Happy New Year

Surprise! I’m still here. In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t blogged in quite some time. Haven’t really written much of anything, to be honest. And since writing has always been my therapy, I guess that means I wasn’t going to therapy very often either. 😀 Probably not a good thing.

Definitely not a good thing.

2022 was… well… I don’t know what it was besides difficult. No, I didn’t suffer any major traumas or tragedies. I simply couldn’t seem to find my rhythm. More often than not I felt as though I was just spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere. I failed to accomplish nearly everything I intended to, and seemed to be perpetually waiting for… something.

Yes, there were some things I was actually waiting for (and I don’t mean a delivery from Fed Ex, we all know that’s a lost cause), this was waiting on some sort of cosmic, undefined level. It caused me to stall out. I didn’t want to make a decision or finalize a plan because I was waiting. Which all sounds very silly when I put it down on virtual paper, but there you have it.

I think I did finally figure out the problem a few weeks ago. It came to me during one of those many, many, many nights when sleep eluded me: over the past year I was, more often than not, in survival mode. Pretty much just getting through the day and trying to keep my head above water. I didn’t do a lot of the things I enjoy because, even though I wanted to, I couldn’t devote the time in case that thing I was waiting for became reality. And some of them, like this blog, I neglected because I just didn’t see the sense. My writing (fiction and non) fell to the wayside for several reasons: Who cares? Nobody reads it. It’s all just drivel. Pick a reason. Though, trust me, there were many, many, many words written in my head that never made it any further.

Unfortunately, I’m a creative. And when creatives attempt to ignore or smother their muses, nothing good ever comes of it. It’s not healthy for us.

Anyhow, as evidenced by this post, I’m digging my way out. As usual, I’m not writing this looking for sympathy, and there’s no cause to worry about me. As mentioned above and at other times, this is my therapy, and boy do I obviously need it! And that’s the real point, the only one that really matters. I need it. Sometimes, there’s no other reason than that. And, hey,  if somewhere along the way my words help someone, make someone laugh, inspire someone, or just entertain in some way, well then, winner-winner-chicken-dinner.

And since this blog is supposed to be more about the dogs and the farm and less about the state of my mental health…

Jig will be eleven on the 18th. She gets to work every now and again, mainly if I need some muscle because, yeah, even with all that grey on her muzzle she hasn’t slowed down in that regard. Her and Dave still play chuck-it first thing every morning, weather permitting. In some regards she’s gotten more tolerant in her elder years. In some regards…well, suffice it to say, Dillon has gotten his ass handed to him more than once for overstepping the bounds. Lucky for him, Jig’s switch isn’t quite as hair-triggered as it used to be and she doesn’t go full blown rage when he trips it. Poor boy wouldn’t stand a chance if she did.

Speaking of Dillon, he’ll be seven tomorrow. We still struggle. He can be such a complete and utter ass at times, especially where Finn is concerned. We seem to have regressed in our training over the past year but, to be fair, I wasn’t always there for him. And I didn’t train him a lot because I was focused on Finn. Dillon became relegated to chores and sorting. Those are important tasks I need done and he’s good at them, but I really would like to finish his WTCH and some of his farm trial titles and to do that I need to start working with him instead of expecting him to work how I want and then getting angry when he doesn’t.

Finn, I completely and utterly failed last year. And before any of you argue with me in a well-intentioned attempt to make me feel better; I took a barely three year old dog with very few miles (a total of two weekend trials on the farm, one trial off the farm–cattle only, and Nationals last year as a started dog) and ran him in open at the Nationals this year expecting great things of him and then (with the exception of one cattle run) did not uphold my end of the partnership at all. So yes, yes I did fail him. My goal is to not do that ever again.

And Miss Maeve? The girl loves to work, that’s for sure, and she’s coming along nicely though we haven’t done tons of training yet. She seems like such a midget compared to everyone else but she is mighty. She and Finn are so much alike and they are the best buds, although Finn has taught her some things I’d rather he hadn’t. Like the ‘let’s rip this sapling out of the ground cause we like sticks’ game. I’ve never had dogs so into wood as those two. They love to play chase, full speed around the field in huge circles, taking a break only long enough to throw in a bit of wrestling before the chase starts again. I’m looking forward to our journey together.

So, there you have it. Here’s to a better year than the last, and to keeping my head out of my backside. I’m going to go work my dogs now and try to start this year on a good note.

  • Judith Bigham

    01/01/2023at10:49 pm Reply

    SO nice to “hear” from you, Kathi! Always a pleasure to “catch-up” with you & the SHADOWDANCE Aussies! SPUR weighed 47# two weeks ago. He’s a BIG boy! VERY much wanting to work but still has a “boy puppy” brain so no “formal” Herding training yet. Best wishes for a Healthy, Happy, PEACEFUL New Year!

    • KLS

      01/04/2023at4:40 pm Reply

      Thanks, Judi! A very Happy New Year to you and the gang, as well.

  • Donna Marsh

    01/02/2023at3:32 pm Reply

    Again, I love the genuineness of your posts. You share the struggle, and it helps me not feel alone. I like your honesty more than I like reading posts about how awesome someone’s dog did because those people rarely share the struggle. Or, maybe they can’t realize they struggle. We only move forward when we recognize what we need to move forward from. Here’s to 2023 being a year of moving forward.

    • KLS

      01/04/2023at4:42 pm Reply

      Thanks, Donna. It really does help (at least me) to know that we don’t struggle alone. Seeing everyone else’s ‘highlight reels’ is great, but sometimes it becomes a bit overwhelming.

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