Long ago, my mom passed on some great advice derived from an ancient Dakota tribe saying:
“when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.”
There’s no sense in whipping the horse, or digging in your spurs, or threatening it. It’s already dead. You may find yourself brooding about how unfair it is that the horse is dead. You might be angry with the man who sold you the horse. You may even be sad, and sit around reminiscing about the good times you had with the horse. But none of that is going to get you any further down the road.
2013 was a rough year for my family. At one point, it felt like the whole stable died. We cashed in every bit of support offered from family and friends and may never be able to thank them enough for it. It took a lot of work, but eventually, we found a new horse.
Over the holidays, a few of our friends told us stuff like, “things happen for a reason” or “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Sorry, but I don’t buy that.
“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” ~ Lou Holtz
Things don’t just work out for the best. You have to make them work out. If you find yourself in a place where you need help, ask for it. If family or friends are offering their support, swallow your pride and accept it. You may be able to learn from the negative things that happen in life, but don’t dwell on them. Sometimes, there’s nothing to be learned. More than anything, the faster you get off the dead horse, the sooner you’ll be back on the trail.
I’m happy to put 2013 in the rear view mirror. For 2014, let me leave you with my favorite New Year’s toast:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.” ~ Dr. Suess
Photo credit David Clow.