by USjournal Student Writer: Rebecca Darrup, Cross-Country Cowgirl
Thank goodness, right? I have no doubt you're still staying busy, but at least you get a break from classes for a while! It's been so nice to not have to worry about due dates and deadlines for the last couple weeks, and it's been good to spend some time with my family, too. My siblings start their break from school today, and I'm betting in about four days we'll have aggravated each other enough to be ready to go back to school, but that's all in love. Mostly.
Last time, we talked about motivation. I couldn't sleep the other night and was reading some quotes I've saved on my phone, and I came across one that got me thinking a little bit more.
You won't always be motivated; that's why it's called discipline.
I've read this in several places, so I'm not exactly sure where it came from originally, but I think I first heard it from my ex-assistant rodeo coach. She also handles our animal science program at Mesalands Community College, and she gave up her assistant coaching position to focus more fully on the animal science program, and on her own skills as a silversmith and team roper. She had to choose what she truly wanted to be dedicated to… which is so much easier said than done!
Dedication looks different for everybody. Lately, I realized I've worn myself out to the point that the only thing I feel dedicated to is sleeping through my alarm and giving in to a nap on the couch in the afternoon. Given that I'm at home and on break, I don't guess that's such a bad thing, but it's something I need to be careful of! Like I've mentioned before, everything in moderation, right? When the spring semester rolls around, I want (need!) to be refreshed and ready to get back at it, so I need to take the time to relax when it's appropriate. That's not always easy for me to do which makes it even more of a necessity. However, I also don't want to feel that I made a mistake in how long I allowed myself to be 'on break'. I know my classes start again on January 14, and I know my first college rodeo is on March 9, which I know means that I will try to get to an open rodeo or a jackpot rodeo as a 'trial run' of sorts before March 9 rolls around. My horses get time off during the late fall and winter months just like I do, but I can't ask them to be at the top of their game if they're not being exercised and prepared to compete, which means they and I both need to get back to showing some dedication!
The College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) is June 9-15, 2019, and at the moment, unless I have a really strong run of spring rodeos, I'll be sitting in Pennsylvania during that time for the fourth and last year in a row. This is my last opportunity to go. I know my horses are good enough to be there, and in the practice pen, so am I. Convincing my mind that I deserve to be there… Well, that's another issue.
The more I do to be prepared for the spring semester, though, the better my chances are of performing at my top level both in my rodeos and in my classes. If I think I deserve to finish at Mesalands with a 3.9 GPA (Grade Point Average, where the best score is 4.0), or deserve to compete at the CNFR, what am I doing to qualify myself for those opportunities? Am I acting with the dedication to qualify myself for what I'm craving?
Even when we act with complete dedication, we still make mistakes sometimes. We're all human! Sometimes we would've prepared differently if we had known about a certain factor, or would've started preparing sooner if only we'd realized we needed to be ready sooner. This is another one of those things that I'm pretty convinced you learn and re-learn throughout life. But mistakes happen, and you just have to adapt and overcome. Keep on keeping on!
If you've ever been to the beach and gotten in the ocean, what happens if you try to stay rock solid in the waves? You get knocked down. Now if you let the waves move you, and you just keep bouncing back, you keep your head over the water, right? Staying in motion, even if it's kind of slow and steady, is still forward motion. Some days, you might take three steps back. Do you learn from it? If so, in the long run, those three steps back were still a step forward.
This time of year, a mistake might be sleeping through your alarm on the first day you were determined to get up early. It might be eating those last two cookies that you didn't really want because you ate so many already, but they're so good, and we all know you gotta eat them before your siblings do! (Public Service Announcement… Sharing is caring. It's the holiday season.) Maybe your mistake is spending more time with friends than with family.
Just like dedication, mistakes look different for each of us also. On top of that (apologies if this might make your head hurt a little), but my mistake is going to look different to me than it does to you. Something that I view as the end of the world might not seem like such a big deal to you. For example, I was finishing up a set of spurs this fall and getting crunched for time before I left for Pennsylvania. I made a mistake and kind of got a little nervous (alright, I panicked) that I wasn't going to be able to fix it. I made a phone call and an early morning drive on a weekend to visit a mentor of mine, and with his help, it was actually a very minor fix. Hindsight is 20/20, but your view of someone else's mistakes – not so much. Learn from what and who you can, try not to make their mistakes, but don't be scared to make your own errors! That's how we learn. Or how I learn, anyway. Hopefully you learn quicker than I do!
Well, there are my last thoughts for you for this year. Just something to ponder over break, but I hope it doesn't make you think too hard while you relax, just hard enough that you're sharp when your spring semester starts up! Happy holidays to y'all!
Here are Rebecca's other posts, in case you missed them:
Best of luck in all your endeavors,
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