It’s been a great year at Infinity Farm. I’m thrilled to say no one died. It’s kind of a miracle–all ages and infirmities considered. I wandered through the memories of the year, looking for a stellar moment to share with you, one that was inspirational and would reflect the best of us. There were a pile to pick from, but in the end, it was a no-brainer.
Remember our barn-rat, Hannah? She always hugs Namaste to thank him at the end of each ride, but this particular time, I heard her whisper so quietly, “I will love him forever.”
*Clutches chest in solidarity.*
Instead of the chatter of New Year resolutions to diet, or train harder, or accomplish a goal that means more to you than it does your horse, take a cue from Hannah. Instead, make a more important resolution to your horse, and then do whatever is necessary to keep it. The ripple effect of good intention from doing that will take care of all the lesser resolutions.
And now, can we talk about our relationship?
This part is all about you. I appreciate you more than I can say. But let me try. When I started this in early 2010, each time I posted a blog, I also emailed my friends and reminded them to read it. I considered it a huge success if I had 20 hits over a week. Look back in the archives, the writing probably deserved even less. I’ve worked on that.
This is where you came in. You heard about me somewhere–on Facebook or a horse site somewhere and then maybe you told a friend. Some of you shared my blogs with a group. Every once in a while a horse article got shared by a dog group.
Some of you read the blog and don’t have a horse or a dog, but tell me it helps with kids and husbands–you open-mined humanists hold an especially special place here.
This year I was gobsmacked. The WordPress folks tell me there were over 140,000 hits in 2014. Not counting the readers on other sites, and there are a fair number of those. And over 1100 of you follow my blog. Really? It amazes me.
In light of all of this, a thank you sounds pretty trite but here goes–Thank You All Very Much. See? Even in bold and italics, it still isn’t near enough. Because I sit in a small room with a few dogs and cats, writing away in the early hours, and it gets quiet. Seeing a ‘like’ or getting a comment really matters on this end. You all inspire me, nothing less. It isn’t that it’s self-gratifying, (of course it is), but more than that, I get to be part of a group. And you all are a very cool group. Thank you.
This year the comment-makers were especially wonderful. So heartfelt and kind to each other. It was like we are all friends who ride together…only in 155 different countries. Just the kind of barn family I’m proud to be a member of. Thank you.
And finally, can we talk about me? I started this blog five years ago because I love to write as much as I love to ride. I love to explain something that’s hard to explain. I love trying to describe a feeling with such clarity that we all recognize part of it as our own. I want to find the words to describe horses through my eyes. I think at rock bottom, writing and riding are inspired by the same passion. They are both communicating with purpose.
Then two years ago, I had a New Year resolution to start writing a book. The first year was writing, the second year was re-writing my way through three professional edits, and now I’m pleased that each of the 78,000 words are in the correct order. I’m done with the manuscript. The first reviews have been very positive. Now I have to get used to promoting it, not easy for me.
The book is Stable Relation. It’s a memoir about a midlife crisis, a poisonous family secret, and moving to the flat, windy Colorado prairie to build a different kind of family farm.
The publishing world changes every day and knowledgeable opinions contradict each other. It’s hard for an old gray mare to know what to do. I attend writer’s workshops on marketing and publishing, but I have a lot to learn and I notice I am allergic to places with no animal dander. Or maybe I have a personality disorder that is irritated by meetings in hotels.
I do my best and take my own horse-advice about my book. Hold a high vision, keep breathing, and be grateful for small steps. It seems I am competing in a whole new arena, and I really hope you will help me get there.
They tell me to roll out a new book website. It’s called Anna Blake, The Print Version. Check it out here and read my elevator line. (I learned about them in one of those hotel meeting rooms.) The book will have a Facebook page soon. So, after all you have done for me, I actually have the audacity to ask a favor. Another click or two, please. I could use the leg up.
I wish us all grand adventures in the New Year. Everything will be fine. We will love him forever, and let the rest fall where it may.
Anna Blake, Infinity Farm.