August 18, 2012

Juggling it All

A few days ago, Kelly asked in the comments where I find time to work out, keep Connor, work a full-time job, and be a "newlywed" (almost two years now!).  A tragedy that occurred this week made me want to write out a response to that.

The answer is that I can't do it all every day, so I have to strike a balance and that means not doing it all as often as I'd like.  I do Crossfit five days a week, because it's just two miles from my house, takes an hour, improves my riding and my health, and doesn't take a lot of time away from Nick.  I see and ride Connor three times a week.  Do I wish it was more?  Yes.  Do I have to trust and rely on our excellent barn staff to take care of my buddy?  Yes.  Do I recognize that our training might go faster with four rides a week?  Yes.

In the end, though, Nick is my main priority.  Recognizing that each round trip to the barn is an hour and a half of just driving, plus time spent at the barn, I only go to the barn once for my lesson during the week, because going to the barn after work means essentially not seeing Nick for an entire day.  Connor is going to be just fine being fat and happy, grazing in his paddock and seeing his buddies go by, when I am not there.  Nick actively misses me when I'm not home and often says he wants to see more of me.  He's the center of my life and the reason I am here in the first place - I don't want him to resent the money or time I spend with Connor.  It's working, too:  I've had Connor nearly a year and last week Nick asked why I wasn't showing more and encouraged me to throw myself into my showing goals with Connor.
Nick and Tucker. 

I say this now because a woman I am peripherally aware of - through the Welsh Cob community, through Connor's breeder and through CoTH forums - Tamara in TN - lost her husband in a murder this week.  On a thread about another poster staying in her marriage just for the horses, Tamara once wrote:
"no animal has ever or will ever mean anything
to me more, than he does.

not then.
not now.
not ever "
No matter how much we love these animals, we can't sacrifice the ultimate for them: our health, our sanity, our marriages.  Just this week in a thread on keeping horses fit while working full-time jobs, one woman detailed her schedule, which gave four hours per day to the horse, nine to work, and just one hour or so between getting home and falling asleep for her husband.  To each his own, but I couldn't do that to my body, mental health, or the love of my life.

It's a juggling act, and one I could not do with children, but one I happily undertake in order to continue to do what I do.


  1. This is a great post, everyone is different and i have a lot of respect for the strong marriage that you guys must have. My husband resented my horse goals and was not supportive of them at all it became very toxic so for me i definitely picked my animals over my husband (he was not faithful so it wasnt a hard choice).
    I do think that even in a couple though both people need to hold onto their dreams and what made them the people they are in the first place also, you shouldnt change just because your spending your life with your soul mate.
    You will make it work :) even with kids it is a big juggling act but it is worth it!

  2. I so agree about balance! Hubby had the gym and I have my horse and we know that each of us does the respective workout 4-5 times a week.

    There are defiantly weeks/days that it's hard but it's all about working together to find a good middle :)

  3. Solution: get Nick his own horse! ;) You guys could be like David and Karen O'Connor!

  4. Ooooooh I like the way you think, Steph! He's 6'4 220lbs so he definitely can't ride Connor!

  5. Good to hear. :-) Some people get their priorities very warped.

  6. I agree with Steph - get that man a horse! I am blessed to have a husband who more often than not travels to the barn with me - 6 days a week. We have an hour drive time total and spend much of that time talking.
    I admire your balancing act :)

  7. Just want to say, good for you for having priorities and knowing exactly what they are. Also want to say that I can't believe you only ride 3 days/week! You and Connor both look like you spend more time practicing. :)