After three weeks away from my standard life and routine, I’m more than ready to get back into the swing of things. I’m not going to knock the last three weeks. I got to spend time with people I love, became a new aunt, and came to realize that my pony actually does like me more than she likes most other people.

New year, new me. Or, probably closer to the truth: new year, same me, new hopes and dreams.

This time last year I wasn’t riding, didn’t have a horse, and was starting to feel more and more like I had a big fat hole hanging in the middle of my heart.

I was happy. I had a wonderful family, good job, and solid friendships. So what was my problem? It wasn’t just that I was removed from my prefered state of horseiness. It honestly had more to do with “just me”. As in I didn’t have much in my life that was just for me. I sort of forgot how to “me” a bit. Getting back into riding didn’t make me whole again. It did, however, help me “me” again.

Finding Star is something I’m going to have to talk about further at some point, but for now I think I’ll suffice it to say that she connects me to this world and myself in a way that nothing else can. She reminds me, far better than any self-help book, that a lot of the things in life I worry about are small things. And small things generally don’t matter in the end. A life well-lived does.

New year’s resolutions are so popular, it’s almost a given that we all have at least one. My husband and I don’t. It’s not that we don’t need any improvement. Of course we do. It has more to do with the idea that we feel like we have to do our best to improve every single day, and that one goal on one night is not enough for the entire year. (Much in the same way that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because…well, I expect him to be super nice and love me every day…not just this randomly selected one.)

If I had made a resolution last year, it would have involved getting fitter. After my daughter, I’d managed to slide almost into a size 14. For someone who measures in at 5’3″ on a tall day, that’s a lot of unnecessary weight to carry around. From January to May of 2015 I managed to eat and work myself into a size 8. You know why it’s not something I celebrate? Because I truly don’t think it matters what size I was (or am, for that matter). I was healthier and stronger. I could trot my pony around the arena in-hand without getting a stitch in my side. Besides that? The only people who care are those who mean nothing to me.

If I made a resolution this year? It’s hard to say. I want to be better. A better mom, better wife, better daughter and friend. I want to be better at what I earn my living as; I want to give back more than I receive. I want to be a better rider and better at teaching those who have less experience than I do. When people talk about me – whether friends, co-workers, or spectators – I want them to talk about a person with loyalty and integrity.

I suppose the thing I want most is to live in today. I have a tendency to plan this quarter, next quarter, and so on. It’s a great thing in my business life. I’m better organized and more centered than most in my field, and that brings clients back to me again and again. Still, in my personal life, sometimes looking to 1.10m means I miss out on what could happen at .90m.

By all means, go forth with your resolutions. I hope you smash each one with your awesomeness. But, if you don’t, that’s okay too. Every day is a resolution. Every day is a moment to be better, to learn and grow.

We can’t all be Olympians. If we were, then the special glimmer on Olympians would quickly tarnish. What we can be, every single day, is someone hoping to be better than what we are today. It happens so slowly. You can’t get the cue or the line or the seat…then, like magic, it’s there. You can feel what you’ve been working on for days or weeks or years. Suddenly, it all happens and the Olympics don’t even matter.

At the end of the day, we’re all imperfect. We all can improve. Whether or not our resolutions have been met, we have to take a good, strong look at who we are and where we’re at. And regardless of what we see we need to do more; we need to do better.

We’ve come such a long way. And now we have such a long way to go. Up and over 2015, and here we come 2016! Buckle in, because it’s going to be one wild ride.

Christine Sharpe is a Canadian who grew up riding Hunter/Jumper in the Southern USA. Now living in Toronto, she is a thirty-something who is recently back to riding after four years off and having her first child. Christine is aiming her new Thoroughbred mare, Star, toward the Trillium Jumper Circuit in 2016. She struggles daily to juggle family, work, and her equine lifestyle, with occasional success.

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