I've not quite rolled over on my belly with my tail between my legs, but almost. How does everybody get their life done? I have been holding down a "real" job for four months now and it's killing me. Don't get me wrong, my new boss is eternally understanding. She expects me in around "ninish" and hasn't pointed out yet that I get to work way closer to the "ish" than the nine.
But I have operated on my own schedule for the past 15 years or so. I have to admit most who know me would say I have always done so.
I also have spent years working extraordinarily long hours. My routine for years had been to drive the hour long trip to the barn and clean and water my stalls and pens before I began to ride. I averaged six head a day, often went up to ten, sometimes slid down to four. I always had a lesson or two to give during the day. I rarely headed home before dark.
Most horse shows involved getting up at three a.m. to hit the show pens, be it in Denver or Texas it always seemed to involve me getting up at three and going to bed at the same time the next day.
Now I work 30 to 35 hours a week. I sit at a desk. I'm allowed to daydream, cruise the 'net and take breaks. It's called research in my new life. I have enough energy at the end of the day, or early in the morning, to take my dogs for a run, read the comics, cook dinner for my family. Things I'd given up on ever having the time for again.
So what's my problem?
When I was a horse trainer my time was still my own. I could go to the doctor, stop at the store, grab lunch with friends on a cold day.
Suddenly I'm never getting to the bank in time to deposit the check I really needed to deposit. My library books are waaaaay overdue. We're picking over the dried stuff in the back of the fridge before I go to the grocery store.
And what about my horses? I never see them! When do people with jobs ride? It's crazy, dark and cold early in the morning and it's dark when I get off work. I don't have an indoor arena anymore, or a nasty boss to force me to ride in sub-zero weather. My horses are fat, hairy and wild little billy goats. They love it, I hate it.
When I took my new job I truly had a little fantasy of how things would be.
How hard can 35 hours be? I thought.
I'll just knock out my job, ride my in town horses after work and my pasture horses on the weekend. It will be like a vacation. I told myself.
In all my copious spare time I'll bond with my daughter, start pursuing getting some stories published and get up early to start writing that book.
Maybe I'll start baking bread.
Oh my God!!!
What was I thinking?
When you have a job your employers actually expect you to be there! Even when you're all caught up, you still have to be there! Doing other stuff!
Also writing for a newspaper is really hard. I have to think. It's killing me.
I have five horses. I honestly thought that it would be no big deal to keep up with them all. It's only five. Of course now I have five wild little mustangs to rebreak so I guess in a way it's easier than before. I'm afraid to crawl up on them.
So how do you guys balance it all?
If you don't, how do you live with the guilt?
How in the world do you get a book written?
How do you get your horses ridden?