“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.” Winston Churchill
There are plenty of quotes about not wasting time, making the most of your time, making sure that you do things today rather than leave them until tomorrow. I think that they're all relevant. Often we try to distract ourselves from our boredom, our tiredness, our sadness. The distractions that we choose, like scrolling through Facebook or binge watching soaps on TV, are not always helpful in increasing our happiness levels. Reading about how happy other people are (supposedly), or watching battles on TV, is unlikely to pull us out of the doldrums.
What do you class as a good use of your time? I don’t mean in terms of work, or productivity, or doing things around the house. I mean, what would you look back at at the end of the day and say that you’d enjoyed doing? I find it really interesting to look at my sons' gratitude journal each evening, and see what experiences have meant the most to him. Sometimes it’s exactly as you’d expect, for example being excited about getting a gift, or playing a new computer game, or eating ice cream. But almost always, if we’ve made the time to do something together that day, then that experience will be at the top of the page.
It works the same for me when I’m writing my journal. It’s the things that could be considered a waste of time in terms of productivity, like laughing together, or doing a craft project, or going for a walk, that I remember at the end of the day as being the best bits.
Take a look back, and see what your most treasured memories are, in terms of activities and experiences. What can you do to create similar activities and experiences in your life at this moment in time, that will lead to more treasured memories in 5 or 10 or 20 years time? If you enjoyed something then, would you be able to enjoy it now? Can you make doing this a priority? If not, then what new activity or experience would you like to try? What would make you happy? And can you spend more time doing that?
© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021
Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion