Countless Rewards

I have been dipping into Wendyl Nissen’s A Home Companion recently and in it, she writes:

Anyone born after the 1960s was told that girls can do anything so we ended up doing everything. If you’re anything like me, eventually you reach a point where nothing seems to happen in your family’s lives without you. Finding the peanut butter, taking the dog to the vet, nursing children through sickness, sadness and stress, supporting our partners through sickness, sadness and stress, going out to work, cooking nutritionally balanced and eco-friendly meals until one day you just stop. Because you are unable to answer the question: ’What about me?’

When I turned 30, I found myself reaching this point and asking that question. I felt like I had spent the better part of my twenties caring for my growing family, while also striving to finish postgraduate studies and to work full time. After finding myself pregnant at 24, I lived through nine bouts of mastitis, eight house moves, two periods of post-natal depression, and a career change for both my husband and myself. While there was lots to celebrate and be thankful for, I wouldn’t say my twenties were the easiest time.

So turning 30 felt like a catalyst and an opportunity to reach out and grab something back for myself. A long-held childhood dream to have a horse shimmered up to the surface and took hold of me again. Even though I had limited experience with horses and my cool, rational side was urging careful consideration, I threw caution to the wind, acted from the heart and bought a beautiful black thoroughbred mare named Bella, with soft, kind eyes.

My Bella

This decision has had a profound affect on my life. I am crazy about my horse and have become obsessed with Parelli Natural Horsemanship. When I am with Bella, everything else in my life fades away and I exist purely in the present moment with my horse. I love her smell, the feel of her soft coat, our quiet moments together in peaceful harmony. Bella is an off-track thoroughbred and her racing name was ‘Countless Rewards’. While she never brought that on the track, she has certainly brought countless rewards to me and now, as I celebrate my 32nd birthday, I also celebrate two years with her.

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