Sunday, June 27, 2010

Change and Letting Go.

I had so many different thoughts on what I could post about and wasn't sure what, if anything, I should actually write about. Then I realized the common theme in everything that's been going on lately. Change and having, or learning, to let go.

I am in the midst of changing jobs. The transition will take awhile but it has been a pretty big stressor in my life these days, even though the choice was mine. I was approached about an assignment in my organization that my career advisor thought would be a good opportunity, as it is a promotion. I met with the manager and employees of the branch and decided to accept the position. I still keep my old job, it will be waiting for me whenever I want to come back, but the idea is to work for this other branch for a year.  It might also lead to other opportunities not currently available to me in my branch.  It's a good thing, I think. It is still a research based position but it's outside my field and I know the expertise in the unit is not as strong as mine in terms of quality quantitative research. So I expect some challenges but that is also part of why they want me, to strengthen the research program. As an extra bonus, my new boss is a rider! During a meeting with her I kept eyeballing a Greenhawk (tack shop) calendar in her office. I found an appropriate time to bring it up and it turns out she knows my coach. So at least we start off with something in common!  So I'm learning to let go of the career path I thought I'd take and my current branch will have to learn to get along without me. I think I have the easier task ;)

My husband left a few days ago for his summer field season. It'll be 59 days altogether. So I alowwed 1.5 days of feeling like a fish out of water and then I had to start letting that go and moving forward with a new routine. To be honest, it pretty much sucks. I hate wishing the summer away. But I'm trying to use the opportunity to re-establish some connections and socialize a little more. I find this hard!

And now, horse stuff!  I had a very dissatisfying lesson last week. I was not in a good frame of mind - I was distracted by my husbands upcoming departure and also had particularly acute PMS. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty emotional! I felt like crying a few times during the lesson, which is not like me at all. When things go wrong I typically just give my head a shake, gather my concentration, and try again. I was actually starting to lose my confidence, which is strange because I'm usually game for anything. I ended up bending my thumb back on Brumby's crest as we landed a jump, our last of the lesson. It was stupid but hurt a lot and I cried my way back to the barn.

So this week, my coach suggested I ride another horse so I could do some fences on a less complicated horse to help with my confidence. He is a Canadian and different as night and day from Brumby. Canadians are an interesting breed, I found him similar to a Fjord in many ways. I was very surprised at how athletic he was and we jumped a small course of fences about 2'3" to 2'9". It was very fun but I don't think it's the kind of horse I'm interested in riding long-term.

I was totally starting to psych myself out about my ability to ride him. I don't know why I do this to myself! My coach was telling me I'm too hard on myself and that I ride him every bit as well as his owner, so I shouldn't worry so much. Apparently we have a lot of the same issues. I find this confusing since I was told not that long ago about how well they were doing. On the other hand, some days I do really well too. It's easier to focus on the negative though. I need to change that.

Yesterday I went to the barn to watch Brumby's owner in a lesson. Although it was short, I saw enough to know that I should forget that she ever said I was less advanced than her. That might have been slightly true last October but I actually suspect it had more to do with figuring out a new horse than anything. I get fairly regular video of myself so I am able to watch myself fairly objectively, as compared to not being able to see "from the ground".  This change in perspective has helped me realize that I am being my own worst enemy and I need to let that go.
I hate to post without a photo, so here you go!

I've also realized that I'm so not used to the pace required when riding over fences, so it tends to feel very fast to me. This translates to me holding back too much and the horse fighting with me. The result is not getting the right distances and me feeling out of control. So I've been working on letting go, quite literally.

Change is hard. But it is an element of all aspects of life, so it's better to try to let go of our comfort zones and embrace the change, as much as possible. At least that's what I'm telling myself!


Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

We all struggle with change and letting go. It sounds exciting about your career opportunity, and you still have the safety net of your old position waiting for you. As far as being too hard on yourself as a rider . . . join the club! This was a good post, you packed a lot of thoughtful things into it.

Once Upon an Equine said...

I just posted about change too. There seems to be a lot of it happening. You have a very good attitude and will come through your changes stronger and better.

Anonymous said...

The new job opportunity sounds very interesting - good for you for taking on the challenge.

Change is hard, but sometimes it's necessary if we're to get anywhere. Your trainer sounds thoughtful about how to work with you. Every time you ride, instead of worrying about what you did wrong or could have done differently - that's easy for most of us - also pick something you did right or that you liked and congratulate yourself for that!

Laura said...

Good news about the job situation - as stressful as it can be, it might turn out to be a great opportunity. You are lucky to have that in our "organization" because I feel totally stuck where I am and I'm looking outside to find a promotion/change of scenery...

Sounds like you are being hard on yourself - it is easy to do, unfortunately. I hope you have a better lesson this week.

Must be tough to have your hubby away that long - interested in going for a trail ride sometime this week? Thursday? Are you taking Friday off? Saturday? :-)

Golden the Pony Girl said...

Good luck with your new job! It is always both stressful and fun learning new protocols and working in different fields. I know how you feel missing your significant other as well, where are his field stations- do you at least get to go visit?

I have a hard time with timing over fences too. It is so much harder to go with the flow now that I am an adult!

RuckusButt said...

First, wow, clearly I didn't proof read very well! I kind of like my type-o "alowwed"...two w's together is fun.

Melissa, it's good to hear I'm not the only one being too hard on myself. I seem to be surrounded by people who are very comfortable with their own riding ability. I think it's great (since they aren't arrogant for the most part) but find it hard to relate!

Thanks for the encouragement, Once Upon. I just saw your post and was heading over to read it, so I'll comment there. I thought summer was supposed to be relaxed and easy, what's with all these big decisions etc???

Kate - truthfully, I feel like a big chicken! But that's part of why I took it too, to push my comfort a little. I like your advice to purposely look for the positive. In one of Jane Savoie's latest "newsletters" she talked about negative vs positive thinking and it hit home. It's too easy to forget though, so thanks for the reminder!

Laura - you have an email coming soon! Trust me, where I am currently there are almost no opportunities. Again, another reason for taking something outside my field per se to try to have some room for development. I look forward to chatting with you in person! Not too much "shop talk" though, just a little! I was going to email you to ride together this weekend but I really needed to do a schooling type ride. It was stinkin' humid anyway.

Golden - he is in Northern BC and Yukon. I'm not going to visit because it's pretty complicated logistically & expensive. It was easier when I was a student and could go for 3-4 weeks. It doesn't make sense to go for 1wk -don't forget, he's working every day, weekends don't exist during the field season. I'll save my pathetic vacation time for when he can focus on ME, lol.