As a fitness coach, people are constantly telling me that they do not have time to workout or eat right because of everything going on in their lives. I hear riders (or former riders) often claim they no longer have time to ride because they are busy with “adult life” and work all the time. I just have one question… When did it become the thing to work all the dang time and pile on responsibility after responsibility – making no time for yourself, or your passions?! It seems to me that we live in a society addicted to being busy. Having “no time” for anything besides responsibilities is glorified.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been a busy addict too! I have had the misconception that I have to be productive all the time, and if I take time to relax – or do something for myself – I am not working hard enough. I have been criticized for making horses a priority as an adult, and that I should be more focused on work or finding a husband. However, it is not that I am not focused on work, it is simply that I have made horses a non-negotiable priority in my life. I will make time for them, just like I will make time to work out. I will also make time to enjoy life – even if just for a few moments here and there. I think that making time for certain things that brings us joy, or making time to care for ourselves, has more to do with mindset than literal time.
You could say that I am busy. I work multiple jobs right now, own a horse, and have a farm under construction. There are always things to be done. When I am not working, I am typically either riding or keeping up the 63 acres I live on. But sometimes I just have to stop. I have to turn my phone off. I have to choose to see a friend instead of getting extra work done in the evening. I have to stop and smell the roses.
Just the other day, I was busy picking up fallen sticks and branches – from the many storms this winter – around the farm to get ready to mow everything. As I was cutting through the fields, hurrying to get another load before the imminent rain storm heading this way arrived, I noticed all the wildflowers. They were everywhere, and had seemingly sprung up overnight. I stopped and picked some. I thought about not stopping. About getting back to work. But then I remembered that there is only this short window of time that wildflowers are here. They will be gone once the fields are mowed, and the summer heat will prevent them from coming back until next year. So, I stopped and picked some. I paused in the midst of a busy day to appreciate the beauty all around me.
Sometimes all it takes is a pause in a field of wildflowers to remind yourself that there is more to life than work and responsibility. Just because you have grown up, doesn’t mean that you have to lose our childlike sense of wonder and joy in the simple things. You don’t have to constantly be in a rush. Sometimes it is okay to stop and smell the roses. In fact, it is good for the soul.