The stick is in full swing here in the land of OnceUpon and I’m very frustrated about it.
I don’t mean that stick used as an extension of the human arm in some Natural Horsemanship training techniques.
I’m referring to that stick which falls heavily upon us and rocks the equilibrium of our work-life balance.
Work-life balance is the achievement of parity between one’s “work” (job, ambition) and one’s “life” (personal, spiritual, family, leisure).
My work-life balance is really out of whack right now, as exemplified by the following video clip.
Can you relate to that poor little stick figure on the left?
We’ve experienced a long, cold winter in the land of OnceUpon. Mother Nature is teasing us with a few warm, sunny days scattered amongst the impending spring snowstorms. As the temperature warms and the sun shines, I long to be outside working with my horses. (Heck…I even long to be outside scooping manure in the sunshine.) But doggone it! I’m getting beaten up by that mean old stick called “work”!
Keeping horses isn’t cheap. I have horses, therefore I work.
The problem is…my work load is increasing. Like a lot of companies in this current economy, mine has experienced layoffs and reduced benefits, including pay cuts. While staffing and benefits go down, the work load goes up for those of us fortunate to have kept our jobs. I do feel fortunate to still have a good job, but I’ve developed a frequent twitch in my left eye and I’m exhausted. I have less time and energy to spend with horses.
Some may suggest I sell my horses. NOT an option! Then I’d be just another eye-twitching, exhausted, horseless woman with more money in her purse. That doesn’t appeal to me because the intrinsic value of a horse cannot be measured in dollars.
- Hoof care in April: $80.00
- Vet care in May: $220.00
- Hay purchase in June: $1,500.00
- The sound of a soft nicker greeting you as you walk toward the barn: Priceless!
So, I’m stuck with this work-life dilemma. What is a horsewoman to do?
My first idea is to improve my diet. As I sit here typing this post, I’m very aware that I don’t feel good physically. Sitting at a computer all day; and stress-snacking from the vending machine in mid-afternoon after my microwave entrée (eaten at my desk while I work through lunch) has worn off, does not help the situation. Perhaps a healthier diet would aid in combating the exhaustion I feel, leaving more energy to play with horses in the evening. (Ok…and do household chores too, if you are reading this Mr. OnceUpon).
How can we successfully juggle the demands of work (whether employment or other ambitions) with our personal life and horses?
What suggestions do you have to manage the work-life-horse balance?