Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Place

My job is pretty stressful. I'm an embryologist, which means I work in an IVF lab and I am responsible for the embryos of people hoping to have babies. It's a very expensive and emotional process, so even small errors are magnified. Needless to say I'm careful, vigilant, and very paranoid.

Yesterday I was involved in a very tense procedure that lasted about 45 minutes. When it was over I realized I had been clenching my jaw tightly the whole time. This resulted in a hummin' headache later that night.

So today when I realized I was clenching during another procedure, I stopped myself and tried to picture a "happy place". You know, that place that most people think of to calm them down and it's usually the beach or the woods or something like that.

The first thing that came into my head? A barn.

The fact that it was a barn didn't surprise me, it was which barn it was. Not my barn, or any barn my horse was in. It was an old barn in California where one of Blair's horses went after she disappeared (that whole story starts here, if you're interested). It was kind of a crappy place, and I don't have any really fond memories there, so I pushed it aside and thought of another place.

This time, a meadow where we had played broomstick polo with our horses. Broomstick polo is easy. Get on bareback (halter required, but a bridle? not really), grab a broom and a ball of some kind, like a soccer ball, make two goals out of rocks or sticks, and whack the ball around with the brooms. It was pretty there and we had fun and all, but still not what I was looking for.

Finally I got it. And it was more of a feeling of a time rather than a place. It was my years at Fremont Hills Country Club Stables. We weren't members of the country club, but that is where I learned to ride. I had no stress there. I didn't own a horse, or even a car for that matter (I was 12!) so I had no money woes, except trying to find a quarter to buy a lemonade out of the vending machine. I didn't have to worry about my horse being sound - I didn't have one. I just took lessons and cared for horses.

I rode, and I was. That's it.

Right now things are very stressful for me outside of work too. Dealing with moving my horse (which I hate doing), fretting about his lameness (although the shot he just got worked beautifully again, telling me that we're on the right track), and stressing about money (all those shots and x-rays and surgeries aren't free). Then making sure the girls do their homework, get to swimming on time, and still have time to be kids too. Lastly my medieval adventures continue to take up a lot of time and energy, and even though that's fun and just a hobby it still can stress me out when I impose goals for myself and then don't meet them. Letting people down is the worst.

And yeah, you guys want to hear about why I'm moving Kaswyn and where I'm going and about the new horse opportunities and the surgery. And I'll get to that I swear. But not having that written and posted is stressing me in a certain way too. :)

So right now I'm going to take a deep breath, finish my lunch so I can get back in the lab for a very busy afternoon, and try to remember what it felt like to be 12, horse crazy, covered in barn dirt, and not have a care in the world.


Jackie said...

My happy place is also a barn ... It was a small four-stall barn directly behind the large main barn at the stables where I grew up. It was built of concrete blocks and had big windows looking out over the pastures. I used to go climb up and sit in the window with my first show pony on one side and the nice view on the other. That, and sitting in Ace's stall in the middle of his big pile of hay are my favorites. :)

Muddy K said...

Hang in there. I get what you mean about how not having the time or temperament to write can create a stress all its own. Your plate is full and it seems like you are poised for some major changes. All of that can be teeth-grinding in its own right. I'm glad you found that happy place. I found mine at dusk on the back of my new mare, and I'm so glad I made myself go to the barn instead of just heading home after a crabby day.

Rising Rainbow said...

Sounds like a good plan to me. That jaw clenching is bad, you don't need that.

Jen said...

Post when you can; we'll live. In the meantime, go for some humor (seems to have been one of "those" weeks all around - I gave myself some stress relief via silliness on my post this week). Hope all goes well with Kaswyn's move; always a tough decision, I'm sure.
Now have a hug - sounds like you could use one ;o)

Anonymous said...

ah yes... sometimes you need to just slow down to go faster

happy trails gp and gazi (i'm the challenging arabian in this duo :) )

Achieve1dream said...

Sorry things are so stressful for you right now. Just remember it will all pass and things will get better (and hopefully easier). Don't let things like posting to the blog stress you out. Focus on the important stuff. When you have time and want to relax and get things off your chest then you should sit down and type it all out. And we will be here to offer encouragement when you do. :)

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