’m worth writing about’ - Ha! I’ve been thinking about her nonstop for a week. Seriously, 400 horses? Six hours days - in the saddle? Cross country? I cannot stop thinking about it. It gets me revved!
Hot damn, so what am I going to have been doing for 30 years when I’m 90? OMG - yoga? Blogging? Meditating? Art? My fortysomething frazzled self had zero time for thinking about anything outside of what MUST be done. Now, I’m thinking about my 90 year old self looking back at this time with real satisfaction and a sense of contentment.
Resolved, this is my life. This is not a dress rehearsal.
If you’re inspired by Lynne too, and you want to swim in that water, join us in Costa Rica May 2022!