Since having a family, my goals have been more modest, more training oriented and I've not been in such a hurry to go up the grades. Riding again after kids has been an opportunity to get all of my basics more solid (and have to re-learn a lot of what I had previously been taught). Despite, or perhaps because of this - my results have been better! I'm more relaxed about competition in general too, knowing that no matter how things go, as long as I come home safe to cuddle my kids, it's been a good day.
Tim Minchin in one of his speeches advocates "passionate pursuit of short term goals." He maintains "you should be careful of long term dreams...if you focus too far in front of you, you won't see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye"
His whole speech about the lessons of life can be seen here. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you watch it...
He is so right about "that shiny thing" - for me, backing off on my sole focus of eventing has meant I've got to achieve some quite different things. Having children. Bringing on a young horse. Going to Portugal, travelling alone, experiencing the thrill of riding piaffe & passage. Developing my coaching skills. All things I'd have missed if I had my blinkers still firmly on.
This year, I am aiming for Melbourne again. We might get there, we might not, but for me this time it's the journey along the way that's most important. To get there again (or even to consider it) after five years and two children is huge in itself.
Time and wisdom now means I put my sport in perspective - I do this for fun. I don't want to miss out on any other 'shiny objects' or opportunities to experience things that I might enjoy just as much (gasp!) as galloping cross country.