SUMMARY: Lifetime Gold and another blogger.Also, on doing less USDAA: I was hoping to finish Tika's Lifetime Achievement Award (LAA) Gold this year. We need 32 Qs. Last year we earned 85. So (in theory) I could do half the USDAA trials and still make it. Although--ahem--of course it would be nice to see whether we could actually make it to Platinum. That's Gold plus another 150 Qs. Two more FULL years like last year and then some. And she'd be over 12 by then. So we'd have to keep on with a full slate of USDAA.
Nothing like pressure.
Meanwhile, another blogger (Cedarfield, back east) just posted about her new agility life sans actual trials. I can see my life, if I were to stop trialing, roughly parallel hers. So it's great food for thought.
Her blog post is private but she kindly gave me permission to repost. So here it is.
My New Life
Feb. 15th, 2011 at 3:52 PM
Even though I'm still adjusting to this new non-trialing lifestyle, I can say that I'm definitely liking the slower pace and lack of pressure I feel. I no longer spend my Friday evenings dreading the thought of getting up in the cold pre-dawn to schlepp myself and all my stuff and my dogs out to some cold, damp, windy or otherwise inhospitable locale to spend the day feeling out of place among all the people who were happy to be there. And I'm loving that I can sit around on a weekend morning and just enjoy the company of my husband and dogs rather than always rushing off to be somewhere else. Why, last Sunday I actually spent a couple of hours reading a book. I can't remember the last time I did that unless I was on vacation.
And I'm still doing agility. I take a class once a week that I thoroughly enjoy despite having to drive 90 minutes each way after working all day and knowing I'll have to get up early the next morning. I'm teaching a couple of times a week and training my dogs when I have time and I feel like it. I'm still just as interested in agility as I was before but I've added a couple of new training interests and signed up for a Nosework camp next Fall. I'm also still working on getting started in a new activity that I don't want to talk about until it actually happens. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time but never had the time or resources to do because--hello!--agility trials ate up everything I had. I'm even taking a basic drawing class one night a week just because I've always wanted to learn how to draw and now I have the itme.
I definitely do miss being part of the agility community and seeing people and dogs that I've known for years. And even though I'm still doing agility with my dogs and teaching agilty classes, I don't see most of the people I've spent so much of my life with over the past 15 years. I feel a little like I'm standing on the side of the road watching busloads of people going past. They're all going to the same party but I got off the bus and now I'm feeling a little lonely and forlorn standing there by myself. It's what I knew would happen if I stopped going to trials. I've spent so much time trialing that I neglected to become a part of other communities. But despite feeling lonely sometimes, I know I'll find new things to do and new friends. I'll develop new goals and new interests and probably by next year at this time, I will have forgotten how I feel now.
I have actually entered a couple of local AKC trials for one day only. I want to get Zodi out there just to see what happens. I wonder if it will be fun or if I'll regret entering. If I find I'm feeling those old (negative) feelings again, I can just stop entering. There are also a couple of CPE trials that allow day of trial entry so I might do those, too. The people who go to local CPE trials are not the same people who go to the local USDAA and AKC trials so I'm wondering how that will change the experience. I don't usually enjoy going places where I don't know anyone but I'll give it a try and see what happens.
And the weather for the last month has been dry and sunny which will soon give way to perfect camping weather. This will be the first Spring in quite awhile that I'll have the time to do more than one quick trip. Another big thing on the horizon is the yard sale I've been wanting to do for oh, about 120 years. I think I've finally convinced my husband that it's time we parted with some of the accumulation of almost 41 years together. Every time a relative died and left anything behind, we somehow ended up with it. Both of us are so sentimental that we find it hard to part with anything but I have a good--no, a GREAT goal of what to do with the money. It's been almost 14 years since we've been overseas and this is the year I want to go.
We have friends who own a little house in the Greek islands that we plan to sponge off of for at least a week and then take a drive down the length of the Peloponnesus to see the Mycenean ruins. And I really want to see Paris and visit the Louvre and maybe take a quick trip to Cornwall. So, I'm clearing out the barn and the closets and having a huge blowout yard sale. It might not be enough for the whole trip but it will sure go a long ways toward the plane tickets.
I actually already started cleaning out the garage this weekend when I threw away almost all of my agility ribbons and notebook upon notebook of seminar notes, class notes, camp notes and notebooks. I don't know why I saved it all, it just seemed like anything I put that much time and effort into, I should have something to show for it. Unfortunately, I don't. It almost seems as if I'm waking up after a long sleep. What was I doing all those years? Yes, I had fun and stayed busy but what was it all for? It's not like I became a champion or anything close to it. I never became famous and gave seminars all over the country (although I did make an appreciable contribution to other presenters annual income). It was a pretty sobering exercise but it felt good to clear out all those old boxes and see the clean space underneath.