For those who were with me this time last year, this is about the time my life got very hectic and I dropped off from writing for a while. As a first time homeowner and having the horses at home for the first time a lot was happening. This year our never-ending ever-growing “TO-DO” list is just as packed. It’s a great thing to be busy but keeping all the balls in the air without dropping anything is no easy feat.
This year I have been making a solid effort to keep The Green Horseman on a schedule. I want you to have something to look forward to here and I’m always looking for ways to improve. As a reader and follower here you can look forward to #WordlessWednesday, which began in April, as well as my weekly blog post every Thursday. The first Thursday of each month Blade takes over with The Blade Chronicles.
Speaking of Blade, is he doing a good job giving his perspective?
On the Facebook page, I take it one step further by sharing an entertaining video I found every Monday, #TakeTheReinsTuesday, which I feature a post from another website that I found interesting. Finally, on Fridays the Facebook page also posts #FarmFriendsFridays which are just a few photos I enjoy sharing with you from my life.
Taking a moment from the hustle and bustle to write and share with you is something I truly enjoy. I especially love it when I manage to write something that inspires, you, my readers, to reach out and join the conversation. The first few months have been a bit heavy in the research-based posts and not-so-much with my real life. Today I want to give you a snapshot of what’s going on at The Green Horseman house.
As you already know we have become a large family consisting of 1 dog, 2 cats, 3 horses, and 6 chickens. This is our first year having chickens and we spend a few weeks this spring designing and building our coop. The girls will begin to lay eggs within the next two weeks.
The horses have been wonderful but my paddocks simply won’t grow nice and lush like I would prefer. The lower areas are very muddy. I am currently in the process of working with someone to establish a nice dry barnyard measuring 50ft x 50ft. The guy will be removing the topsoil, laying fabric, and covering with stone. This will allow me the ease of getting to the tack room without mud boots and it will allow the horses to have a dry area to stay during our recent monsoon-like weather.
We are very fortunate to have a hill the horses can live on to stay dry as well.
The horses keep me busy but I also need to make money somehow. I work for a semiconductor company that manufactures microchips. For the last 2.5 years I have worked overnight shifts (6pm-6am) and it has taken a toll on my health. My commute to work is approximately an hour each way, which gives me less than ten hours to feed all of our animals and wind down enough to try getting enough sleep for the next day. Sleep has never come easy for me and it’s even worse when trying to sleep during the day. Blackout curtains, eye masks, droning white noise, lavender, and melatonin don’t always work.
Doing the math I cannot afford the switch to days until I have moved myself up to a new role. Since January I have been working extra hard to learn several new roles and show my company that I am worth the promotion I’ve been after. I have taken on leadership opportunities, cross-trained, and worked on extra side-goals in order to improve myself. Next week I will begin working day shift for two weeks as I train to learn yet another role. This will be my opportunity not only to learn and grown but also to get my face in front of the decision makers who work normal hours. I have been looking forward to this for weeks now.
On my days off I also keep very busy. I took the winter off from riding lessons. It was a decision I needed to make for several reasons. One being that I hate riding in the winter and I don’t have a reliable winter vehicle. Another was a financial decision. I also had become lost by autumn; I felt I had no goals, wasn’t improving, and needed space to clear my head and try something new. I love my trainer, but lessons had become a chore and I often felt obligated to go but had no drive, no flame. I was emotionally and physically spent.
I got a gym membership and spent the winter working on myself. I found a love for spin classes and attended as many fitness classes as I could. As a former trainer myself I thrive in the social environment of fitness classes. Even if I don’t talk to anyone I absorb the energy of others and give 110% to my workouts.
I don’t think I’ve lost weight but I feel less depressed and I feel that flame again. The spark of joy for what I do.
I began riding lessons again last month and was happy to find that my fitness regimen put me in a great place to pick up where I left off last fall. I was able to return and get right back into jumping.
Since we built the coop this spring I have also been gaining some confidence around the power tools at home. I have been teaching myself how to make things. The first project I had was to build jump standards, which I exchanged for riding lessons with my trainer. I have already made four sets now!
I also have made two trail bridges, one for my home and the other for my trainer. The goal is to have the horses walk across the bridge, which is trickier than it may seem until the horses become used to it.
I also found some old landscape timbers that were left in a large dump pile on our property. Six of the timbers were in decent shape so I pulled them out, cleaned them up, and gave them a facelift. I now have usable visually appealing trot poles!
Finally, we addressed our pool situation. We opened our pool this year and are looking forward to using it. The issue, however, is the accessibility to the pool. Last year I posted about giving the pool deck a nice new coat of stain (Overdue Update Part 6).
When we finally had our family and friends visit we realized we had a problem. The children were quick to get away and find their way up onto the deck. Since we aren’t yet parents of little humans we had never thought of this before. This year I mitigated the problem and went about making our own gate. It’s no ordinary gate either. I examined our existed deck and did my best to copy what the previous designer had done. In no time I designed the gate, bought the materials, made the cuts and stained the wood. When the wood was dry I assembled everything. This took me only an afternoon and I was able to hang the gate the next day. I’m thrilled with the outcome!
I also redid our deck flower boxes!
…and of course, with all the successes come our OOPSIES.
When carrying the paint outside a pint of yellow slipped from my control. It fell at just the right angle to open and splatter all over the house, door, door screen, and the steps.
I guess we can’t always win right?
At least we had a good laugh about it.
All in all I have a good life. I am doing my best to get myself out of the night shift situation. I am doing well pulling myself out of chronic depression. I am feeling fitter, happier, and more joyful overall. I always find that I am super busy with a “To-Do” list a mile long but it keeps me going.
Are there a few things I’d like to change? Yes. There always are. At least for right now I am in a good headspace to move forward. I can’t always say that so it is a big step in the right direction for sure.
How is your 2019 treating you so far now that we are halfway through?