Monday, March 17, 2014


Hope everyone is well!  Winter is almost over...really.... it is!!  

There have been moments over the last six weeks where I felt like I was in some sort of vortex.  Stress was a normal state for me.  Here's a snapshot:
  • Work life since January 2014:  membership renewals, closing year-end, office reno and move of department to new space, setting up invoicing for new European office (damn you, VAT!), yearly audit one month earlier than usual, Board meeting, workplace harassment.
  • Personal life since January 2014:  A house that My Husband and I really liked came back on the market so we listed ours on Feb 1st and had 5 showings the two weeks, my mother's caregiver quit three days before I went on holiday mid-February, Lady's caregiver had to transfer Lady to the actual rescue group's farm because she couldn't feed Lady as often as she needed to keep weight on over this cold winter, my mother became very cranky that my youngest sister and I were going away for two weeks (we manage her care), came back from holiday to find that my other sister has convinced my mother that she should be taking care of her and her finances.....what???
There were times when I really thought the top of my head was going to blow off. didn't.  :-)   In fact, as much as there was a lot of stress, there was also awesomeness.

I haven't been on a real holiday since 1997, when My Husband and I did a wonderful tour of Scotland.  Other holidays over the years have been a week here, a week there.  I sort of got used to that routine and when my youngest sister asked me to go on a two-week holiday with her, I was a bit hesitant.  Two weeks?!  Then I gave my head a shake.  :-)  We had a fantastic time cruising around the Caribbean!  She snorkeled and swam with sea turtles, we went to an amazing butterfly farm, we got kissed by dolphins and we rode on a beach.  We ate and drank ourselves silly.  It was exactly what the doctor ordered for both of us.

I'm not that round!'s the wind!!
The riding on the beach was a highlight for me.  It was very windy and the ocean was very rough that particular day, so for safety sake we did not wade out into the water.  Nobody wanted to get caught in an undertow!   The horses were clean,  healthy and happy.  Our saddles were interesting; the guides called them military saddles, sort of an English saddle that had a roll bar on the front that you could grab on to if necessary.   They were very comfortable and light.

My riding at home has been sporadic over the last few weeks, mostly due to weather.  If we weren't experiencing a blizzard, then the temperatures were very low.   Arena riding has been crowded and the stir-crazy horses let their grumpiness show through when being ridden.  Lots of bucking, running and general bad attitude.  Who could blame them?  When a horse (or human) is used to having a work out 4 or 5 times a week and then down to once a week or not at all, of course there is going to be some grumpiness!   Fortunately for me, Gem is quite happy with the routine of only being ridden once or twice a week.  :-)  When I was able to ride, Gem was attentive and responsive and our rides were good.

We actually had a fantastic trail ride the day before I left on holiday. The weather was perfect; -5C, no wind, sunny.  The snow was pristine, very deep and we had to break the trails.  Gem was almost up to his chest in places, but he never wavered.  DH's Mom's feet and stirrups were actually touching the snow in places as we plowed through.  :-)  It wasn't a long ride because it's very tiring for the horses, but it was a great memory to take with me on holiday.  

I have been able to ride three times since I got back the beginning of March.  I feel pretty good.  The sun and warmth of my holiday has rejuvenated me and Gem has kept me centered since I returned. I could have let my sister's actions with my mother while I was away really get to me and take away all the good that my holiday did...but I let it go.  I guess feeling like my life spinning out of control occasionally can be a positive thing because it makes me appreciate the good stuff and savour when things settle down.  This weekend, Gem and I are participating in another Western Dressage clinic.  Should be fun.   Oh, and our house sold and we bought the house we wanted all in the first week of my holiday!  Yay!  Looking forward to a slower pace, warmer weather and sipping a cold beverage by my new pool.  :-)

Have a good week, everyone!!