Day Off Philosophy
I gave the horses the morning off yesterday. I tried not to feel guilty about it.
The idea is to dial back the barn time. Since I am not training for the Olympics, or the regionals, or much of anything, why am I logging marathon-training amounts of time? Now that both horses are at a comfortable status quo, I need to find a more sensible way forward. Putting more into an activity than you get out is a sure way to burn-out. The amount of time does not matter, 6 hours a day is great if you are getting huge amounts of life energy back out of riding, gardening, or tiddlywinks. Five minutes a day is too much if it shrivels your soul. So, this is me walking away, when I can.
Declaring a day off easy when it’s part of the schedule, say the day after a show, or when it’s raining cats & dogs and poodles are forming in one’s riding arena.
A legitimate day off is harder to determine when the schedule is amorphous. Obviously, there are activities of daily living that need to be done: feeding, medication, etc. What about the rest of it? Mathilda needs to be groomed, but does she need a 30-minute head-to-toe every day? I’m sure she would enjoy it, but her hair won’t fall out if I skip a day. I should work with Rodney (see Tracey & Amy’s suggestions), but it’s hard to rally for seven days a week when the outcome is unclear. What is a good compromise between possible progress and sanity? Five days? Three days?
“Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.”
Desiderata, Max Ehrmann
Sure, fine, whatever. At what point does being gentle with one’s self slide in to sloth & self-indulgence? I have a liberal arts degree and lawyers in my genetic heritage, I can rationalize myself into a Harry Potter movie marathon quicker than you can find the remote. That’s why I like having a plan. If I make it up day-by-day, I’m suspicious of my own motives. I know myself. I’m a lazy sod.
Our tortoiseshell being scenic in the leaves.