I had an old client who once called one of his clients "Mr. Cranky-pants" and I've been happily using that expression ever since. There's nothing like seeing a well-educated, quiet, refined man call another man "Mr. Cranky-pants". Regardless I am oddly very cranky today. There could be a lot of reasons for that but I'm going to use the advice from my brother the Buddhist/therapist: It doesn't really matter why you feel that way, just acknowledge it and then let it run it's course and be what it is. Although, I imagine part of it is that I'm incredibly on-edge about all the violence in the city the last few months. I'm thankful (beyond words) that we live in the boonies now, but disturbed that my husband still works five days a week in the city. He told me to stop worrying though because today he is wearing his iron underpants. Sigh. I'm also on edge because Crazy Neighbor yelled profanities at me again the other day so I finally looked him straight in the eye and said that he needs to leave all of us and alone. His response was to just kept yelling profanities at me until I left. Sigh. Annoying horsefly person. Really fucking annoying. And it's raining and I was going to work in the garden all day. Although rain usually doesn't make me cranky. It's not PMS. And although Toad was incredibly cranky yesterday I'm going to continue to assume that crankiness is not contagious. Oh look at that ... I just tried to figure out what was making me cranky all in the same paragraph as quoting my brother's advice. Oh well.
I tried to do a bit more of the Liberty work with Toad yesterday and at moments it went really well and at other times she got very confused and frustrated and I began to feel the same way too. Then she was super grumpy in the cross ties while I was grooming her to get ready for training. She nipped at me a few times which is unlike her. I was so close to her that if she had actually wanted to bite and hurt me should would've done that, but still that kind of behavior of nipping at me is a challenge and should not go unmet. Unfortunately, my first reaction was to poke her in the nose. But Trainer K. showed me that all that ended up doing was starting a fight that began to resemble "Nip at mom - throw my head back really fast so she can't get me!" Trainer K. showed me how to make my eyes really big and challenge her back by getting right in her face. As soon as I did that she backed off and didn't try to nip at me anymore. But she was still scowling - with the exact same expression my daughter gets when I tell her if she doesn't knock it off she's losing tv privileges.
What's funny about that whole challenging thing, is that I've seen my daughter do that before with other kids. I remember two years ago when she first met I.F. - a little boy her age that lives a few doors down that she is now great friends with - she made her eyes really big and got right up into his face until he backed away and said, "What are you doing?!" in an exasperated tone. She started laughing - which then made him start laughing. His mom asked me, "What IS she doing?" and I said, "If I didn't know better, I'd say she's showing him who is dominant."
So two things have helped to abate some of my crankiness - pilates class this morning and drinking coffee and writing in my blog. I'm not sure I've written about it yet but it is not a typical pilates class. It is a class specifically for improving balance for riding (I believe riding dressage but there might be students from other disciplines too ... I've only heard so far of other students riding dressage). It is taught by my friend who is not only a great instructor but a great rider. It always kicks my butt but it feels good - like I'm really working hard at something. And today when I couldn't do one of the exercises (the plank) because my wrists and hands are so mangled from a lifetime of rheumatoid arthritis it reminded me again that I live with a chronic illness and that if I can one day make it to riding in Prix St George then it will be a victory for every child diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA)! I'd say riding in Grand Prix but I honestly don't think time is on my side to do that. I can't ride and train for hours everyday and I am already in my mid-forties. So, Prix St George is by far a lofty enough goal for me in my lifetime!
This photo definitely puts me in a better mood. It is my daughter with her lesson horse, Tasha - who is every little girl's dream horse: