It is often said to me that I am living the dream. While I guess it could be perceived from the outside that indeed I am, as I grow older (and I would like to think wiser) I am beginning to realise one doesn’t actually know exactly what that dream is.
If you had of told me five years ago that today I would be doing a wedding in McLaren Vale with a pair of beautiful white horses pulling a lovely white Landau I probably would have laughed at you. It was always in the plan but the work involved in getting to that point is intense- lots of time, lots of money, lots of work, lots of luck.
If you had said to me 5 years ago that I would have a pair of beautiful Clydesdales who are a pleasure to take out whether in harness or under saddle I would have said “I wish”. We had the Clydesdales as yearlings then, but many many hours of training, work and stress has transpired since then. To have actually achieved that, seems a little surreal.
Dreams can come true
When we started out with our carriage business just over 12 years ago we had the desire to have a large fleet of both horses and carriages available for hire. We had visions of offering a range of services. The weird thing for me is that we are now there! I am living that dream I had 10 years ago. This feels weird. Is it as wonderful as I dreamt it would be? I can tell you now, it certainly is not.
I guess what I’m saying, is in the dream of 10 years ago I guess I pictured it getting easier. Now don’t get me wrong we have learnt a lot! We have worked out methods, we have worked out how to save time doing the necessities. We are much more experienced obviously and there are some areas where we have made drastic improvements; but is it easier? It is not!! A larger fleet of horses means a larger amount of work, morning and night picking poo, monitoring health, feeding brushing, working, training. A larger fleet of carriages means more maintenance. Being opportunists there is always new projects in all our spare time…
Finding the Balance
I guess the thing the dream forgot to indicate was that there is still ‘regular’ life to contend with. (Yes I feel a bit like a dill when it’s said like that). The challenges of maintaining home and family. The challenges of maintaining a second business which is actually the main stream of income. The challenges of keeping transport vehicles on the road to tow horses and carriages to jobs. The struggle with time and never having enough hours in the day. I guess the biggest struggle of all is trying to find THE balance.
Personally I find it increasingly difficult to fulfil my obligations in every area of my life. I have to remind myself that although it is my dream to have this business, this dream would never be sustainable if the other areas of my life are not maintained. Fortunately my husband and I are on the same page and together we laugh our way through this jungle of trying to find the proverbial balance.
I have tried to get these thoughts in print a number of times but I struggle. I read it back and it sounds like I am being a total negative nelly. That is certainly not how I want it to come across. I am immensely proud of where we have come from, where we have got to, and where we are headed. The majority of times I pinch myself to make sure it is actually real. What we have achieved with the training of our horses and the offering of our services is fantastic even if there are some interactions and experiences that leave me questioning my sanity. On the whole, I absolutely love what I do.
To summarise I guess all I can really say is life doesn’t come with a user manual. There is no second chance, it isn’t a rough draft. Follow the path you are planning but be prepared to deviate when the need arises, as I have learned Dreams morph. Enjoy the good moments learn from the bad moments. If anyone ever works out how to find the allusive balance, please please please share your secret!