I recently saw this very inspiring trailer about 100-year-old great American horsewoman Connie Reeves, an inductee of the American Cowgirl Hall Of Fame who is still riding horses and assisting at a summer camp to teach young girls how to ride. You can see the trailer for yourself here: http://www.americancowgirl.com/film.htm.
In one part of the trailer, Connie says: “You gotta saddle your own horse” and the woman next to Connie says something to the effect of you have to stand on your own two feet, you gotta saddle your own horse.
Own your life.
Be happy with your life this year and if you are not happy with your life, then change what you need to in order to be happy.
Know your values and your priorities and shape what you are doing with your time around that. I find a Family Mission Statement and a Personal Mission Statement to be really helpful. Here are some ideas for getting started in that process: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/05/08/creating-a-family-mission-statement/
Something to always keep in mind as you plan your time, though, is to include how you are going to help someone else. How will you connect into a community larger than yourself and what part will you play in that community?
How will you build a wonderful community that your child can be a part of? How will you reflect that in how you spend your time? For example, if I have a choice between two activities for my family, I am going to pick the activity that involves the supportive community I have built up over a random class or event every time.
How does your life give you energy? I once worked with a brilliant pediatric orthopedic surgeon who told me how much energy he got from his work. He loved it (and, I might add, he was really good at it!)
Sometimes parenting, especially parenting small children, can feel more like an energy drain than an energy booster. Parenting of small children can involve endless rounds of feeding, clean-up, diaper changing/bathroom trips. What is your attitude in all of this?
Please never, ever lose sight of the fact that by what you do you are shaping the next generation. What you do sets the stage for the adult your child will become. It will not all be perfect and nor should it be. None of us are perfect. But show your children the striving, the learning and most of all the JOY.
Plan fun family things. Grab all the children, throw them on the floor and smother them with kisses (in our house, our gigantic dog helps). Laugh! Tell jokes around the dinner table! Hike and be in nature. Use humor in dealing with challenging behavior.
Get energy from it all. Saddle your own horse.