Finding Balance

willyLast week Troy and I made an executive decision that from here on in Sundays will be fun days. Since starting this farming thing almost 3 years ago we’ve been on a nearly uninterrupted schedule of all work and no play, 24/7, punctuated only by a little bit of sleep.  When you buy an old place with 4+ years of overgrown fields, no garden, a house with good bones but bad skin, and a barn that fell down, stood back up, but lost its floor in the process, let’s just say there are a few things that need attention, and it all feels urgent.

So we’ve been going hard at’er for almost 3 years. We do squeeze in the occasional bike ride, a little drive along the shore, or a very rare date night, but we haven’t really made time for “fun”. It’s just a given that we get out of bed and go, go, go until the sun goes down. We’ve been doing what we love, so it seemed to be ok.

You start to realize that something’s not right when friends, even other FARMER friends, are telling you that you do too much, you’re too busy, you’re working too hard. You start to wonder what they know that you obviously don’t.

So Sunday was our first “fun day”. We woke up a little late, had a leisurely breakfast, and decided that first thing we’d do is have some horsey time. Fred and Willy have been lawn ornaments for most of the time they’ve been with us. We keep vowing to find the time to give them the training and exercise they need, but just like everything else that we consider to be “fun” it’s gotten pushed aside for work. Horses in the morning, bikes in the afternoon. That was the plan, and it sounded great.

Hooves needed trimming, though, so before we could get down to the good stuff we broke out the rasp and the nippers and went to…work. About 2 hours and a lot of patience later, both horses had lovely pedicures, and bug bitten and sore from bending over for so long we were finally able to get on with the fun.

Green and spooky horses need the edge taken off before you can ride them, though. So we headed to the riding ring for some ground “work”. Another hour or so of lunging, desensitizing, and “working” on respect went by before the saddles finally came out.

Willy is the more sensible of our two equine companions, so while Troy continued “working” with Fred on the ground, I went off for a little ride around. Fun, at last! For a whole hour or so!

When I was done with Willy I helped Troy with Fred. Well, I helped Troy “work” on his nerves with Fred. The last couple of times Troy got on Fred he ended up on the ground pretty quickly. This time he took it slower, allowed me to teach him a few things, and the “work” paid off with a successful riding session.

At 3 in the afternoon we wrapped up our horsey time and had lunch. It started to rain. We were both sore and there was bacon and chicken brining and ready to smoke. We decided against the bike ride and fired up the smoker. We tried to decide what we’d do next. Troy muttered something about needing to bring firewood up from the woods down below and I was thinking hard about all the soap I needed to make. We sat around the smoker for 20 minutes pondering the remaining daylight hours. It was a long 20 minutes. Not doing work when there’s work to be done is stressful and we were both chomping at the bit.

Finally, desperate to avoid falling back into work, I suggested a drive. We hopped in the car and went exploring for an hour. By the time we returned, it was time to do chores and make supper. We’d managed to avoid “work” for an entire day. Sort of.

It seemed like having a relaxing fun day was a great idea, and on paper it is. In reality, though, it was more work to not work. Maybe we’re just out of practice?

I’ll be interested to see what this Sunday brings. I’m working on ideas now.



One thought on “Finding Balance

  1. Sometimes work is still play. It’s finding the balance that’s so hard! I love going for a drive, music on, unfamiliar roads, that’s the best. Of course, lying on the beach with a good book comes pretty close. One of these days……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.