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February 17, 2018: Deferred Maintenance

I recently told my friend Dan LeMay that I don’t clean up the horse poop when it’s snowing hard. This is because I’d waste time digging for the crap – far better to wait until it stops snowing and then get the stuff on top and as the snow melts, go for what has fallen previously. “This,” I said “Is nature’s way of giving me a break.” Dan’s response to this line of thinking is that I am then practicing deferred maintenance – the task is there, it is going to have to be dealt with, I’m just putting it off.

Now I am well aware of this, but I am also adept at taking advantage of break time. Let it snow, I say. Ahh, but always, I do pay the price, which takes the form of

Pete fixing agility curtain

more work than usual. That’s the deferred part. This isn’t as bad in December or January as it is in February because by then (which is now) I am burned out on winter clean-up. In fact, in the past few days I have not at all been in good spirits about this. I’ve found myself getting impatient, and in fact surly.

I have found two ways of dealing. The first – I have been considering writing a book called “Deep Shit.” It would be along the lines of a book by Diane Ackerman called “Deep Play,” which is about going into the zone when you play or engage in an intense physical activity (and by the way, Ackerman herself comes across as a wimp in this book – the best she can come up with in this regard is her thoughts in relation to a recreational bicycle ride. Give me a break.)

“Deep Shit” would be a book about the meditational aspects of cleaning up manure – each month, a different season, and with differing seasons, differing insights. February will be about deferred maintenance and snow and impatience. My thinking about this project has kept me from throwing down my rake and shovel and leaving and never coming back.

The second way in which I have dealt with this is by literally focusing on the horses and telling them how much I love them. They truly are great animals – they have incredible dispositions and very patient with impatient me. And it makes me feel good when I am done cleaning up after them, to see their space, much like a white page, with no poop anywhere. Horses don’t show their appreciation, most likely in this respect they are like cats. But they are appreciative. If I did not clean up they would most likely be dejected and lethargic.

It does interest me, how I can have so much to do, and be so overwhelmed, and yet, I do manage to get the pen cleaned at least twice and on an average three times a day. If I could not do this, I would part company with the horses – and they would go to a home where someone else thought similarly.

I did come close to parting with them this week. But that’s another story, for another time.

Next: 49. 2/18/18: Granted

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