One thing I know about myself for sure.

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”

 -Lao Tzu-

Every day I learn something new about myself. Through practical lessons I have developed new skills and interests. Reading has enlarged my knowledge about things that are of interest to me. I have learned how to do things that I never imagined that I could through dogged determination at times. The more that I know of others; the more I learn about myself. Even though my upbringing created much of whom I am and how I respond to outer stimuli; my intuition has overcome much and motivated me to rise above what once seemed daunting. Looking inward is not longer a dismal prospect; now I see potential. I don’t mind getting to know myself. There is a great deal to be said for pulling oneself up, dusting off and starting over again. Just as an example, I recall the first week on the job at the Thoroughbred horse breeding farm. I was 50 years old and only slightly experienced at handling horses. By slightly I mean that I spent a year mucking stalls in exchange for free trail riding at a local stable. Add to that one month at a ranch which had quarter horses to turn out and stalls to muck. So truth be told, I was more inexperienced than experienced at the handling portion of the job. I watched all of the ways that my boss moved and handled his horses then I went about it in the exact same way. Some of the mares were wing-nuts but they were seasoned and well-trained; if you had their head their body followed. That of course only got me so far. When it came down to handling the younger animals, boy, did I take a beating. At the end of the first week the boss left me and the other hand to turn out the 2-year-old colts in the morning. One got away from the other hand and ran up the breeze-way; I managed to get the one I was leading into the paddock at least. I tried to hold on as long as possible to see if she could regain the loose colt. Suddenly the one I was holding reared up, lifted me off the ground, slammed me down on my face and bolted within the confines of the paddock. Up I got and helped to get hold of the loose colt before I had even caught my breath. That was the morning. At the end of the day the boss again left us to bring in all the horses. Included in the herd were 4 freshly weaned (read-crazy frantic) 7 month olds. We managed to pull the first two weanies out of the paddock. The one I was leading got loose by rearing and slamming me into the ground on my face. She ran to the end of the breeze-way between paddocks and returned luckily to be caught up by me as my co-worker waited. The second pair of weanies was even more frantic out there alone. The one I was leading back to the barn bolted but I managed to hang on running like a maniac until I could finally dig my heels in and slow her to a walk. That was the end of the day. We finished getting all the rest of the horses in for the night without incident. All that the other hand said to me when we left was “please don’t quit”. Never crossed my mind…the thought that did was that I had a lot to learn about handling thoroughbred horses. I was so sore and bone-tired the next morning; the pain was excruciating as I walked the ¼ mile to the barn from the parking area. But once I came around the corner of the barn I shook it off, quickened my pace and got on with the new day. That is one thing I know about myself for sure. I have grit and determination when I set my sights on something.

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