I have found I am quite often happier on days I get up at 4am. I’m not quite sure how shovelling horse muck can improve ones mood for an entire day.
Actually, most people think I’m a bit mad, or that it’s a source of stress, but the days I start in the barn with the very fat birds chirping overhead and the radio playing softly in the background, doing the same routine each time I work there, I breathe a little better.
It’s not something I can do everyday because I do actually need sleep, and no matter how hard I try, it is impossible to get the amount I need when I don’t get inside my house until 6pm.
But this is how I think I can explain why everyone should give getting up before work to do something completely different a go.
I thrive off routine, though a spontaneous person, I must have consistency to function properly. The smallest inconsistencies can throw me completely off if they happen in every aspect of my life all at once, so I have learnt I must have one thing that remains the same – a constant to come back to, to refocus myself when it’s all spinning out of control.
I’m in my early 20’s, I have a long term relationship, I have a reasonably stressful job, I want to travel, I have hobbies, I flat, so I have many factors in my life that change on a daily basis or plans that develop each day for the future. Life’s just like that. Things happen and there are many things completely out of my control – like most other people.
Many of those things come with fairly high demands or expectations.
I am thinking all the time. Life doesn’t just stop and wait for me to process things. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and like the other day while on the phone to my mother, I have emotional breakdowns. Everyone has these in different ways – mine always tend to be in the most awkward of locations, such as a supermarket.
Some people bottle, some people just shut it out and the people along with it, others get angry, others cry, others just feel like shit.
Either way – people don’t cope all the time.
I do everything at high speed. Stories need to be finished yesterday, interviews need to be short and to the point, transcribing needs to be done in the most time concious manner, the horses need to be looked after and ridden before it gets dark or cold. Everything has to be planned and has to happen when it’s supposed to. I work in an office so there are people talking all the time, there is music, clatter, there is always fairly nerve jarring noise.
Plus, I’m not the kind of person who likes being in an office – it’s like being in a box, a noisy box, and with no fresh air all day, I go a little mad.
I’d say a lot of people who be in the same situation – demands, stress, talking, noise, questions, offices, inside, lack of sun light, lack of air, lack of movement. It just doesn’t stop.
Some people run, but I find I get complacent running and quite easily hit the snooze button if I’m tired.
When you’re working for someone, you actually have to turn up to work. So when that alarm goes off at 4am I have to get out of bed whether I like it or not.
Then, I spend 2.5 hours with little to no communication with anyone. Not a single person asks me a question, or to do something, there is little talking and little noise other than the birds and a quiet radio. Each horse has its own personality and most want a cuddle if you want a break. There is a strange barn cat who wants to be my friend, but doesn’t really know if it should be so tame. I do the same thing, get the wheelbarrow, muck out the poo, rake the bedding so it’s flat, change the water, put in fresh hay. I don’t have to think, I work at a methodical pace, there is no certain amount I have to achieve, I just achieve what I can in the time I’m there. I set my own pace and I work at that.
Suddenly, I feel like my whole world is under control and I’m not spiralling out of it at a rapid pace. Things aren’t falling apart. The world is there to be conquered, one task at a time. I can sleep, and it’s a deep sleep!
It is a refreshing break and it gives me to focus and a chance to step away from my ‘norm’ to stop caring so damn much.
I know waking up at 4am to go clean up after horses does not seem therapeutic to most, but it is exactly what I need. Actually, I think it is the one thing that has kept me sane these last few weeks. I even love my own horses just a bit more because they’re no longer a point of financial stress.
While it’s not for everyone, I would strongly suggesting if you’re stressed, can’t sleep, worried, short tempered, go and do something before work. No matter how tired you are, you might find it give you enough physical exhaustion to sleep better to relieve yourself of the mental exhaustion.
It is guaranteed me time where I can check out of life for a couple of hours.
Man I sound like a weirdo!
But I am so happy I have found something that gives me a bit more balance and a lot more courage to tackle my daily life.
P.s this song is an awesome pick me up if you’re feeling like the world is crushing you!