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Lesson Notes

February 19, 2013

Warm weather is right around the corner, which means shows, clinics, and other riding opportunities I should take advantage of. Which means I should probably ride. And ride better, with purpose. Which means I should probably me a smart rider and take notes on my rides. So…

  • Rode Pony yesterday
  • Her groundwork is great. Stops, backs, drops head, and picks feet on very slight cues.
  • Feeding new supplement and biotin. Hoping she’ll grow actual horse-sized feet. Or that, at the least, her pony-sized feet will be stronger.
  • I’m pretty sure BM isn’t feeding her enough. She’s always hungry. This is a tricky situation since BM is also my landlord.
  • After 15 years of riding, I finally GET lunging. Lunge whip acts as a leg. Duh! Can’t say how many trainers have told me that, and how many times I’ve nodded my head along in fake understanding. But it finally sunk in and clicked! From the ground I can now change speeds within the gait, direct, and get smooth transitions. Yay. Going to the right she’s still a grumpy pants–ears back and nose poked.
  • Still need to find the source of her grumpiness. Various pros think that’s habituated to the behavior now, and is still defensive from too-early, too-intense training as youngster. The fact that she exhibits the behavior when I’m out of the saddle means I’m not the problem, at least not the sole problem. Pain has been ruled out, but I want to be 100% positive. I’ve made the mistake of thinking a hurting horse was a misbehaving horse, and I still feel like crap about it years later. Her tack fits and her teeth were just done, so doubt those are the culprits. Need to call out chiro, farrier, and get a lameness check done. Wallet is sad.
  • Pony collects at the slightest touch :) For about one stride :(
  • We’re getting to be pros at backing up :)
  • We went on our first trail ride alone. Pony was very brave, as per usual, especially since it was so windy. We only made it 1/4  mile or so, but I didn’t want to test her limits our first time out.
  • I need to shoe her or buy her boots.
  • Tried schooling in the pasture surrounding her barn, but it was pointless. Imagine trying to study while there’s a massive slice of chocolate cake in front of you. You could probably resist eating the cake, but you’re sure as hell going to be distracted by it. That’s how pony was. Distracted. Constantly pulling towards her stall and friends. And I could have tried to work through it, but I don’t think anything I did would be enough to keep her mind off the cake directly in front of her.
  • Times like that make me reaaallllly frustrated. Not with pony, but with myself. She’s so sensitive and willing that I’m certain my inexperienced, uninformed actions are going to ruin her. I don’t know where the sweet spot between going too easy and asking too much is. I always feel as if I’m either not asking enough or pushing her too hard.
  • Burnout + no real schooling area means I should probably focus on fun rides for the next month or so. Just trail rides.
  • Need to start scoping barns…
  • Need to buy a trailer…
  • Trainer is hosting a series of versatility clinics, with a competition at the end of the series.Yes! Must do!
  • Need to drink coffee before writing blog posts so they aren’t just incoherent, poorly-spelled, bullet point rambles…

Why I’ll never be an adult

February 12, 2013

First of all, there are plenty of reasons why I’ll never be an adult. Like, I can’t put dirty clothes in the hamper even though it’s only three feet away; I think pickles make a perfectly acceptable dinner; I’m both a people pleaser and a procrastinator; and my wardrobe consists almost entirely of things from Old Navy. So yeah, there are plenty of compelling reasons. This post, however, will be about my fundamental inability to organize. I’m a right brainer with left brain fantasies. I thrive in visual disarray but crave organization. The warring Odd Couple compulsions means that I just suck at organization, which extends to my closet, my work day, and my life

Lists are the worst. I love lists. Love love love them. I like need a visual reminder in front of my face, and like that I can cross things off as a go along. It’s visual and tangible–the right side of my brain is happy. But lists control me. It starts when I need to prioritize my to-do tasks. The experts tell you write down your three top priorities so you don’t become overwhelmed. Three? THREE!? That’s ridiculous; I have three must-dos before my day starts. And once I start writing lists, I write EVERYTHING down. Because what happens if I don’t write it down and *gasp* forget it? I treat lists like a data dump. For me, the purpose of a list is to expunge the information from my head and treat the list like an external drive.  So then my lists start to include things like when to wake up, breathe, and check the mail.  If I had to prioritize my top 3 things, it would be something like.

  1.  Breathe
  2. Eat
  3. Invoices

I know it’s getting bad when my lists get really meta. They’ll start to include things like “write to-do list,” and “check off to-do list.”

And then there are lists for my lists. My list will start getting pretty long (today’s has about 40 things on it), and once they become cumbersome, I’ll divide them into sub-lists. I’ll have a work list, a personal list, a horse lists, and exercise list, etc. etc.

But shit, what happens if I’m driving and I think of something I need to put on one of my lists!? And what happens when that task snowballs into me thinking of eight other things I need to write down? Ahhhhhhhh! So I have a car list of tasks to transfer onto my other lists.

It’s paralyzing. And ineffective.

I clearly need a life consultant and to bury myself in the self-help section of a bookstore.

 

Perspective

January 29, 2013

Instead of bitching about 11-hour work days, I should be thanking my lucky stars that I have 11-hour work days to bitch about.

First world problems

January 27, 2013

I’m afraid of things I love too much. Loving something mind, body, and soul means you’re so much more vulnerable to getting hurt if things don’t work out. And when you love something, you put it so high on a pedestal, that the rest of the world pales in comparison.

