The sand and dried-out soil from the sun kicks up in my face walking towards the stable entrance. Not a breeze, nor a stir in the trees allow for relief. Noises from rakes scraping old hay from the floors reverberate. Empty feed buckets filled with alfalfa charm the mares, who give all those who pass by a happy nod.
Glistening from sweat, Amy raises her head and releases her rake. She greets me with a hello and asks if I’m riding Wyatt. Temperatures remain intolerable, so the answer is a resounding “No.” I complain as Wyatt scratches the floor with his hoof, begging for another carrot. I lamented that my Americano was weak, my job at the time was incredibly stressful — blah, blah, blah.
Looking back, I sounded like a spoiled child.
This is an open door for her to join the pity-me feast.
Nope. Nadda. Not once did Amy, complain.
Drying the sweat off her face with a towel and resuming her work — she encourages me that the weather and life will get better. Every time I saw her moving forward, muck boots, drenched by rain or mud — she sparkles. When a storm was rolling in and she’s reining in 10 horses (two at a time) in from the backfield, she smiles.
The mother of three is working her way through college to become an accountant. Anyone knows if you have kids and working, it’s no easy feat.
I growl and at times — a lot. Amy taught me that shifting my perspective changes my emotions for the better. I’m sure things become hard for her, like anyone else, but she found the key to success.
When complaining begins to snowball, begin reflecting on what God has done for you in the past. Will He not come through for you now? Reshift focus on Scriptures like Psalm 30:11 (NLT): “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.”
Look at the bigger picture. Is what you’re complaining about going to impact you next year or even in the next 24 hours? The bad coffee today sure won’t. Neither will the weather. We don’t need a pity-party, we need to catch our thoughts and give them to God.
Like Amy, she didn’t wallow about her hard work, her kids and having to go back to class — she focuses on attending to others. She also declines to complain about conditions she has no control over.
Recently, Amy asked if I was riding, I told her “yes” this time, but instead of picking out an arbitrary criticism – I say, “It’s a gorgeous day.”
Pick out your gorgeous days even during the rainy ones. You’ll be happy you did.
-By Corine Gatti-Santillo