So as my work life becomes more complicated, I inevitably get more stress in my life. Which means I need to ride more, groom more, be with my four legged stress reliever more. So how do you make more time in an already crazy busy life? Sacrifice, my eventing friends, sacrifice.
A very long time ago I was in Navy Boot Camp. Your sleep deprived, often sick with respiratory illness due to the close quarters and your day is schedule to within an inch of it's life. You have no privacy and no freedom. It's just something you have to endure. Towards the end of Boot Camp there is an event called Battle Stations. Basically you stay up all day, then when you should be going to sleep you go out and play war games all night, literally, you don't get to sleep until the evening of the NEXT night. During Boot Camp I was a notoriously slow runner. We would be in the drill hall doing aerobic exercises, then you pause and do a lap around the gym, come back and do more exercises. By the time I got done doing my lap, it was time to do a lap again.
During Battle Stations, back in my day (They have an animatronic ship made by Disney now), you sprinted from each of the different buildings where various events were held to the next. The worst was from the tunnel that passes under a road to the pool building. It was a really long distance. And as I stated I was a slow runner. The rule was you had to stay in front of the last RDC (Recruit Division Chief), if you fell behind the last RDC you failed and had to return to your barracks building, wait 24 hours then try again. After experiencing the first half, and coming up on the dreaded run to the pool building, there was NO WAY I was going to re-run Battle Stations. So I made it my absolute mission to stay in front of the last RDC. Which is what I did. On that last long run we lost half the girls in my Division. I conquered Battle Stations, got my Navy Ball Cap (the symbol that you were now a real sailor versus the Recruit Ball Cap) went to the celebratory breakfast and then went back to my building for the day's activities.
The first chance they got, two girls in my Division who didn't pass that night, and hadn't been very nice to me during the rest of Boot Camp, came over and asked me, sort of snottily. "We just want to know, since you are such a slow runner, how you passed and we didn't." Keep in mind, the entire division was made up almost entirely of babies straight from high school. I was 25, married and had already lived out in the big bad world, with it's bills and crappy jobs. I turned around, looked them in the eye and said "I wanted it more than you did."
So here we are, if I want to ride, I have to really, really want it. Because making time in my day to ride means giving up sleep and time spent with my daughter. Some days I will have to get up at 4AM, so I can ride before work. I will have to get up early on the weekends that my husband closes at his store so that I can ride before he goes to work. If I want it, I have to really want it.
Here are my motivations. Between now and July/August, the Navy will be convening it's selection boards to decide who gets to be a Chief (E7, the next rank I need to achieve). This is the time of year that I call The Circus. Because it starts in January when we take the exam, then we have to wait to see if we made a high enough score to move on to the second phase. If we make the second phase in March then we have to wait until July/August to find out if we have been selected for the next rank. See? A big, ugly circus that goes on for months. On top of this I am now in charge of not just all the enlisted personnel in my depart, but two other divisions within that department. Yippee! More work.
Plus I'll be going in to what is called "My Window" in May. It means I can start trying to choose orders, or extend with my current command. I don't know yet what I am going to do.
So there's all that craziness. And then there is the goodness, something so great I can't even express how excited I am. Kim Severson, 4* Eventer, and Olympian is coming to our little Eventing No Man's Land! She's going to be doing several clinics here. That if nothing else is getting me out there and riding, no matter the weather, or hour of the morning. Yesterday it rained almost all day, after raining most of last week. Usually I would take a pass on riding, because my pastures become a slippery swamp when it rains that much. I sucked it up, brushed the mud of the Red Rogue pony and we walked for 30 minutes, doing nothing more strenuous than dressage circles of death, spiraling in and spiraling out again. I really want to ride with Kim. She has been on my Dream to Ride With list for a long time. Can't WAIT!
Keep it between the flags everyone!