This past week weighed in a bit heavy.
Last Monday-a babysitting date for Maycee while I worked during the President’s Day holiday went all wrong (and it won’t happen again). Tuesday, a bit of bad news came that my hours needed to be cut back at work–expected, only I held on in hopeful denial as long as I could. Wednesday, the head trip began, and my psyche traveled far and wide into budgetary cities…for hours and hours and miles and miles with no snack break. Thus, without much of a clear mind I just didn’t have it in me to write… anything…not even a sticky note, except to remind myself that I needed to bring home the Subway sandwiches in the fridge at work. That was on Thursday. I had a myriad of clever ideas, just no mo-jo to get the job done. Friday I knew I’d be gone all day-work, driving Maycee to see her dad, dinner with my best buddy for some much-needed empathetic girl time. Friday night during dinner Maycee called me at 9:30 crying terribly because I’d forgotten to put Blanky, Bluey, and Crystal Kitty in her “going to Daddy’s” bag-she can’t sleep without them. I hit a skunk on the way home at 11:15PM.
Saturday I waited for this notveryMary[TylerMoore] attitude to pass. I had a good dose of “me” time while my boyfriend was hanging with his buddies celebrating his best friend’s freedom before he gets married in May. I painted the entire white trim of the yellow submarine: stair banisters, the patio room, the front porch, and I even painted a little bench that sits to the side of the sub in bright white and blue stripes so it looks all happy! It smiles. I talked to Maycee and let her know that I was taking good care of Blanky, Bluey, and Crystal Kitty and had given them all baths, too. I called my mom who encouraged me with offerings of Dollar Store gift cards for groceries if I start to feel too pinched with my reduced work hours.
I took a hot shower and turned in for the evening with the pups and watched a $5.00 movie from Walmart entitled Dreamer (Sonador). Based on a true story, an injured race horse who’s going to be put down gets taken in by the trainer’s family, fully recovers, and ends up winning a huge race. A story that warmed my heart and cleaned out my tear ducts completely, sing praises, HALLELUJAH! I could see the LIGHT and received a kick in the pants.
By Sunday I knew I was ready to look at the mountain as a molehill. Perhaps I wasn’t fully back to my “normal” self, but I’d had enough of the blues. My horse instructor suggested I come out to the ranch Sunday morning to ride again, as Saturday morn my lesson fell apart quickly after I sobbed whilst telling her I was going to have to cut back on Maycee’s and my riding time. That riding was really the only frivolous thing I did, and thus the one big thing left for me to cut out of my budget with less money hitting my pocket.
As I sniffled and wept she patted my leg (I was sitting on “my” horse, geezlouise), and said, “No, you’re going to keep coming every Saturday and Maycee every other Saturday. We’ll make it happen. Don’t worry. Being a single mom sucks, and we have to stick together. Why don’t you come back tomorrow at 10. It’ll be better therapy [than church].” Yes, the mountain was really a molehill; it MIGHT even be an ant hill, goshdarnit.
I went out to the ranch Sunday morning and rode with four other women ranging from pros to amateurs. I walked, trotted, whoa’d, and watched as we took turns trying different things. My instructor and I chatted, and at one point discussing a make-up lesson, I said I could come out and ride for an hour on a Friday afternoon, and she exclaimed, “Or longer…I like havin’ you out here (big grin on her face)!” A slight hint of laughter slipped from my lips and jiggled my belly-my shoulders relaxed.
I sat in the saddle for the longest period of time yet, almost a full hour and half. I was able to groom and tack the horse with no help, and untack just the same. I gave “my” horse a carrot. I swept the barn floor. And, before I left I considered everything I was feeling in that moment. Calm. Peace. Serenity. Happiness. Reflecting on how just a little less than a year ago I knew not one thing about horses except that I wanted my daughter and I to learn how to ride together. Earning about the same salary, I sent an email to my instructor and shared my story:
Hi, there. I’m a single mom on a tight budget, but I really want to learn how to ride horses with my daughter. She goes to her dad’s every other weekend, and so we can only commit to two weekends a month, and I’m not even sure if I can afford that. But, I’m willing to help out at the ranch or do other things to compensate if this is possible. Any help you can give me is much appreciated.” She answered me back several days later saying, “Sorry I took so long to write back. I’m a single mom, too, so I know what it’s like. I’m sure we can work something out. Give me a call.
You tell me the odds.
I got in my car and headed home to clean up before making the trek down to get Maycee. Only, when I was sitting in the car I smelled the barn all over my clothes. I smelled the horse stink on my blue jeans from cleaning the muck out of his hooves. The glorious horse stink. And so, as I was able to see over the ant hill’s horizon I decided to leave the smelly clothes on reminding me of where I started and where I am today-not just with riding, but with everything. More resourceful and more resilient; this is only a slight bump in the road, and I’m never alone. Today, Monday, I decided it was time to write.
Thanks for reading, Everyone. Life is short. Life is life. If we have computers to type on, we are richer than most. With our eyes open it’s easier to see the way. These are my Kaseyisms for the hour. Be happy y’all, and give a chuckle now, ya hear (wink)?