Loyal readers will be familiar with the many references I make to living on a farm. My husband and I both work full time in addition to operating a fully functioning farm. We own 160 acres (small potatoes in this area) and farm hay and grain. While Sierra is currently boarded at the local indoor, we still have horses at home as well as chickens, cats (barn & house) and dogs in addition to goals of development for our fixer-upper farm. Throw in a lovely time change, a twinge of seasonal sads, personal issues and I suddenly find myself somersaulting in slow motion down the rabbit hole destined to land head-first on the struggle bus.
My life, like many, isn't easy. Our farm is a lot of work, and I am tired. I get more rest on the week days than I do on the weekends because weekends mean I can spend a solid 8-18 hrs working on the farm. In addition, everything during the week seems harder as the temperatures plummet, the fluffy white stuff blankets the ground, and it's dark by 4:00 PM. Our only source of heat in our home is wood, so lately our time has been consumed by getting firewood. Luckily the beautiful trails on our property are littered with deadfall so we often take the quad and it's corresponding wagon and get a load, but we cut, split, stack, etc by hand and it's time consuming to say the least. Naturally, this sense of overwhelming difficulty leads to the notion that "somethings got to give" and it's always hobbies that are the casualties. Many of you will likely remember that I ride a very fine line of balls-to-the-wall-dedicated and motivation-of-a-content-sloth when it comes to riding, but on top of that I also have a horrendous guilt complex that aids the spiral of defeat. If you asked me a month ago how my mental state and balance was, I would have told you I was killin' it with riding 5-6x a week and life on the farm, but that was when it was light until 7 PM, the soil was warm and pliable, and I didn't have an injured horse at home needing doctoring or a weaned baby needing her lessons. I wasn't feeling the crunch of winter and the seasonal curtains drawing shut by the minute.
I've concluded that when the weather changes, so does my motivation with riding; coupled with a severe guilt complex that leads me to feel like quitting vs. persevering, I find myself struggling to find the balance in my life once again. In the past, I combated this feeling by pushing myself and forcing myself to do the things I didn't feel like doing, and it wound up completely burning me out and sending the spiral even deeper than I ever fathomed. Instead, while I still have to battle the negative, guilt-ridden thoughts that streak through my brain, I am putting my mental health on the priority list and choosing to be kind to myself. I have concluded that with my to-do list at home, it's no longer reasonable to ride 5-6x a week. I've also concluded that I need to remain grounded and remember that I ride because I love to ride, not because I need to prove or accomplish anything. Seriously. Nothing. It's winter time, and instead of telling myself I am going to school hard and set lustrous goals for 2020, I am just going to school and enjoy it.
What fires me up seems to be seasonal. Right now, I revel in the idea of laughing off a spook or a 15 min trot-around before feeding copious amounts of cookies and heading home. In the spring time, I am appalled at these intentions and instead, the notion of competing gets me out of bed in the morning. The important lesson I've learned in these realizations, is that neither of these goals are wrong for me. You may have noticed my monthly goals stopped some time ago; but my goal for the remainder of the year is to be kind to myself and enjoy the journey and find the balance in life.
** I apologize if this is a little dry, but first and foremost I blog for myself; a journal of sorts. I know I will need to refer back to this post for years to come.
|Note To Self: Make more time for moments like this|