Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Getting back on the horse (literally and figuratively)

Today, for the first time in my life, I fell off a horse.

I'm not a terribly experienced rider; a family friend taught me to ride about 15 years ago, but I never took professional lessons, and it turns out there are some things — rather important things — our friend didn't teach me.

In any case, Panama freaked out and bolted today when I was riding him. My first response was to grab onto the pommel, which my trainer said tends to make them only run faster. Then I tried a one-rein stop, but a little too late — I was already starting to fall, and when Panama broke free of that and started running back to the barn (we were in the pasture behind it) I fell off.

Luckily we still have a lot of snow on the ground, so I had a relatively soft landing. Even so, falling off a horse wasn't as bad as I had expected. I'm actually relieved that I fell off today, because now I won't dread it anymore.

Of course, I made sure I rode Panama again before the end of the training session. For one thing, I didn't want him to think he could get away with bolting on me, and for another, I didn't want to allow myself to develop a fear of it.

Writing about falling off a horse, and getting back up on again, made me think of my current situation with work. I've worked through most of the holidays, but with a relatively light load — in other words, only doing what I had to do, whether for deadlines or income. However, today is back to business as usual: Michael is back at work, and won't be allowed to take any time off in January. Meanwhile, I need to get back up to speed if I want to be able to make my fourth estimated tax payment on January 15th.

Getting back to work after the holidays is always difficult, but I think it's also important to do so. Just like falling off a real horse, if you don't get back on again quickly, you start dreading it and putting it off. And since self-motivation and self-regulation are vital qualities for freelancers, we simply can't afford not to get back up on that horse again.


Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl said...

This is so true! I didn't drive for a long time after some traumatic things and it was SO hard to get behind the wheel again when I finally did and I'm STILL not comfortable driving, really.

I wish I'd had your courage when I first refused to drive again....

Katharine Swan said...

I wish I'd had your courage when I first refused to drive again....

Don't be silly! From even the little I know about you, it is clear you have already overcome insurmountable odds. You'd be amazing even if you decided the only safe way to travel was to skip everywhere.

Besides, in retrospect I think falling off a horse has to be much less scary than most car-related traumas. At least all I had to contend with was the ground, rather than several thousands of pounds of steel!

Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl said...

Thanks, Katharine, I appreciate your sweet words!

Of course, I can't imagine skipping everywhere... I'd lose these last few pounds that are so stubbornly stuck on though!


You're the bestest! (Of course I know that isn't a word!)

Oh, and thanks for linking to my obesity article in your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed it enough to do that. :-)


Katharine Swan said...

Skipping everywhere only works if you have someone to do it with. Otherwise you look crazy.

If you want to lose the last few pounds, get a horse. Seriously, I discovered that delightful side effect after we brought Panama out here in September. :o)

As for the obesity article, it's funny, but I read that when it first ran and thought it was interesting. However, I didn't put it together and realize you were the author until I looked at your portfolio the other night. It was a "Duh!" moment for me. :o)

Kathy@TheFlawlessWord said...

I've just tagged you for a meme.


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