Wednesday, October 16, 2013

When you mess with the bull.

Once a week for the next seven weeks we're going through the lessons that are life and the loss of it. They're more snarky than smart, more silly than serious, but they'll make your life more colorful -which is what this living this is all about, right? 

In March 2009, we started the long journey of finding a causeand cure for my dad's memory loss. Four and a half years later we march on fighting loss and the hideousness of dementia. These years were and are laden with lessons about ourselves and God. Here's the first of seven bits of knowledge we've picked up along the way:

Grab it by the balls and hang on for the wild, leg kicking ride.

Fact: Life's wild. 

Though, it can seem so plain, boring, mundane. You can suffer through each day wondering when the monotony will end. And then CHANGE and you can't tell up from down, left from right, because you're twisting and turning in so many insane directions. You can hate it, run from it, attempt to hide. Or you can throw yourself into the midst of the mess and enjoy. 

It's like a rodeo. Every cowboy hops onto the back of a bucking, angry bull with hopes of an eight second show. Sometimes you're the successful rider who remains atop a two thousand pound beast and other times you're being trampled.

I grew up hearing: "When you mess with the bull, you get the horns."

This probably wasn't a statement about life, but about picking your battles. Or something of that nature, but I'm an expander of sorts, so it's about life now. 

Growing up, we lived just minutes from a dozen longhorn bulls. When I hear "get the horns" I imagine one of those long horns impaling me. And, yes, it terrifies me. For years, I did everything in my power to avoid the impact of pointy horns in my ass. Then life showed me how horn-y it is with dementia. With death. With humbling marital moments. With job-searching challenges. With anxiety. Oh, the horns. 

For years I allowed myself to live in fear of life and it's sneaky, sharp horns. Then, I decided, if life's going to kill me -which it is because we're all going to die- I might as well have an adventure while I'm at it. 

Put on your shit kickers -or cowgirl boots if you're more proper than I-, break out your straw hat, and cowgirl up. Life's going to buck underneath you despite your best efforts to subdue it into sweetness. Instead of fighting the wild, unruly nature of this adventure we're all on, let's grab it by the balls and hang on tight. 


  1. I know I proofed this yesterday but I love it still. :)

  2. Kathy@Vodka and SodaOctober 16, 2013 at 6:31 AM

    oh, i also have that motto in my life because it's SO TRUE. that applies to everything in life - in relationships with your friends/husband/children. i found that to be esp true when we first started living together because living with someone isn't easy so i learned to not sweat the small stuff and let (certain) things go.

    Vodka and Soda

  3. Thanks for this great post! Day by day I am learning to deal with anxiety and not take life so seriously. This was exactly the reminder I needed to go LIVE a little!

  4. Oh, the initial days of living together is SOOOO awkward. I remember getting back from our honeymoon and being so confused about what goes where and trying not to step on each other's toes as we moved all of our things into one space. Thank God for lessons in grace and humility!

  5. Anxiety is so tough Anna and learning to let go is a DAILY lesson for me... I hate that some days I feel I've got it mastered and others I'm too busy panicking to enjoy anything! :) Welcome to our space doll!

  6. This is a great post Amber! I am really working hard to make sure I fully immerse myself in change instead of running away, trying to make myself do things I don't think I'm keen on doing. This has inspired me to continue on!! Thank you <3

  7. Scarlett WonderlandNovember 1, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    Ahhh I love this so much! Cheers to adventure and the unexpected! x


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