Yesterday was my 30th birthday. The last time I set eyes on my horse was Sunday, Dec. 11—you know, back when I was in my 20's.
I did not ride Dec. 12 because I had to work late. Actually, I should clarify: I've been working late every working day since the week before Thanksgiving. I've also had to come in on Sunday. In December, this is pretty normal operating procedure; I anticipated the holiday rush. But just because you see the oncoming train doesn't mean you have the wherewithal to get out of the way.
I did not ride Dec. 13 because Heather was using the arena, and it was cold, and I'm lazy. Heather has been very diligent about using the arena at night ever since Gary put up the lights. She and I have talked about this. Basically, it is easy for her to get up the gumption to ride at night in winter because the arena is literally in her front yard. It is a 20-minute drive for me. And I'm a wimp in the cold darkness.
I did not ride Dec. 14 because of my company's Christmas party. 'Nuff said.
I did not ride Dec. 15 because of pub trivia. Our team won for the third consecutive week, probably because of the lack of sports questions.
I did not ride Dec. 16 because I was getting my hair colored. "Red, the color of 30th birthday denial."
I did not ride Dec. 17 because of my birthday party (phase 1). I suppose I could have pulled myself together and ridden in the morning before the festivities started. (But I didn't.)
I did not ride Dec. 18 because I was recovering from my birthday party. A certain local Mexican restaurant has a specialty called a cazuela, which translates roughly into "soup bowl full of rum and triple-sec." My birthday dinner was at that restaurant. Mistakes were made.
I did not ride Dec. 19 because of my birthday party (phase 2). Friends who did not make it to the Saturday birthday party invited Brian and me out for dinner and drinks. And it was my birthday, after all.
Today is Dec. 20, and I don't anticipate seeing Blue until the 23rd. I have made peace with that. One byproduct of age is accepting that you can't be everything to everyone. Right now, I can't be a gung-ho conditioning buddy. The past two weeks have been swallowed up in overtime, holiday parties, birthday festivities, nasty weather, and all the other effluvia of wintertime. So Blue got a little break, and I got a little older, and we're both OK.
Also, I'll be making up for it. My office is closed from Dec. 26 through Jan. 2, and I plan to spend as many of those days riding as the weather will allow. I got an absolute STEAL on a Kuda MasterFlex on eBay over the weekend, and it should be here in time for my vacation.
All in all, things are shaping up nicely.