Saturday, January 8, 2011

Obsession? Maybe. So what?

OK, so I'm willing to admit I get a little testy when someone calls this horsey thing of mine a "hobby." I've spent 3+ hours every day this week (Tuesday through Saturday) on my computer watching the George Morris Horsemastership Training Sessions. At night, before I fall asleep, I can be found reading horse related magazines, books, or, God help me, catalogs. (Ask me what page Eskadron boots can be found on in the last Dover catalog - I dare you.) This ain't a hobby, people, it's a full blown obsession. Nobody in their right mind spends this much time trying to learn about and get better at something if it's just a hobby.

What set me off on my current rant was watching the movie Julie & Julia, the 2009 movie chronicling both Julia Child's herculean efforts to write and publish her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and writer Julie Powell's odyssey as she cooked her way through it. Each woman started out searching to fill a void in her life; Julia did not want to be defined as simply a diplomat's wife, filling her days with millinery and bridge lessons. Julie did not want to be a low level bureaucrat with an unfinished novel and a penchant for abandoning projects.

As each woman became more and more enmeshed in her passion she encountered roadblocks; dismissive responses from publishers and idols, lack of support from friends, and occasional marital discord. What resonated with me was that each woman faced these obstacles down and continued to live as her passion dictated, ultimately becoming a better person for it.

I had a great conversation with my son about it. He had absolutely no intention of liking this movie, but he did. Why? Because "each woman had a dream and went for it, kinda like you with Sug, Mom." That almost brought me to tears. Now, I am relatively sure I'm never going to be as good as I want to be at this horse thing. I'm pretty sure no Olympic team will be asking me to ride for them. However, if this passion of mine has shown my kids that it is possible to have a dream and bust your chops to realize even a small part of it, well, then, I've done my job.

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