Yeesh, I had thought that 2010 had been a tough one — I remember saying to a friend, somewhere around October of that year, ‘I cannot wait to see the back of 2010.’

And now we’re all rolling our eyes at one another, shaking our heads and hoping for better in 2012… which is exactly correct.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between ‘right’ and ‘correct’, as in the difference between doing something right or doing it correctly. I’m working on what I call my ‘horsey/divorcey’ book, a series of essays about different aspects of horseriding that tie in with my personal story as a post-divorce middle-aged lady who started riding horses late in life, and one of the things that seemed to come out of nowhere was the idea that there is a difference between two things that seem to mean the same thing.

Right v wrong seems so, well, black and white, whereas if you do something incorrectly, you can correct yourself, and then do it… correctly. The former seems freighted with lots of emotional rubbish, and the latter seems gentler, somehow. Like there are shades of grey between correct and incorrect, and that correction may be as simple as lowering your hands, or sitting one half inch further back in the saddle.

When consulting the Funk & Wagnalls, there are two definitions of ‘correct’ that pertain to adjusting, and I think I’m responding to that spirit of the word. I can make an adjustment, but I think it’s harder for me to swing from the being perceived to be wrong all the way over to right. Wrong according to whom? Who’s ‘rightness’ are we defining to be the hallmark?

Is it right or wrong, correct to incorrect to malign an entire year? To blame a period of time for all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? To invest so much emotional energy into an artificial designation for the cumulative movement of the earth around the sun? I mean, what would a horse do?

Animals pretty much live in the now, and I think that’s the correct approach to take. Sure, there’s been plenty to moan about in 2011, particularly the fact that lacks of funds meant that I have been riding only twice a week for much of the year. My own eye-rolling and head-shaking is all well and good, but I’m going to think like a horse and just keep my head in the day.

^Without freaking out at the next crisp packet that blows across my path, of course. WINK.

Thanks to Haynet for featuring flyingchanges as blog of the day!

Advertisements