Category Archives: Carousel Horse

Just Try!

Here I am on the last day of my 366 Somedays and what have I learned?

I have learned not all “Somedays” are meant to be.  Once attention was finally given to some, they just didn’t fulfill the expectations.  The activity was not as fun as anticipated or the amount of work to accomplish the “Someday” was beyond what I was willing to expend.  Speaking Italian fell into this category.  I’ll still dream of living in Italy and conversing fluently with my neighbors, but the reality is I’ll never live in Italy and I’ll never speak Italian – fluently or otherwise.

I have learned goals can be achieved with steady and persistent effort.  My “Someday” to complete the physical challenge of walking or running 1200 miles in a year required me to focus on getting in miles almost daily.  There were times I would have preferred to sit out a workout due to rain, snow, heat, or just plain laziness, but I didn’t – I kept at it for twelve months and I achieved my goal.

I have learned that tackling some “Somedays” leads to the accomplishment of other “mini-Somedays”.  This month, as I’ve been working on restoring my carousel horse (no pictures yet – it isn’t done), I’ve also been painting (with the same paint) a decorative mirror which I’d planned on putting in a specific spot in our home, but which has been sitting in a garage closet for the last two years waiting to be painted and antiqued.

I have learned most “Somedays” cannot be completed within a month.  My very first “Someday” of writing a book in a month was way too ambitious!  The book still isn’t done and the reality is, that may not be the book I end up finishing.  I’ll still write and, eventually, a book will be completed, but it would be disheartening to chastise myself for not finishing in one month.  This has been the hardest lesson to accept.  So many of my “Somedays” aren’t finished and, at first, that bothered me, but all of the “Somedays” I tackled are started and that, in my opinion, is a win.

I have learned some “Somedays” resonate more than others and that is joyous.  Yoga, a “Someday” not chosen, but which I probably would not have attempted if I weren’t going through this journey, has quickly become part of my daily routine and I wonder why I didn’t open myself to it years ago.  Knitting also brings me joy and, while I don’t sit for hours and knit, when I do pick up my needles, I feel a calm wash over me.

So, with successes (1200 mile challenge), failures (speaking Italian), postponements (gardening – the space is finally ready and I’ll try planting this spring), and continuations (writing a book, restoring my carousel horse), perhaps the biggest lesson of this year has been that it’s okay to fail, to not enjoy, to set aside, but it isn’t okay to not even try.

A Zebra CAN Change Its Stripes

Change is hard.  I’ve experienced how hard it is during this journey.  It’s hard to change habit, manner, and routine.  That’s the basis of the sayings:  A zebra can’t change its stripes and a leopard can’t change its spots.  Unless you’re Al Gore and then the zebra can’t change its spots, but that’s an entirely different discussion.

My “Someday” for this month is to restore my carousel horse (zebra).  She was fine as a zebra, but she’s my carousel horse (zebra) and my heart called for a red horse, not a zebra.  So, she’s been undergoing transformation and, though it’s a lot of work to change, she has changed her stripes.  There’s still one more coat of red paint to put on and then a lot of detail work, but here’s a progression of how she’s changing:

Here’s the “Before” picture.
A close-up of the dirt and decay that had to be cleaned off.
One coat of red paint — she’s beginning to change.
After a second coat, the morphing continues.
Third coat — I thought we were almost there.
Fourth coat — Transformation not quite complete.
A peek at what she will look like as a red horse, not a striped zebra.

So, zebras, like us, can change their stripes, it just takes a lot of work.

This Journey’s Final “Someday”

I don’t remember when I rode my first carousel, but I know I love the feeling of freedom that rushes over me as the carousel goes round and round and my horse goes up and down.  I feel exuberant, free, and innocent whenever I’m on a carousel horse.  Years ago, after finding out I was receiving a significant promotion at work, a department manager invited me to use her office to call my parents so I could share the news with them.  I still remember that phone call, standing next to the carousel horse she displayed in her office.  This past spring, I took my oldest grandson on his first carousel ride.  I will strive for the rest of my days to attain the level of joy that burst forth from him as the carousel began to turn.

img_4024I’ve always wanted a carousel horse, but the real ones, even the reproductions, are too expensive.  A few years ago, I came across this carousel horse (zebra) in a thrift store.  It’s actually a child’s rocking horse that has been refashioned into a carousel horse.  I like the idea that it was, perhaps, used by a family’s children and then, once they were grown, crafted into a carousel horse for display and memories.  I’m also a little saddened as I wonder why, then, would someone donate it to a thrift store.  I bought it with the idea of refreshing its look “Someday” and giving it a new home.

I’d like to have the kind of house someday where a carousel horse wouldn’t be out of place in the living room.

–Jay McInerney

I have the kind of house where a carousel horse wouldn’t be out of place in the living room, but I’ve reserved a spot in my bedroom for my carousel horse.  There’s a large ledge across one side of the room that can only be seen from the other side of the room – where my bed is.  My carousel horse will sit up there where I can see it each night before I fall asleep and first thing in the morning when I awaken.

As I thought about what “Someday” I would tackle for this final month, I realized I wanted to do something that would bring me joy.  Refinishing the carousel horse feels joyful in two ways:  the act of refinishing it will be creative and I like being creative and the finished horse, sitting where I can see it every day will remind of the joy and freedom I feel while riding a carousel.