Thursday, January 1, 2015

Six months in review...

Another year gone by. At the last turn of the calendar I was pretty apprehensive about my future, but fortunately a lot has changed since then. Join me in my travels back through time...

January saw me at Corner Bakery, expediting food and begging to be cross-trained so I could pick up hours on other stations. I was still being strung along on the management lie (which I had not yet identified as a lie), so I kept telling myself to just keep swimming.
At the end of the month we embarked on our annual Disney trip; Josh and I drove down in a rented Ford Fusion and met up with his family in the sunshine state. As luck wouldn't have it, the sunshine there was more figurative than literal; we had cold, wet weather for most of the week. A crappy day in Disney is still better than being home, so we weren't exactly complaining, but a few rays wouldn't have hurt.

The second Corner Bakery location opened in February, and I was transferred to help get the store up and running. Once again I was fighting to work my way into the back of house for better hours and a raise. I threw myself onto the hot line one day when the opportunity presented itself, and I rocked it. I was able to get full time hours for a while, and I even got a raise. I thought things were looking up.
Around this time I was riding - well, sort of - at Melody Farm. I spent most of the winter doing ground work with Lucy, building a bond with her and engaging her brain. Sometime in February I think I finally got back on, with a rope halter in place of a bridle. We slowly but surely progressed and built up each other's confidence.

March. I had made plans for my birthday to ride the mechanical bull at Toby Keith's, but I promptly cancelled them when I came to my senses and remembered I was broke and antisocial. I worked on my actual birthday, but I did have my parents and a couple of friends over for dinner that night. It was nice, quiet, and a great time.
I had a breakthrough with Lucy that month, finally cantering under saddle for the first time since December. After the lightbulb went on, we felt unstoppable. I was starting to feel like my old self, and she like a brand new girl. It was just what we both needed.

April began innocently enough, but the winds of change that began to blow were enough to knock me off my feet. At first a little whisper through the trees; Maddy casually telling me she had a job opportunity for me. Had I ever heard of night watch? Why, yes. I grew up at horse shows, spending countless hours riding, grooming, or just spectating by day and braiding by night. I contacted the man who owns the night watch company, and he said he'd get back to me for an interview. Not half an hour later he called to offer me the job, IF I could be in CT that night. Sure! It was four nights of work (in addition to my CBC schedule), and I was beyond exhausted by the end of the weekend. But somehow I felt great. I could do this all summer! I could live at horse shows again!
I stopped riding Lucy; Kate was back in the saddle, and she really needed someone who could pay for a lease. I didn't think it was fair to the horse to have mixed signals from three different riders, so I bowed out.
I will quickly mention that the situation at Corner Bakery had declined even more by this point, and it was starting to affect my life outside of work too. I was miserable, I was broke because hours had been cut in half, and I was feeling edgy all the time. It was no good.

In May the ticking time bomb finally exploded; I totally lost my marbles one day at work, verbally eviscerated the staff and company as a whole, and quit. Three out of four of my managers tried to talk some sense into me and FINALLY listened to what I had to say, but it was too late. I had already spoken with Josh about how unhappy I was and he encouraged me to leave. I had night watch to get me through the summer, and I had just picked up a part time job with a catering group. I knew I could make it work. They coerced me into staying a few more weeks, and I survived, but I was never so happy as when I knew I would never set foot through those doors again.
May wasn't all bad; we did take my parents to Block Island as a belated thank-you-for-puppy-sitting gift. We made our way up the only hill on the island, stopping at the animal farm and the south lighthouse. We then walked...and walked and walked and walked...until we realized we may have passed the street we needed to get back downtown. If only we had a map. Cell phone service was spotty, so our google maps weren't loading. Oh well, we thought. Let's see where this road takes us. Eventually we stopped and sat on a stone wall to rest. Mom reached into her bag and pulled out what else but a MAP. A freaking map! Where was this an hour ago?!? We laughed and promised her she'd never live that one down, then continued along and found our way to the main drag. We estimated that we had walked about ten miles, and we were all starving. Lunch at a local bar was delicious, and of course we did a bit of shopping before catching the ferry. I should mention that the weather was crazy that day; it was overcast and VERY windy. As we boarded the ferry we saw the crew taking pictures of the waves because they had never seen them so high. Needless to say, it was anything but smooth sailing - literally a roller coaster ride on the ocean. The ferry went airborne so many times we lost count, and the waves were crashing onto the upper deck. It was incredible, and terrifying, and made for some great memories.
One more the end of the month Josh and I went to Mystic Aquarium to play with penguins! It was my birthday gift and I enjoyed it thoroughly. We spent the day there having the best time; I highly recommend the penguin encounter program to anyone.

The sun shone brightly on June. Night watch was in full swing and I became so accustomed to commuting to CT that I could have done it in my sleep. A couple of days I did elect to stay down there (I had a free hotel room to sleep in, after all), but there is not a lot to do in Westbrook, CT and even worse there is no Odie there. For anyone who may read this and wonder what night watch is, I will explain. At multi-day horse shows many competitors will stable their horses on the grounds, but since it is a strange environment (and they are expensive animals) they do not want to leave them unattended. I stayed on the show grounds overnight, making rounds to check on the horses every two hours beginning at 9:00pm. After my last round at 5:00am I was free to go, save for some paperwork and the occasional billing process. It's a pretty sweet gig (to me anyway), and it pays well. Things were looking up, for real this time.
I took Ron parasailing in Newport for Father's day, which was a blast! My mom came out on the boat to take pictures, then we went to lunch and wandered aimlessly around town. It was wonderful.
Josh and I also went out on a boat, this time for a whale watch. We had some great sightings, some only a few feet away from the ship. What a fantastic experience!

I am pausing here; there is still so much to write about but it is New Year's day, I am off with Josh, and I refuse to waste it blogging. Besides, it is circus animal waffle time. Later, taters.

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