By; Ambassador Elizabeth Noelk
Like most average young adults, I keep a pretty busy schedule. I work 40 hours a week, have a boyfriend, enjoy a busy social life, and of course, spend lots of time at the barn. I like challenges, so I got a puppy recently too. But let’s not forget all those fun adulting things that I also have to do - such as, laundry, dishes, cleaning house, grocery shopping, and paying the bills. That last one I try to forget about, but then realize I like hot showers and air conditioning is the bomb.
Throughout college, I never thought about how difficult it would be to maintain everything. While I had a slight taste of adult responsibilities, I never truly realized how overwhelming it could all be. Two years after college, and I’m still learning how to manage my time.
I like to spend three evenings a week out at the barn and my weekend mornings (at least). I love riding so finding time to ride is very important to me. When I go out to the barn, I don’t want to feel like I have to rush home to get other chores done. I enjoy being out there and working off the stress from my day. As strange as it sounds, the physical labor of doing a stall, lifting hay bales, and scrubbing horses is a way for me to relax.
In order to keep the barn a relaxing place, I had to make some adjustments to my lifestyle. One of the most radical changes is learning how to become a morning person. Now this may not work for everyone, but when I am able to wake up early in the morning, get a chore or two done and work out before heading to work, I have a sense of accomplishment that carries itself throughout my day. Plus, then I can hang out at the barn without having to rush home to get something done.
I’ve learned to plan out my week. I try to get little house cleaning chores done on the week days that I don’t go to the barn. On Mondays, I shop with my boyfriend to ensure there is food for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the fridge. My boyfriend helps a lot during the week. He handles dinner and walking our cute pup in the evenings, so I can head straight out to the barn after work. All these little things have helped reduce my stress and help me optimize my barn time. I am still trying to master setting my clothes out for the week ahead. Getting outfits ready for riding, work, and the gym on Sundays after I do laundry, sometimes doesn’t always come together.
My weekends have become more than just sleeping and partying late. I now use this time to do all those pesky adult chores that are bothersome and get in the way during the week. Of course, I squeeze in some barn time both Saturday and Sunday (what kind of equestrian would I be if I didn’t?), but weekends are also dedicated to seeing friends with my boyfriend and hanging out with our puppy.
You won’t be able to do it all, all the time. Trust me, the day has this habit of ending, but taking a deep breath and letting go of the little things, helps you move forward to a new day. As they say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”