There aren’t enough hours in the day; that’s something I’m very sure of. There aren’t enough minutes to get everything done on my to-do list. There aren’t enough seconds to finish my work, to spend time with everyone I want to. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do what I need to do, or what I want to do.

Where does the time even go? Does it waste away while I’m working, does it get later and later as I do chores around the house? Where is the time to fit in the trail ride after work, or the hour to brush my horse?

I think the time we’re allotted to spend at the barn unfortunately diminishes as our age increases. We are weighed down by the amount of responsibilities loaded up like second helpings of dessert on our plates. I don’t even really like dessert; do all these responsibilities need to be on my plate like an extra large piece of pie? The answer is yes, they do… but no, I don’t have to like it.

I feel like I’m cheating myself by putting horseback riding on a lower priority level. Riding isn’t the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and I feel guilty about that. Like I’m gently letting go of a part of my identity. I’m not, but it sure feels that way. Instead, paying bills on a schedule, finishing work up even if it’s late, and taking care of the people in my household have become the first things on my mind.

I miss the days when I was able to ride three horses in the afternoon. When I was able to carelessly spend hours in the barn, safe from the outside world and the weight beyond the sliding doors of the stable itself. I know things change as you get older, just like they’re supposed to. However the weight of this change is sometimes too much, and I find myself nostalgic, missing the simplicity of another time.

Don’t get me wrong, being able to grow and learn and mature is an incredible experience. I’m on a career path I never expected. I have opportunities I couldn’t have dreamed of… but what happens to the dreams of the “before”? I don’t think my desire to be a professional equestrian will ever go away, but accepting that life is different than I assumed it would be is a challenge.

I went from riding several horses a day, to riding several times a week, to riding maybe once or twice a week when my schedule allows for it. It’s a serious change for me, one I’m not quite sure how to handle. I know we all go through changes in our lives, and we have to adapt. But let’s not take away from ourselves that it’s hard. It’s hard to skip going to the barn because yes you really do need to call the plumber today. It’s hard to skip going to the barn because your boyfriend or husband has a work function they’d like you to “come with”.

Where in the world does the time go?