Photo: Justin Key
I use all my skills that I can muster up, but the fun thing is that I find some untapped skills every once in a while. I get that from my daddy.
The upside to anger? Getting it out of your system. You got to express your anger. Then you have room for more positive things. If I hold something in a long time, and then I speak it, it's amazing how the light shines so much brighter.
I have good gut instincts on friends. Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn—those were my heroes growing up. They are still my heroes, and now they're my friends. I have adored them for 30, 40 years. And I've got friends from high school, junior high, first grade, college, band members that I hadn't seen in years that I can still email, and it just picks up like you were talking yesterday. That's pretty special.
The thing I'm most afraid of is not being broad-minded. I want to be able to sit there and say, "Oh, really, well, why? What's your point of view?" To be open enough to say, "My view might not be all there is to it. I may have a chance to learn something."
When you're a very ambitious person, the things that are disappointing are when other people around you aren't as enthusiastic. And you're like, "What do you mean you don't think I can do this?" But I was fortunate: There were very few of those people in my life. My parents were very supportive. The only thing Daddy wasn't supportive of was when I wanted to run barrels in the rodeo. But Mama understood that we needed to go have fun running barrels rodeoing.
I wasn't that good at running barrels in the rodeo, I promise you, but I loved it. I was better at the practice pen than I was in the arena. When the crowd became involved—it wasn't good.
Waiting makes me restless. When I'm ready, I'm ready.
The hardest part about forgiving people is deciding to forgive them. But I ask for forgiveness all the time, and that's not right if I can't forgive people, so I made a pact with myself. I said, "I am sick and tired of being mad at people who probably don't even remember who I am, or why I'm mad at them." So I'm going to say, seven times, "I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you." And I'll do it every day. About the second or third day, I couldn't even remember what I was forgiving them for.
The older you get, you learn how to deal with things that you can't control. I don't mean world peace and hunger. I'm talking about when you know people that are close to you are hurting and you can't fix it. That stresses me. But all I can do is turn it over to the Lord. Because what made me think I could fix it in the first place?
The songs that I sing help me tremendously. It happened that way in March of 1991 when the plane crashed with my band members and friends and my tour manager and two pilots. It's not a relief from grief, but I could sing about it. I've expressed my grief, and others can feel it and help me with it.
Answers appear. They come as a phone call: "We've got this movie we want you to do." "We've got you a job here." Doors open up. My husband's a firm believer that we will be guided the way that we're supposed to be guided. When opportunities happen, we know that they were presented for us, and if we don't take it, it will go to somebody else who probably will want it more.
Parenting is a never-ending job. My son just turned 21, but when the waiter comes over, and he mumbles, "I want the cheeseburger," I'm like, "Next time you speak up, you look him in the eye and you smile. He's been on his feet for eight hours, and you're sitting down here, and he's waiting on you." I tell him, "Shelby, no, you don't do it like that, you do it like this." Parenting is not wait till you get home; it's take care of the problem here.
Without a doubt, I'm loved. By family and friends, by the Lord and by my fans.