Tag Archives: busy

God Bless Less Stress

So this year’s Thanksgiving weekend has come and gone. It was quiet in our house. For the first time ever, I think, it was just my wife and me having dinner together. And you know, it wasn’t all bad.

As fun as the big family holiday dinners are, they can include a lot of stress. There’s a house to clean up. Food to make. Places to go. And things always take twice as long as what you plan.

None of that happened this year. Our turkey breast, stuffing, and sides all came out fine, with no deadlines to worry about. I had time to give loaves of pumpkin bread to some neighbors and friends. I even got a run in! And a large family Zoom meeting that evening meant we got to catch up with each other and show off our various cats, who, frankly, were not amused.

Less mess, and far less stress!

I enjoyed the low stress level. Call me a party pooper, but I wouldn’t mind overmuch if we turned the holiday frenzy level down low from now on. Not that I want some kind of health crisis to make it necessary. In fact, why not call it a health benefit? Blood pressures down all over the country, and time to interact with our close ones without everyone running around with tons of stuff to do.

It looks like Christmas will be handled the same way. My wife’s family big get-together in Texas last year was memorable and a lot of fun. But at the end, my sister-in-law (our host) said, “I’m not doing this again.” True for this year anyway.

Xmas 2019 – Four generations of family.

And despite the immediacy of the current situation, there will come a day when this is all in the fast-receding past. What will life look like then? No idea. But I hope that things don’t go back entirely the way they were before. In this country, at least, I think being busy has been associated with being productive. Me included? Guilty as charged. No more. I’ve found I can be very productive at a lower level of activity. I’d like to keep that going forward.

Hope you all had a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

… and yet she continues to smile on the outside.

This is a guest post from my sister Jennifer. I’m reposting it from Facebook because it deserves to be. This is more than a “cute or poignant moment” – this speaks to her entire life loving horses and helping others discover the joys of riding. She is one of the strongest people I know!

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Thirty (30!) years ago, I chose to start my horse riding business. I chose to work hard, very hard, mentally and physically.  I chose a career where the riches are measured in the experiences of others, the fresh outdoors, the rewards of horse ownership. ❤️🐴❤️

Every single dollar made and spent was worked for. I did this all on my own without regular financial support from family or a spouse: no health benefits, no 401k, nothing but the dollars earned by love and sweat and all of my time.

Sick horse(s)? I’m on call and night watch. Short on staff? I’m to cover.  Need feed? I’m the gofer. Round bales need to go to pasture? I’m the tractor driver. Fences to build or repair? I’m on it… all this in between my office duties.

(THANK YOU, Trasa, for being my guardian angel and weekend office warrior!)

My adult life has been about others. Giving all that I can for the good of others. An unselfish lifestyle. I was wonderfully raised to become this way.

This year has been challenging, to say the least. Business is booming! People are discovering riding as an outdoor activity! (imagine that)… My horses are working double time. I’m working all the time. …

A “good problem to have, right?” I hear it, a lot.

If I were renting bicycles, yes.

If my senior herd of horses were younger, yes.

If I were 30 years younger, yes.

But I’m doing my best to care for my horses and take care of my guests.

After 30 years of giving up my time and life for others, carrying this beloved business on my shoulders,  I am finally admitting this one thing:  My horses are tired. I am tired.

And we’re allowed to be!

I’m strong, but I’m exhausted.

 


Jen’s business is Blazing Trails at Pontiac Lake stables. Just in case you want to make her more tired.  😃 😃 😃

Reality Calls: Back from Black Rock City

I’m back!

Actually, I’ve been back for a while now.

Nearly a month, in fact.

I know what you’re thinking.

Where have you been? I hear you all asking. What have you been doing? Why haven’t you written?

I could make some lame excuse about being continually busy working big races, unpacking and cleaning up, catching up on very important business paperwork, dealing with issues at my office job, recovering from an illness, and getting in some running.

So that’s what I’ll go with.

The good news is that I’m loaded with stories about what happened at Black Rock City. And while there’s no way I can fully describe what it’s like to be among 70,000 generous, hard-partying, free-expressing people, I can share the highlights from this one guy’s point of view. Stories to start very soon – watch this space!

For now, I can tell you what it was like to emerge from the fantasy bubble of BRC with its gifting economy, no responsibilities, unbelievable art, and people of all sizes, shapes, and clothing options, back to the “default world” where money, deadlines, and personal agendas are inescapably embedded into our lives.

It wasn’t that bad.

First, I had time. I avoided the shock of leaving BRC, hopping on a plane, and being back home in one day. By driving across the country over several days, I could ease back into real life and spend some serious time reflecting on the experience. And you know, Party Town is fun for a short time but I don’t see it as a long-term lifestyle. The faults and challenges of the real world, and dealing with and overcoming them, is part of what makes life fulfilling for me.

That said, there are some practices and principles of Burning Man that are well worth carrying over into daily life, at least to some degree. What are those? Stay tuned – I will be sure to tell you!

Here’s a little taste of what’s to come.

As always, thanks for reading. See you again soon!