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.
Thoroughbred High Point, LVDA 2014
4 hours ago