Just FYI, this is probably going to be a little long, a bit personal and almost non-horse related. Please feel free to skip entirely.
I don't have a personal, non horsey blog. I haven't had one in a long time, not since my very early 20's. I guess that's because I haven't felt like I needed to write things down like I did (obsessively) when I was a teenager. But this year have caused a bit of emotional turmoil in me, for a few reasons, and I really feel like I need to write this shit down to work through it in a place where everyone has been quite nice to me so far.
First up, in the beginning of the year, I was sick of my job. I had been in Store Operations for 7 years - about 2 years too long if you ask me. My boss, who I loved working for and had a good working relationship with, was switching departments so I wouldn't be working for him any longer. I was nervous about my new boss (who is a lovely man BTW) and about how I would fit with him as he works completely different to my old boss. I wasn't ready to start trimming full time, as we were saving for a house and I believed that an office job was more stable for if/when we eventually decided to have a child. Then a job was advertised internally at our other Sydney office, for an admin assistant in the Learning and Development team. A little more money, completely new team, fun, exciting new developments for the company, plus working for a director and manager that I used to work with years ago when they were area managers, who I knew to be lovely people. I applied, interviewed and got the job. I was sad to be leaving all my friends at the old office, but I was so burnt out that I knew this was the right move for me. So, there is BIG change #1.
Next up, Natalie enrolled in uni, doing the Bachelor of Equine Science degree that I had always talked about doing. I was insanely jealous and I think she deliberately enrolled so that I would finally take the plunge and start studying (via distance, 6 years!). So I enrolled too. Two subjects a term, about 20 hours of study a week. I was excited, nervous and really really looking forward to plunging into the world of science, as the previous year I had done a Diploma of Equine Podiotherapy which did little to satiate my curiosity and instead set me alight with questions and ideas and I just want to KNOW ALL THE THINGS you know? I love learning, I always have. So that was big change #2.
With full time work at 38 hours a week, uni at about 20 hours a week, plus trimming about 10-15 hours a week, I am surprised I got any sleep at all and to be honest my poor husband just sat there ignored. I justified it as "I'm saving money for the house!", which I was, but my marriage was suffering and I couldn't see it.
Then came THE CHANGE #3. Allie's odontoma. I've blogged about it extensively here, you guys know all about it and I have hinted at the stress and pain the whole ordeal caused me. I still don't know the extent of emotional damage I've managed to accumulate, but I don't feel silly anymore about it. That whole ordeal crushed me and crushed me thoroughly. I didn't know if she would live or die, I didn't know what her life would be like afterwards, I didn't know if what I was doing was the right thing, I just didn't know. I quit trimming - I couldn't handle the stress of other people's horses depending on me and I couldn't squat there under their healthy, happy horses and chat about this lesson they were going to or that show they were planning for or even how they wanted boots fitted so they could go on a trail ride down the street. I could not handle any of it. As far as I knew, my horse, my heart horse, was never going to do any of that ever again. Quitting trimming to concentrate on Allie was the most selfish thing I think I have ever done - I left about 50 horses without a barefoot trimmer (we are few and far between in Sydney!) and their poor owners had to just pick up the pieces. But I am so glad I did it. I miss it terribly but it had to take a back seat in my life - I had WAY too much on my plate, and I was barely holding onto myself when it came to Allie.
So I started my new job, quit trimming, and concentrated on studying (a welcome escape) and doing everything within my power to make Allie better again.
Exams came, Allies surgery came, her recovery was rocky but as you know we are getting there. And then my brother in law generously lent us $20,000 to use as a deposit on a house. We were living in my mothers converted garage with the three cats - it was gross, tiny, I was struggling to study as it was all one room and Andrew and I were fighting a lot because we couldn't get any privacy from one another. We had been there all up for 16 months. This gift would mean we could get out of there and into our own home within a month or two, rather than having to stay and save for another 6 months. So we went house hunting and found a very affordable brand new townhouse. Deposit paid, a few weeks later we moved in. Big change #4.
We stayed one night in the new place and then on the second night I realised I was late (which I had been a few times over the last few months due to all the stress). So I took a test, fully expecting there to be only one line, like there had been 50 times before (I am a manic tester, just because I was so scared of falling pregnant). I was shocked when there was a definite, dark pink second line there. I was up the duff. Hello HUGE CHANGE #5!!!
