Balance

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Disclaimer: This isn’t BadEventer’s normal self deprecating hilarity. I promise to return to that in my next blog. But as my audience is usually appreciative of my willingness to share the bad with the good this is just part of “what happened.” I appreciate your understanding with this brief detour from my normal level of comedy. – BadEventer

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balĀ·ance

  • an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
  • a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
  •  keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.
  • offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another.

Balance is a concept I’ve been struggling with lately.

When I ran off to Florida to become the World’s Oldest Working Student

I had hopes & dreams of advancing my riding, moving up the levels and having a grand adventure.

All of that has happened.

I quickly found myself with a barn overfull of TOP horses, the best riding skills of my life, the best fitness of my life, and more horse adventures than I can count…..

It – was – all – happening.

I had planned for this adventure to last around a year.

That was when the money would run out after all.

Horse sports and especially FEI level competing is just plain expensive.

But before that year was up my father got sick. And the next thing I knew I was towing my father and his car to Florida. Moving Dad to Florida and becoming his caretaker rocked my world more than I can explain. It also put me “more permanently” in Florida than I had ever planned or envisioned.

Next I found myself in an insomniac cycle of work, riding, caretaking and massive sleep deprivation.

This isn’t a complaint, this was just my reality that I got myself immediately & unexpectedly swept into. I was working 6 days per week. I was spending 30 hours per week in caretaker capacities for my father. I was riding 30 hours per week, gotta keep those horses going!

While spending 120 hours a week for work, riding & caretaking that left around 48 hours a week to squeeze in sleep, groceries, and everything else in life.

I was averaging 4 hours of sleep per night……

For about a year……

My realization that this was unsustainable became more apparent every day.

And I started looking for options.

Sell some horses? That seemed like a good choice. Less to ride, less to pay for. Unfortunately selling horses is something that just doesn’t seem to happen in my life.

And boy has the effort to sell a horse or two been a fail…. more on that in a later blog.

Ride less?

If I’m riding less what do I do with the horses not being ridden? I downsized to a whopping 3 acre farm, it’s not like I have “a pasture” somewhere to turn them out in………

Get a closer job to decrease my commute time?

Definitely an option, but changing jobs and finding one where you still have daylight to ride horses is not a quick or easy thing……..

After all, if I can’t ride, there is no point in having the job. I still have my priorities.

Finding some balance was going to be tough and I was hanging in there with all I could………

while trying to find some resolution……

I was blasting full speed ahead, sleep deprived and emotionally exhausted when my father passed on August 12th.

To say we were close is a titanic understatement.

His death was a body blow I just wasn’t prepared for.

When we loaded the trailer for the show on September 1st, I hadn’t had more than 5 hours sleep in a night in a few months. I was still in the not-quite-awake-not-quite-asleep shock state of my father’s death.

I was tired.

Physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

As we loaded for the show I remember thinking, “I’m so tired…………. if I get hurt at least I’ll get some sleep.”

I really did “put that out to the universe”

and this was the outcome.

 

Well.

At least I finally got some sleep.

 

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