Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

About the "no major life changes" idea...

I'm not generally one for New Year's resolutions, but every once in a while somebody sends me one that I decide to incorporate.  Mum's suggestion was "no major life changes" and Em's was "make mistakes".

Okay so I've mastered Em's.  I'd be quite happy to move on from that one now ;-P

As for Mum's...  Well...  GRS has been running for three years now -- the last two of which have been at the same farm.  It's lots of fun, I have an amazing group of students, and my dad comes and helps me at the barn most days.  I haven't run away to any foreign countries, randomly decided to go back to uni, or inherited any more pets (or worse: children *shudder*).  All in all, I've been very good about being a stable adult, making few life changes.

Except, well, you're not new here.  My tolerance for safe and secure is pretty low sometimes.  And it turns out that while I *love* teaching with a passion, day-to-day care of the horses simply isn't intellectually challenging enough.  I got bored.  And boredom leads to...  Well... Major life changes >;-P

So the first avoidance technique was writing.  The ever-amazing-Steph basically took over my barn last winter and between her and a few assistants, I very rarely had to do the barn.  Sweet.  Just teaching!  And I wrote two novels in two months. Seriously.  One of which I don't ever intend to publish, but the other is in the editing phase -- on hold at the moment (more as to why shortly!), but I hope in Jan/Feb to finish it off and publish it.   There -- I wrote it down.  I'll actually do it now :)

The second avoidance technique was dating.  Right.  LOTS of blogs on that.  bahaha far enough distanced from it now, maybe I can share some of the entertainment.  hmmmmm well there was the guy who asked me out at a traffic light.  That's actually happened to me twice - can you believe it???  hahahha but one I actually went out with.  Nice enough guy, but still living with his ex-wife and has two kids under age of 5...  And I got the impression I was the first person I'd asked out since the split.  Didn't go anywhere, but was an amusing afternoon.  Then there was eharmony...   Oh dear...  hahaha I shouldn't say that -- in some ways it's a fabulous system.  Does make it fairly easy to weed out people quickly and nobody needs to have your personal info; so if you want them gone, they're gone.  Conversely, people can disappear you just as easily, so you need a bit of a thick skin *g*  Man there are all sorts of weird people out there.   One who felt the need to argue with everything -- I couldn't see any reason I'd want to meet him in person.  One who seemed perfectly nice, but going away every weekend was a priority for him and realistically that wouldn't work with my schedule.  Another who twisted every single comment or question to be about sex.  He was really quite creative, but once in a while a straight answer would be nice.  There was one I met in person before realizing the only thing he was interested in was scrabble.  Really?  There's more to life buddy....  Despite the crazies and getting to the point where signing into my messages was work, I *did*, in-fact, actually go out with several really decent guys.  Problem seemed to be, eharmony matches like with like.  Great.  But I really don't want to date myself.  Any of these guys I could've been really great friends with.  But there was absolutely no attraction beyond "want to hang out?"  And clearly same on both sides.  And with my schedule being as crazy as it is, it's a LOT of effort to fit dating in.  If I don't *really* want to see somebody, they're going to fall off the calendar pretty quickly.

And then show season hit.  And I was pretty disillusioned with dating, so even though Steph was still helping with the barn, I took a step back.  Teaching, riding, clinicing, sailing, writing.  All good.  Life continues status-quo.  And once summer arrives, I don't need exciting.  Summer makes me happy all by itself.  Sweet.

They say when you stop looking....  Yeah I never believed that idiocy either, but in this case, truth is stranger than fiction.  I accidentally met somebody.  A couple times actually, introduced by a couple different people. And I liked him -- enough to rearrange the calendar.  And he seemed to like me enough to tolerate my crazy life -- up to and including not giving me grief when I had to ditch our second (? I think) date to deal with a colicky horse.  And one thing lead to another and all of a sudden I had a new person in my life.  And I wasn't bored any more.  Does that count as a major life change?  Ummmm I'd probably argue no -- at least, not yet ;)   But it was close enough to stabilize me for a while.

But then summer came to an end, which meant Steph needed to find a grown-up job -- or at least one that paid ;)   Which meant I had to take over the barn again.  Only now I realized how little I wanted to do it.  When I was 16, or even in my 20s, sure.  But by now the novelty had worn off.  And she and I discussed the possibility of me hiring her as stable manager and then getting another job that would pay enough to pay both of us *g*   But the simple reality is that most employers don't want to hire somebody who already runs a business.  And I don't blame them.

But no major life changes.  So I took over and Steph got a job and life continued very much as it always had (with only a *few* more social commitments -- did I mention bf's reasonably extrovert?  hahaha for the record, he and I would never have been matched with the eharmony system.  For all its pluses, it failed horribly to find me somebody.  Because, I think, sometimes happiness in life isn't about finding somebody the same, but rather about opposites and balance.  Not necessarily always easy that way, but way more fun). Back to my story.

So the school was good, teaching a blast.  Olivia was 3rd in the province with Bella, so I was pretty stoked about that.  Have a great show team lined up for next year.  All good.

Until it came time to renew our lease.  At first I thought all was good -- we were discussing the possibility of a three-year commitment.  But then my landlords wanted some inclusions I didn't feel I could meet while running a school and I was rapidly coming to the conclusion that the only way for the school to survive would be if I actually owned the property.  And I simply don't have the money to do that.  And then things spiraled downward and all of a sudden my world was chaos.  I wasn't bored anymore -- I was devastated.

I called a friend who I knew had an open barn -- if I had to move immediately, could I bring my horses to her place?  Absolutely.

Wow.  Did I mention I have awesome friends?

So then in a very long story that took place over a shorter time than it would take to type, I actually ended up selling my business to her and being hired back to teach and merge our two schools together.  See it turns out her passion is the horse-care aspect of the business, while mine is teaching.  And neither of us were really enjoying playing the other role.  So she's taking on horse-care of both our barns, and I'm taking on teaching of both our schools.

Which, for the next two months, is going to keep me all sorts of interested and challenged: the logistics of moving, scheduling, merging classes, placing new students...  All insane.  But eventually, it'll die down to teaching in the evening and showing with the students in the summer.   The parts of the job I love.  Awesome.

But not entirely financially viable...  hmmmmm so at some point in the new year, I'll likely be looking for the next challenge.  A day-job, requiring some degree of intelligence, doing...?  I don't know -- suggestions?  :) Project management is the likely candidate simply because it's what I've done before.  But open to all sorts of ideas for the next adventure :)

In the interim, everybody's been overwhelmingly-supportive and helpful.  Moving 12 horses, 2000 bales of hay, and assorted gear all before Jan 1 is going to be a challenge and a half and I'm forever grateful to those who have been and are pitching in so it can all get done!  Again - did I mention the awesome friends?   Jen even called me from France when I was having a minor meltdown just cause, well, that's what friends do.

Anyways - my therapy, as always, is writing.  So if nothing else, the blog might become a little more active again :)  Wish me luck!


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