Am I talking about a boy? Nope. My job.

I love love love Love LOVE my job. Seriously, when I tell people what I do for a living, the unanimous reaction is: “That is the PERFECT job for you. I can’t think of a better fit!” And it really is the perfect job for me. So naturally, I’m terrified of losing it.

I try to tell myself that this an irrational fear, that I’m an essential member of a (relatively) thriving organization, and that if things go south for the company, it’s unlikely that mine is a branch that will be cut. But the fact that I am part of a struggling industry and have a few Chicken Little co-workers sometimes make me feel that my fears are totally justified.

So then I get a little panicky about my job security, which makes me ultra-motivated to be so so so good at my job that no one would ever dream of asking me to leave. This sounds like a good thing, right? Well, no, because I have a ridiculous reaction to ambition. I have such an all-or-nothing mentality that when I decide to do something, I want to do it 100% or not at all. Rather than just settling for being good-enough at my job, I want to be the best at everything. I will be the best editor; I will catch every grammatical mistake; I will write amazing articles; I will revolutionize our social media presence; I will have the most efficient scheduling system; I will never mis-prioritize things; I will be friends with everyone at the office; I will attend workshops and seminars and networking events; I will never forget anything or procrastinate; I will know the ins and outs of all aspects of the company so I will never be without an answer; I will work on weekends; I will come up with incredibly successful contests; and I will have an enviable wardrobe and always look like a chic and capable professional. And then this snowballs into the other arenas of my life. Since I’m doing all that I might as well stick to a workout schedule, always clean my room, never leave food wrappers in my car,  have my checkbook balanced, never go above my budget, cook every meal (local and clean, of course), have a rich extracurricular life, make sure my library books are never over-due, have my horse always behave and accomplish amazing things all the time, and do the dishes every day.

This will never happen, clearly. But I look at that list, realize I’ll never be able to accomplish it, shut down, and go blank. Instead of taking baby steps towards improving my abilities, I adopt a ‘what’s the point’ attitude and spend potentially productive non-work hours watching Hulu.

I need to stop whining, get the F over myself, and start DOING.

Like I said, First World problems.

January’s Garden

January 27, 2013

photo(1)

Right now, this is what my garden looks like. Pathetic though it is, it makes me so happy to have something green and growing in my kitchen in the dead of winter. (Though to be fair, it’s 60  degrees in Colorado right now.)

I can’t wait to get my hands in the soil and start cultivating an actual garden. This is the first time in a long time that I will stay in one place through an entire growing season. Since I’ve been interested in gardening, I’ve either lived in a place where gardening took some serious and expensive nursing along (Colorado’s High Country is not hospitable for rookie gardeners) or I’ve moved right in the middle of the growing season (living in student populated areas meant a lot of rents ended in August). Last year I got a lot of spinach and kale, but only one tomato and one zucchini.

This year however, my lease is long enough to see me through an entire season of fruits and veggies. Finally! Finally I get to see the fruits of my efforts (pun totally intended)! Seed catalogs are out and I’m starting to get itchy. I need to remind myself to modest; to not get too ambitious and overwhelm myself.

Here’s what I’m hoping to grow:

1) spinach, because it’s easy and I love it in pastas and omlettes
2) kale, because it’s easy and eat a ton of it
3) snap peas, because they grow quickly and I have an awesome trellis already in place
4) cherry tomatoes, because they’re the quickest-growing tomato and I eat them like candy
5) zucchini, because high-yield things make me feel successful

Waaah

January 20, 2013

The other day  I wrote this long, semi-heartfelt post about dreams and aspirations, fears and worries, self-help and moving forward.

And after publishing, the post vanished into the internet ether.

First world problems.

Ironically, the post was largely about how I need to learn to move past life’s little frustrations and not let them become overwhelming.

#firststep

I like my job too much

October 23, 2012

You know how you’re an intelligent, witty, fully capable, and totally articulate person…until you have to talk to your crush? And then you become a flailing, muttering mess that laughs to loudly and makes weirdly jerky eye contact? That’s me at work.

I love my job. Really really love my job. To the point where I have exalted it to crush status. I want so badly to communicate my affection and demonstrate my belonging, that I end up doing to exact opposite. My interactions totally belie my skill. I really am a great fit for this job, but I’m afraid that my efforts to please and do my job well get interpreted in exactly the wrong ways because I present them just like a spastic teenage girl would to the guy she was like majorly crushing on. Even if I’m doing a fantastic job, my contributions won’t resonate with my co-workers and bosses if I continue to interact and communicate so awkwardly. As a communication major, it was drilled into my head that what you say often isn’t as important as how you say it. You could have a pile of doctorates and a book deal, but if you have a habit of speaking entirely in non sequiturs when you’re nervous (not totally speaking from experience), none of that intelligence or skill gets communicated. You are perceived only as much as you present yourself.

Basically, I really like my job. I want to prove that I belong there. So I put unnecessary pressure on myself. Which is compounded by my fear of disappointing people. So I artificially raise the stakes way too high. Which makes me nervous. Which makes me awkward. Which makes me totally mis-communicate my ability to handle my job. Which makes me stress even more. Which further exacerbates the awkwardness.

First world, white girl problems: I like my job too much.

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