Am I super late with this blog hop? Well, yes. But I felt like it would be a little weird to do it after only a week of the new job. Now that I’ve worked out my new schedule, I thought it was high time I got on it! Here’s what my day generally looks like:
4:30 – First alarm goes off. I ignore it.
5:00 – Second alarm goes off. Once again, I just turn it off; there’s no point in snoozing it because I’ll ignore it anyway.
5:30 – Third alarm goes off. It’s a recording of someone yelling “WAKE UUUUP!” Usually I snooze it a few times on five-minute intervals, but sometimes I do actually get out of bed.
5:45-ish – Wake up properly, grab my laptop, and check the weather even though I already did last night. Spoiler alert: it’s cold. Cry.
5:55 – Yell at myself for getting distracted by the internet. Pull up some upbeat music, which is my version of a caffeine boost. (Current choice is Uptown Funk, because there’s nothing like singing “gotta kiss myself I’m so pretty I’M TOO HOT” to your reflection in the mirror to make you feel good about the rest of your day.) Get out of bed, give a kiss to Sleepy Puppy, brush teeth/etc, apply sunscreen, and begin getting dressed. Consider the relative pros and cons of not wearing a bra. Decide that while, ultimately, not wearing a bra is obviously the superior option, I should still probably wear a bra. Put on a bra.
6:05 – Sleepy Puppy and I head downstairs. I feed her and grab the rest of my clothes (mostly outerwear that gets left downstairs) to finish getting dressed. Wait for the Old Man Dog to emerge.
6:10 – Old Man Dog emerges. I feed him, give him his meds, and let both dogs out. Sleepy Puppy usually takes two steps out the door and runs right back in; Old Man Dog likes to survey his territory regularly so he stays out until he lets me know he wants to come back inside. I take my meds.
6:15 – Finish getting dressed and venture outside to turn the car on. Run back in wondering where the hell I left my shoes. Let the dogs back in. Remember I should eat something. Wander around the kitchen aimlessly looking for a snack. Usually it’s some variation of oatmeal/yogurt/PB&J/some sort of power/granola bar. Throw some snacks and whatever else I’ll need for the day in my bag and fill up my water bottle. Wonder if the latte machine at the Dunkin’ Donuts is working again yet. Remind myself that I shouldn’t spend money on frivolous things, unless yesterday was payday, in which case: absolutely spend money on frivolous things. Remind myself that I’m trying not to become too dependent on caffeine. Remind myself that I actually really hate the taste of coffee. Make hot chocolate and put it in a to-go mug.
6:25 – Freak out about being late. Figure out where I left my boots, grab my hat and bag, scrape any remaining frost from the windshield of my car, and head out. (Sometimes, if I have to head to the store in the morning – which is often – I’ll leave closer to 6:10 or 6:15. The store is less than a mile from my house and I have to pass it to get just about anywhere, so it’s only about five minutes from my total drive time. Between this job, working as a film extra, and just generally being an insomniac, the guy who does the overnight shift at Kroger and I have become total BFF.)
6:26 – On the road! Realise that I didn’t scrape the frost off of my side mirrors. Get angry about missing the very first light even though I virtually always miss it. Briefly consider actually driving the speed limit. Remember that even in the dark the speed limit is still really just a suggestion around here. Slow way the hell down in the locations of known speed traps anyway (to, y’know, only ten mph over the speed limit). Check the price at every single gas station I pass on my route. Marvel at how the two lights that always give me trouble when I drive this way in the afternoon may as well not exist at this time of day. Yell at all the people going into the city who are blinding me by using their brights on Birmingham Highway, despite the fact that I, too, use my brights on Birmingham Highway. Wonder who decided to put a roundabout at this intersection when it was perfectly functional without a roundabout. Wonder why they insist on calling it a traffic circle when it is clearly a roundabout. Wonder if this is a cultural thing. Wonder who taught me the word I use for roundabout – the Chicagolanders, or the Southerners?
Between 6:55 and 7:00 – Arrive at the Work Barn. I am not late. Success! Start tossing hay and mixing grain, giving a quick check to all the ponies.
By 7:30 – Start mucking stalls. If it’s a quiet day I’ll plug in my headphones and listen to music out of one ear. I have a four-hour-long playlist on my iPod called ‘AM playlist’ that consists entirely of upbeat pop-type tunes to help me wake up in the mornings.
