Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trying to De-Stress

I was really, really grumpy this morning. How honest is that? Aside from various stressors on the home front, I'm also re-employed part time, which takes about 10-20 hours a week. I also work for my grandma on hospice care about 10-15 hours a week. Toss in the 15-20 hours a week I'm working at the barn, and combine it all with trying to take care of a house and husband, while getting into shape, and you have one very cranky Aimee.

I'm trying not to be, but at this point, I can't really "quit" any thing. My grandma is obviously my priority, since my time left with her is very limited. I really do enjoy my job and I really do need the income, especially with a lame pony, so I can't cut back there. Besides, it's a small company of awesome people and I like it.

At this point, it's the barn that driving me nuts, mostly because I just don't have the time to give to it that I usually would. It's one thing if I end up working there from 7.30am to noon every day and then have time off to go home and get stuff done. It's another thing entirely when I'm doing that, but then have to be either at work or with my grandma by 12.30. Since it's about a half hour to commute either way, I am left with precisely no time for Izzy or Cassie.

For example, this morning I got a call from the barn owner that she had something come up and wouldn't be able to make it, so she needed me to feed as well as clean. Oh, and I wouldn't be having a lesson. I guess that's what frustrates me. I'm working a lot of hours at the barn and in return, I'm not getting lessons and I don't even currently have a horse there... since I get paid by trading for board and lessons, it's irritating. Still, I think most of the stress is just from me being super busy right now.

And the pony mare being lame.

And the saddle quandary.

I made an offer on the trial saddle, since the owner wanted more than I want to pay. That was Monday. It's Wednesday afternoon and I haven't heard a peep. I know, I know, it's summer time, they could be on vacation, they could be thinking it through, but I need to have this figured out quickly, in case Izzy's sound for the show. That means if they won't take my offer, I need to buy something else NOW and have it express-shipped here.

So. I am trying to reduce my stress levels to make my life simpler. Thus, I have decided that even if they don't take my offer, I guess I'll just suck it up and pay the extra money. That means I can just treat the saddle in my car as mine and not worry about it.

I'm not focusing on the things at home that are bugging me (like the unwashed dishes). I'm not spending time and energy worrying about whether or not my husband will be equally stressed when he gets home tonight, so I can just deal with the situation when I get home. (And hopefully, we'll both be fine.)

I'm not sure what to do to reduce barn stress. Since we moved (we=the whole barn), the barn owner is working a lot to make money that she couldn't during the move. That means there are more horses to feed, clean up after, tack up, and ride. There are construction projects that aren't getting finished. She's gone more than ever riding other horses as well. I understand where she's coming from and that it's a difficult part of life, BUT...

I'm at odds with myself over what to do. Part of me says it isn't my problem and I should just look for a place to move as soon as I'm financially able to do so. The other part says that I've stuck with her this far and I really do like her, as well as the availability of clinics and shows and the other boarders (who are pretty low-stress). I don't know. I could offer to work even more to help get stuff done, but I don't think I have the necessary skills and I know I don't have the time.

The highlights of today:
-getting to see my lovely pony. The advantage to her lame-ness is that I'm spending quality time with her on the ground and really appreciating her personality. She's pretty awesome. She's also loving my friend's house and the corresponding large, green pasture. (This is another reason why I'd like to move her to a new barn that actually has pastures put in, not just land that's waiting to be built on.)

-My boss got me a huge chocolate bar. Yay! Nothing like free, unexpected chocolate on a depressed day to make things a little better.

-Also, I got paid (yay!) which helps offset any unexpected costs that are bound to come up. Oh, the safety net of employment. I did miss you.


  1. I can totally empathize! I have a very high-stress job (in publishing) and sometimes I work really crazy hours. Add to that the fact that I didn't ride (or have ANY barn time) for four months, and I have been completely frazzled. My solution is to stuff myself with Drumstick ice cream cones, but that's certainly not the healthiest solution!
    Good luck with everything :-)

  2. I understand completely. Your loyalty to your original barn owner/trainer is laudable, but if you are not getting anything and still fulfilling your part of the deal, it may be time to sit down and have a heart to heart.

    I am so happy to hear that Izzy is thriving in her new situation. Turnout is so important to a horse's well being. Just hope she comes sound soon so you can do some riding...if you ever have time. *sigh*

    Give your grandmother a hug from me.

  3. Oh heck, I hope that you won't think that I am a cross old meanie. My mother's time on Earth is limited too, so I can fully understand that. After reading your blog for a while, I feel an empathy and strong admiration for you.

    Quit worrying about the saddle for a while. You don't need it right now. If you can get it for the price that you want to pay, good. If not, let it go back and buy another saddle when the time is better. Don't worry about shows for your horse for now. She is having a lovely holiday and you have your grandmother to consider. Tell the barn owner that you are really sorry but you really need to spend less time there. If she is angry or less than understanding, then it might be time to reconsider your arrangement with her. If you give her some time to find someone to take over some of the things that you do, you have done the right thing by her and will have no need to feel guilty. Spend time with your grandmother. Be kind to yourself.

  4. Prioritize - you're not doing a bad job of that. Spend your time where it needs to be - you're doing pretty good with that too. There are just too few hours in the day right now. Give yourself a pat on the back for all the hard work you're doing under somewhat stressful circumstances - things will get better (or not, in which case you change them).

  5. Chin Up Sprinks. I FEEL your pain. Being over extended sucks, especially when you have responsibilities which you cannot reduce. You HAVE to be over extended to survive and the things you love most (horse, husband, your couch?) suffer the most from your lack of attention. In the words of my mother "this too shall pass", stick it out while trying to alleviate some of the stress and look for opportunities to move on/out of your current situation. I'll scoot over, bc it sounds like we are in the same boat! At least I know I am going through it with someone else!

  6. I hear ya. My grandmother is also in pony is also lame (again). It's not getting any easier. Pop over if you want to talk...sounds like we're two peas in a pod at the moment ;)

  7. Looking at it all as "chores" and "have to" will kill you. Trust me. If nothing else it ups your anxiety and exhaustion levels and you will get sick. Been there a few too many times before finally figuring it out.

    Relax, breath and find a different approach. Look at it all from a different point of view. Don't let it kill you, because it will.

    Look at barn time as relaxing. You enjoy being around the horses. You enjoy being with grandma and you enjoy being at work because it allows you to slip into a different frame of mind. I come to work to relax...

    It takes a little bit of doing but you will get there. Find peace within yourself and pride in all that you do. You are getting a lot done and can be a strong force to reckon with. With the right attitude, nothing is going to get you down or stand in your way.


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