Ok, I’m ready to admit that this covid situation is starting to wear on me a bit. It has sucked BIG TIME since the beginning, of course, but I am of the “you can’t control every situation but you can control your attitude towards it” persuasion so I was trying to focus on the positive and keep perspective. And in the beginning, that wasn’t too hard. I love being out at the farm all the time, not wasting 1.5hrs of my day commuting, and not having to put real clothes on. I’m also really good at handling solitude, and indeed I prefer it.
I have it WAY easier than many (or even most) other people, which I am acutely aware of and immensely grateful. But even I am starting to feel a bit “over it”, which I always feel majorly guilty about and thus don’t ever say out loud, because I do have it way easier than many other people. Like… oh no, poor me, stuck on the farm with my horses. Even I want to roll my eyes at that idea. If you’re going to be isolated somewhere, there is no better place to be. So for the most part I’ve tried to just sit in my corner, not complain, do my part to try to help this pass as quickly as possible, and be grateful.
This weekend it finally started to break through my wall a little bit though. It’s the uncertainty that’s getting to me, I think. The fact that everything shut down right when the SO was about to start a new job, which got put on hold, which technically makes him unemployed. And the fact that I work in the oil and gas industry, which in case you haven’t noticed is absolutely in the shitter in a big major bad way. Cheap gas is fun when you’re filling up your car, but it’s slow death to our industry. Pay cuts are likely imminent, and perhaps reduced work schedules. We’re just trying to weather it, at this point. I am really sad that we had planned on ordering our tiny house right about now, and that’s on hold for the foreseeable future, at least until SO’s job starts or he finds another. I miss seeing my friends. I miss being able to go have lunch with my dad. I miss traveling (RIP Ireland trip that never really even got off the ground). I miss the opportunity to go to horse shows, even if I didn’t take them. I miss chips and effing queso and chicken tikka masala.
On the other hand, every time I start feeling like I want to indulge in a little self-pity, I think this whole thing has been a really big reminder not to take anything for granted. That life can change in an instant. That we are entitled to nothing. How when you strip all the “noise” away, it’s easy to see what’s really important to you. All the things I miss so much are such huge luxuries that it just sounds silly in the grand scheme of things. And that ultimately, I’m an insanely lucky person, even now. Especially now.
Still, sometimes the feelings sneak through, even when you try to barricade them behind positivity and gratitude. A little bit of anxiety and gloominess seeped out this weekend. Which… admittedly might have partially been triggered because I binged all 6 seasons of Schitt’s Creek and a long book series simultaneously and finished BOTH the same day, which kind of left me with an even greater sense of loss because I’m totally one of those people that gets really invested in fictional places and characters. I’m still not over it.
Thus, naturally, my drug of choice that’s been helping me cope? The horses. They always help.
In one of those classic “can’t tell if I’m losing my mind or finding myself” moments, I may have dressed up Quinnie and Henry in some wildflowers. More than once. It’s the prettiest time of year in Texas, at least, and one day while I was headed out to fly spray Quinnie and bring Henry in to ride, I found myself stopping to pick some flowers. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve done that. Probably not since I was a kid. Both horses got flower crowns. I’m noticing little things like all the different shades of flowers, because that’s what you get to do when life slows down.
Presto also got his replacement ball at the end of last week, and it’s his new (same) BFF. How would it even be possible to watch him play with his ball and NOT have your spirits lifted? This kid is a one man comedy show. During particularly frustrating work conference calls (of which there are so many now) I can step out onto the back porch with my laptop and watch the horses, which instantly lowers the anxiety level.
I’m also still able to ride, and there is no amount of Xanax that would ever have the same effect as swinging up onto your favorite horse does. I have to admit that I’m enjoying this pressure-free time with Henry, where I don’t feel like we HAVE to have a lot of structure, or we MUST work on any particular thing. I mean… I’d already been doing that for a few months before any of this started, but now I don’t have to feel guilty about it. I haven’t even put a bit in his mouth in like 2 months, and I could not possibly give less of a shit about it. I’m just having fun with my horse, exploring, tuning out the world for a while, and doing whatever we feel like doing that day. And sometimes instead of riding I just sit there and watch him out in the pasture, grazing with his friend, and I get a full recharge of happiness from the fact that he’s happy.
When I’m looking between those ears, I remember that this too shall pass. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Life might look a little bit different afterwards, but things tend to happen in the way that they need to. Maybe this is an opportunity for a “reset”. If nothing else, it’s definitely changed how I see some things.
Hope everyone is hanging in there, especially if you’re not able to get adequate horse time.