8:00 – The sun is fully up and we take a break from stalls to turn out the morning shift. This takes a while because the property is pretty spread out, there’s only two of us, and the horses will often need blanket changes/bell boots put on. I hate pull on bell boots, but at least it only takes me sixty seconds to put them on now, instead of five minutes.
8:30 – Back to mucking stalls. Decide who has one today’s golden ticket – redeemable for one extra-thorough stall cleaning, today only! (Please don’t mess it up that badly again…)
11:00-ish – Stalls are done! When the barn is full, we finish sometime between 10:30 and 11:30, depending on what else is going on. (For example, especially on weekends, I will sometimes take a break from mucking to help bring in horses for clients, or occasionally help groom and tack.) During show weeks, we can finish as early as 10. I reapply my sunscreen and grab a snack. Sweep the barns. Dust things. Dump and refill water buckets as necessary.
12:00 – Bring in horses who are turned out, turn out the afternoon shift. Oftentimes, this involves more blanket changes. Make sure no one hurt themselves. Finish anything that we didn’t get done before switching turnouts, or complete additional jobs.
13:00 – Some days: I’m off! I say goodbye, log my hours, and go home. On lesson days, that means I drive to Riding Barn, usually grabbing lunch on the way (the one time a week I stop for fast food, if I’m being good). Wonder why the sign calls the roundabout a roundabout from this direction but a traffic circle from the other. Think about stopping for gas at the previously-identified cheapest gas station. Don’t stop for gas.
Other days: lunch break before I hack horses! There are a very limited number of options (it’s a pretty rural area) so I usually get a sandwich from Publix or a slice of pizza/some pasta from what would be the greatest pizza place in the city if it wasn’t so… not in the city at all. Then my Kindle and I hang out in my car for an hour. Every so often my bosses will take us out (can you say ‘I love free food!’?). When I come back, it’s no work, just riding! (Except for some days, like before shows, when it is work – packing the trailer and so on.) But this is about lesson days, so:
14:00 – Arrive at Riding Barn. Say hi, find out who I’m riding, and start grooming/tacking up. Probably spend a long time picking out my horse’s tail by hand. I like pretty tails.
If I don’t have a riding lesson and I’m not staying at work, I get home around 13:45, eat a snack, change into sweats, check my email and so on, and crawl into bed with Sleepy Puppy.
15:00 – Lesson time!
16:00 – Hop off my horse, untack, and groom. If Kelsey’s around we tend to spend a lot of time just kind of sitting in the barn, but if it’s just me, it doesn’t take a terribly long time.
17:00-ish – Arrive home. Grab my laptop and start catching up on whatever’s happened on the Internet today – email, Twitter, Tumblr, and of course reading all of y’all’s blogs!
If I’m riding at work, I usually arrive home around 18:00 to 19:00, depending on how many horses I rode that day.
18:30 – Venture downstairs and start bothering people about dinner, which is usually about to be had. Decide I don’t want to eat whatever everybody else is having and bother someone until they make me something else, like a Responsible Adult Who Can Provide For Herself. If I’m in the mood to cook, I’ll make something tasty for myself (ask me about my mac and cheese casserole… or my chicken piccata… or my parmesan crusted chicken…). Then… eat! Eating is my favourite part of the day. I love food. I love food a lot. After dinner, I usually just spend the next several hours doing some variation of a) continuing to screw around online, b) reading a book, c) finally catching up on my television shows, or d) on rare occasions, actually socialising.
Between 21:00 and 23:00 – Sleepy Puppy and I head upstairs if we are not already there. Start thinking about getting ready for bed. Maybe take a shower. (I hate taking showers, especially in winter, since I live above the garage and my bathroom gets cold as all get out.) Otherwise, put pyjamas on, brush teeth, wash face, and perform the rest of my super fun skincare routine (VASELINE ALL THE THINGS). Brush hair and braid it to prevent tangles. Sit in bed reading, chatting with friends, or whatever.
Between 0:00 and 2:00 – Sleepytime! Pull up something relaxing on Youtube, plug in my headphones, and do my best to fall asleep before starting it all over again tomorrow.
I’m too late to add this to the linkup, but be sure to check out everyone else’s posts! I really enjoyed reading about all of y’all’s lives.