Some days doing stuff is just really confronting. For me, at the moment, some days is definitely most days.
The last few days I’ve honestly just sat in front of the TV watching Doctor Who. And there’s been this event on the horizon, it’s sat in my peripheral vision haunting me for the duration. This event shouldn’t be a problem, it’s something that I love. Really, truly love. But I couldn’t muster an ounce of enthusiasm. Nor the energy to cancel it or re-book.
I have been having riding lessons (vaguely weekly) since February. The fifty minutes I have in the saddle are my reprieve from my head and my body. The tiresome stream of negativity, self doubt and self hatred is stopped. I no longer feel the aches and pains. I am focussed solely on working with the horse, achieving our best together. Problem solving our attitudes so that we work better together. It’s peaceful, it’s the best therapy I’ve ever had.
And it reminds me that I can be happy. And more recently, it reminds me of the wonderful things horses have given me in the wake of the bullying episode. It’s freeing, refreshing and a great teacher of perspective. Because a riding partnership can never be achieved without the help of others (the horse, the instructor) or by forcing control of the situation. It teaches resilience, acceptance, critical thinking, team work, kindness and love. Amongst other pertinent lessons.
So it came as a bit of a surprise to find myself not wanting to do this. Especially as my chest infection had seen me miss two weeks.
My alarm went off this morning and I snoozed it. Denial. I don’t set alarms anymore. The true privilege of unemployment. My mind and body were not ready to wake. It went off again and I grudgingly forced myself awake. And I lay there.
And lay there.
Eventually persuading myself to go through the motions.
My boyfriend asked me if I was excited about ponies. And I just wasn’t. I ‘couldn’t be bothered’. Going along only because I had paid and there would be no refund now. The day of.
But you know what? I got there, I checked in and collected my lesson horse’s gear. His bridle, saddle, saddle blanket and grooming box. I removed his rugs, picked out his hooves. Fitted his saddle and bridle. Got into the usual chat with my brilliant instructor. And I relaxed.
I didn’t regret going anymore. I was glad I was there. Settling in that saddle, high up on his back. Grabbing the reins and looking forward past his ears.
I felt the familiar calm deep in my soul.