Saturday, July 28, 2012

June "Joanna's Journal" in Marie Clare

Before I get started on this: YAY OLYMPICS! The opening ceremony was awesomely cool (aside from a somewhat cheesy representation of the 2000s and a creepy giant baby head, but hey, you take the good with the bad). For me, the highlights were the Queen's royal helicopter, the hot-iron Olympic rings, and the general plethora of top hats. The Shires at the beginning were cute too.

From Yahoo! Sports

Now on to the topic of the day. I'm not a regular fashion magazine reader, but I just read the "Joanna's Journal" part of Marie Clare since my mom said it had a horsey theme. It begins pretty well:

"In my early 20s, flush with a small amount of disposable income, I took up horseback riding...It got me outside and, more important, for two hours a week, got me out of my own head, which was roiling with the usual anxieties about work, men, and life."
Where are you supposed to even wear that kind of garment?! via
She begins to question whether she can keep up with the expense of riding, and her friend counsels her that maybe she needs that time to herself to come up with her best editorial ideas. Again, so far so good. As someone who also has an editorial job, I identified with this. I don't recall ever coming up with brilliant ideas while riding (There are way too many other things to concentrate on!) but I think it's very healthy to take a break from the over-analysis, worry, and nailbiting that come from being a 20-something writerly type.

But then it ends on a disappointing note:
"I did eventually give up riding; I was traveling more, and I found a reason to stay in town on Saturday mornings--and eventually married him."

Ok, so I understand that for Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Clare, fashion is probably more of a passion than riding, and clearly she's not about to give that up. But I still didn't like the message of "It's okay to give up your "me time" once you have a man in your life." Not so! I have a wonderful boyfriend who I love spending time with on the weekends, but when it comes to Barn Time vs. Boyfriend Time, the cards are not stacked in his favor unless there is some kind of illness, bad weather, or other emergency.

Since my early teenage years when my parents were in the midst of a divorce and I counted down the days to my weekly lesson, I've always looked forward to my time at the barn as a respite from real life. Different goals, a different social sphere, and even a different language at the barn all allow me to set outside stress aside for a few hours.

I feel lucky that with the opportunities I've found to ride for free, a barn that is very close to where I live, and with a car that (fingers crossed) is doing A-OK for now, I have a lot of freedom to find time to ride. But balancing a hobby that takes at least two hours with a relationship is not always easy. I've seen threads on COTH that totally bash non-horsey husbands and significant others, but the non-horse-person in the relationship isn't always at fault, although it's a lot easier for we horse-crazy folks to lay the blame on them because they just don't understand how precious barn time is. Sometimes I've made the wrong choice between my addiction and my relationship, like when my boyfriend was feeling sick and I went to exercise a horse 40 minutes away from our college. When I got back, he had gotten much worse, curled up in a ball and sweating with a burning fever, hardly able to move. Of course I couldn't have predicted that he would feel so much worse in just a few hours, but I felt terrible. It definitely imprinted the lesson that sometimes you do have to give up your "me time" when your baby needs you.

But not ALWAYS! That article just rubbed me the wrong way. I'd love to hear how you've carved out time to ride despite "real life" commitments.

P.S.-- Look out for a guest post from my was his idea, and we've been talking about it for months. Now that I've put it on the internet, he has to follow through! Although I'm wondering if it might be more timely after I start teaching and give him a lesson...what do you think?

P.P.S--I know you were on the edge of your seat waiting for my foray into dressage lessons, but thunderstorms, rained-out arenas, late days at the office, and ridiculous heat keep postponing the lesson. Hopefully it will happen soon!


  1. It's easy for me, my SO is an endurance athlete (think ultra marathons and century rides)his work outs take as long as my barn rides, we're both athletes, we both respect and enjoy that about each other. We'd never ask the other to not do what they love.

    1. Hmm, maybe I should take that same tactic: "Your Madden games take as long as a ride, so we're even!"

    2. Or encourage them to play games while you're out riding :D

  2. "It's okay to give up your "me time" once you have a man in your life." LOL this is hilarious because you're right, that's pretty much what she said. Well, to each their own. I hear you that SOMETIMES maybe you have to sacrifice, but those are very few and far between for me.

    I make time, no matter if I'm tired or have to get up super early. I want to be there and spend time with my girl so much that I just do whatever I have to and rearrange my day however I need to, to make that happen :)

  3. I feel the same way. Between working out an hour a day, riding at a barn 45 minutes away, and working 40 hours a week, it's hard sometimes to balance all that, running a household, and being married. I always make sure that Nick is my top priority, though, even though it sometimes means getting up super early to get my barn chores done. He's incredibly supportive of me, and I feel lucky after reading all of those COTH threads also.