Monthly Archives: September 2018

New News

Hey there,

Long time, no talk (blog)! We’ve had some big changes going on around here, which will explain my absence a bit. I’m hoping that I’ll still be able to find time for this space, as I really enjoy it…even as just something for LB to read back on when he’s older.

First on the list of changes, I’ve taken the next step forward in my career and accepted a position as assistant trainer and manager at a farm a bit further away from my house. It’s been the biggest reason why I haven’t been as active on the blog (though I still try to post to IG on the regular). I’m working a solid 11 hour day now, and teaching/horse showing on the weekends. I leave my house at 630 am and usually don’t stumble back in the door until 6 pm. I take care of LB and then collapse into bed by 830.

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I am deliriously happy, though, as well as tired. I’m back to riding several horses a day, teaching, coaching kids at shows, and building a fleet of wonderful school and sale horses with my boss. This is while making sure the barn is running smoothly and looks presentable just about all the time. It’s certainly not what I’ve been used to the past year and my fitness level is not where it was when I was in Kentucky, but I’m settling into the groove. It feels great to be a part of a team and to pull breeches on every morning. I have a great little group of project horses, and so many more resources to help Jake as well. It’s great to have the freedom to put my own horse in my rotation, and have a few other professionals to help work through the sticky parts.

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Liam has been settling into the longer days as well, however it’s more pressing that we find a spot that will open sooner for him in daycare. He’s fine in the mornings when it’s just him and I, and he can safely play in the sand while I ride… however in the afternoons when things are a bit busier, and he’s a bit crankier, he can be in the way. Everybody has been absolutely amazing, and welcoming to both him and I, but to maintain some professional integrity I need some help. He is loving helping me ‘cool out’ some of my quieter creatures, and I’m thrilled that he asks to ride!

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The learning curve of working at an active hunter/jumper show barn has been a bit steep for me, but my boss is wonderful about talking me through things and I was happy to take a couple of the older girls to the VHJA Finals solo! I’ve also been able to expand my horizons to trying other new facets of my sport as well, through the network that we have. Recently our farrier, Josh, invited us to try out a polo game. I’ve always wanted to play but haven’t really had the time but when he extended the invite to the last practice game of the season I jumped at the chance. I’m super glad that I did, because while I was absolutely horrible, I had so much fun. I’m excited to get more practice at the indoor league and have been working with Jake on being comfortable stick and balling with me around the indoor!

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The second fun bit of news is the new addition to our family, Emma! Our farrier reached out to me asking if I knew of anybody who would be willing to help foster some dogs that had come up to Vermont in the wake of the recent hurricane Florence. What they thought was originally going to be a few day long trip quickly took a turn when they learned that their house was completely destroyed. This led to them being stranded living with 14 dogs in a motocross trailer. I said that I would be happy to go take pictures of the dogs and help rally some help on social media, as well as my personal contacts. When I got to the property I immediately had to do something to help RIGHT THEN. After a quick call to my boss, she agreed to foster a puppy and I said that I would take one as well.

Enter, Emma.

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Once she walked in the house, both my roommate and I agreed that she would have to stay. I’m super happy to report that all of the other dogs have been homed and the family was able to return back to the South. I now have a Maligator puppy to add to the herd. I certainly couldn’t handle it if I didn’t have the option of bringing the dogs to work with me on the daily, as well as the help of my roommate… but it’s all working out pretty well. The older dogs in the house have (almost) gotten over the new addition, and Liam is super thrilled to have a playmate his own size.

As you all can see, it’s been a whirlwind the past month, but the dust seems to be settling for the most part. I’m so pumped about all of the new opportunities presenting themselves and I think that next summer is going to be an absolute blast…plus there are talks of spending part of winter ’19 in Florida!

There is certainly going to be a lot more horse related content on the blog and across my social media, but anybody who knows me won’t be shocked. I couldn’t think of a better turn that my life has taken, both professionally and personally, and I’m excited to keep sharing the adventures with you all!

Peace,

Cathleen

Grace Under Pressure

Hey there,

I hope that you all are doing great!

As many of you don’t know, my last relationship completely shattered me. I’m grateful for the pain of it, in the end, because while it tore me all the way down to my foundation it also allowed me to start to rebuild myself.

However yesterday I got some information that was a complete punch to the gut. I was absolutely¬†wild when I walked into the barn that afternoon. I didn’t even know what to do with myself. That type of anger is really rare for me. The blind anger that makes you want to scream, and cry, and plot the worst kinds of revenge. I’ve only ever felt it that intensely one other time in my life.

You see, this entire time I’ve been blaming myself for the dissolution of the relationship. I poured my heart and soul into it, and gave it everything that I had. In the end I was left feeling that it wasn’t enough. That I was too much.

In reality, I was doing the best that I could to survive two years of the most traumatic series of events that I’ve ever survived. There was nothing wrong with me. I was mentally, emotionally, and physically tired. My partner didn’t know how to support of that type of pain and exhaustion. It would be hard for anybody but the strongest of men to shoulder.

Then I learned what I did yesterday, and I couldn’t believe it. After a series of wildly descriptive texts to my best friends, Jamie and John… I thought about what I was going to do next. I was obsessed all day. It felt like a slap in the face. I literally focused on nothing more than how angry I was and what I was going to do next.

Later that night, Bug was having a hard time sleeping so I brought him in bed with me, something that I never do. After a few snuggles, he eventually drifted off and I was left thinking. My thoughts wandered back to being rooted in my anger and sadness. Then I realized… this kid is going to watch me. He’s going to see what I do. Why would I want to give my ex the benefit of any more of our time? We had wasted enough on him as it was.

So in that moment, I forgave him for everything. All of the hurt, and anger, and sadness. I am simply too tired to carry it with me. I don’t want to teach Bug to carry emotions like that. I want him to learn to sit with them, to process them, and then let them go. Gracefully.¬†Without taking revenge. Why should I allow this person, who wasn’t enough for us to continue to direct our future, my feelings, and the example that I set for my child?

Too many people get so consumed in making people feel bad so that the score can be even. I was never the scorekeeper in the relationship, so why would I start now? What is the point in revenge? It just chips away at our own goodness and inner peace. I don’t want to raise my son to be the kind of person who automatically jumps to those thoughts and acts on them. There are already too many people in the world like that.

I want him to learn that sometimes people do bad things to us and that we need to forgive them for ourselves.

I also want him to learn that it is one of the hardest thing in the world to do… but that it is the right thing to do, no matter what. He will know that his mother struggles with it, because she’s a deeply emotional person, but in the end she will always rise above and take the high road.

At the end of the day, my number one priority is raising a strong man that, no matter what is going on in the world around him, will always have a reaction of grace and forgiveness first; never hatred or revenge. He will be a better man for it and the world can always use another good man.

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Peace,

Cathleen