To say I struggled with this is an understatement. I had so many plans! My horse was finally getting better! I was tentatively dreaming about maybe getting to some lessons or even jumping by the end of the year with our big eventing debut early next year! I had two awesome uni subjects coming up next term that I was looking forward to and hadn't gotten around to getting the vaccinations done yet (animal anatomy with a whole horse dissection with Sharon May-Davis in one of the residential school visits). I had started a new job that I had wanted to see some results in! I had just started picking up some trims again, focusing on my case studies that I needed to complete before Feb 2015 so that I would get my diploma! I was thinking of doing some owner trimmer support cases or even some basic anatomy clinics! Most of all I just wanted to ride ride ride. I hadn't ridden Allie more than about 15 times since September last year when she broke her leg. I felt like this baby was ripping that all away from me. Then I felt incredibly guilty. I had been blessed with a child when some other people can't even get pregnant in the first place. Plus I didn't feel happy like all the other mum-to-bes on the forums. What was wrong with me? Why wasn't I overjoyed at being pregnant, like everyone said I must be? Why did I feel cheated? What was I going to do?
It has taken months, but I have shuffled everything around. Allie will get some rides from Natalie first then I'll hop on if she's sane and just do some fun easy stuff until I get too fat. If I can, I'll send her off to the trainer to start over fences (at 8 years old LOL) when I have the baby next year so that I don't need to stress about taking care of her with a newborn in tow. Then I'll see how I go and just try to ride as much as I can and just have fun with Allie until I can give the time to train her and compete. I changed my subjects at uni to ones that don't need vaccinations, then after I realised how bloody tired I would be in the first trimester I dropped statistics, keeping on with microbiology. Next term, I'll take 6 months leave from uni so I don't need to worry about it and can focus on learning to be a mum. When I go back to uni, I will see how I go and take maybe 1 - 3 subjects depending on what I can handle. My new job, well, I'll just have to take my maternity leave and come back to it when I can. It means I will miss out on some fun exciting roll outs but that is how life rolls. As for case studies, they are on hold too - I will have to pay for an extra year or two to stay on as a student with my college (for insurance) and finish them when I can. Trimming is winding up - at least I had already quit a few months before so it is relatively easy and the few clients I am trimming for now actually want to learn to use a rasp and I've been guiding them so they can take care of their own horses feet while I'm too fat to bend over.
After all this, I've been sad, I've been struggling to feel happy about much, I've been ill and struggling at work (even making two huge mistakes recently that has caused embarrassment to my team and left me quite stressed and angry with myself), I've missed riding like nobodys business (which you all understand I am sure!) and I've forgotten why I should be thankful and happy. I've been emotional and not handling the pregnancy hormones very well at all. I've been dissapointed in myself because I thought I was stronger than that. But...
This post is really about why I should be thankful. I want to list those things now:
- ALLIE IS ALIVE!!!!! She is alive and it looks like she is going to be ok and I never thought I would be able to let myself believe that but I want to now. I will now.
- I'm healthy and I have fallen pregnant easily and quickly. I haven't had any scans yet (first one is on the 25th August) so hopefully the scan shows that all is well. My pregnancy hasn't been that bad so far - a little nausea (not much) mainly at night, VERY TIRED but I've been able to sleep. I've been able to eat almost anything I want. I have picked up about 7000 colds and had a bout of gastro this week but other than that I've been so much luckier than a lot of pregnant women. I've just struggled with how the hormones were affecting me. But I know that now, I can accept that now. Nothing is 'wrong' with me.
- I have an amazing husband. I don't give Andrew enough credit. He might say the wrong thing sometimes and he is a moody grumpy person when he's tired but his #1 priority in life is to make me happy. He is willing to do anything to make me happy. I'm his focus in life, he does everything for me. And now I'm about to give him a child which he has wanted for so long. I'm thankful that I can do that for him, for us.
- Andrew and I are fortunate enough that we earn enough money (or were smart enough to get a smaller mortgage) that we can easily afford this house, my horse, the baby etc on one wage for an extended period of time. This means I won't be pressured into returning to my office job before I'm ready AND I'll be able to trim more once I have the baby. Honestly, a preggo lady has never been more fortunate than me.
- I'm about to have a little kid who I have the chance of molding into a good member of society (and hopefully the horsey world too!!). Wouldn't it be amazing if this kid loves hooves as much as I do and I can teach them all I know about feet? Gosh. Imagine that. A little mini me.
- I'm thankful that I heard an old song this morning right at the exact moment I needed to to make me realise that it takes some time, I'm in the middle of the ride, and that everything will be just fine ;)