On January 2nd, Mulography will be 2-years-old. This time last year the blog had been silent for nearly two months; quite simply, because I was too miserable to write anything. Things with Marty were not going well and, after being repeatedly disappointed, I had just about run out of hope. I found myself caught between feeling dread at the thought of having to work with him, and guilt at not doing so.
In February I posted about my plan to fix things. That was unusually proactive of me and was one of the best things I could have done! Getting physical problems ruled out meant that he could go off for training with Anna Bonnage, and the skills he and I learnt from her made the last five months of 2016 the best we’ve ever had. He is a very different mule from the one he was 365 days ago.
Improving things with Marty has also improved Mulography. I started sharing Mule Tales in March, which proved to be a very popular move, and have managed to stick to a self-imposed schedule of three posts a week: one Mule Tale, one personal update, and one anything-goes. With the arrival of Xato it has switched to two personal updates because I have so much I want to talk about!
This blog has given me so many things – Xato being the most notable of all. Owning two mules wasn’t really part of my plan, but we’re managing so far. I am ridiculously happy to be entering a new year alongside a mule with whom I might actually be able to achieve something. The more time I spend with him, the more able I am to see all the great things people have been telling me about mules. I got glimpses of it with Marty, but it was never quite tangible; it was always just beyond my reach.
Running Mulography has helped me in my new role as the editor for the British Mule Society‘s journal, and – fingers crossed – will have also given me a big opportunity which I will talk about at a later date if all goes to plan!
It has also given me the skill of critical thinking. Although this has never been a training blog, I like to talk about the things we do and try to explain the reasoning behind them as well as I can.
If someone disagrees with a statement I make, can I defend it? If I can’t defend it, why am I doing it in the first place? This has given me an added awareness to everything I do with Marty and Xato. I find myself asking: if I had to explain this to someone, would I be satisfied with the answer? Sometimes I’m not! I then have to consider why the argument is poor, and either find a better explanation or use a better technique.
What I’m trying to say, amongst all this blah-blah, is that there is always a benefit to writing about things you care about. Writing will help you to think things through and sharing your experience can help you find and become part of a community. You don’t have to be the best at what you’re doing or have all of the answers; if you care about it, and are honest about it, that will come through. It might even help to open doors that you didn’t know were there.