On January 1st of this year, Andrew and I were taking a long walk through our neighborhood, one of our favorite things to do. Just a few miles down the road is an equestrian center, and on days we’re feeling particularly energized, we love taking the four-mile trek to go peer through the fence at all of the pretty horses.
I’m a horse lover through and through, always have been, and after growing up smack in the middle of Dallas (where I used to drive thirty to forty minutes out to ride) the fact that I now live just a two minute drive from a barn continues to delight me even after a year and a half of calling Gainesville, Florida home. Something about it just doesn’t get old.
On this walk, in particular, my husband Andrew encouraged me to do something a little bit different. “Why don’t you walk up and see if you can sign up for riding lessons?”
I’m not a “walk up and ask” kind of girl, mind you. I love rules, I love following rules, and I hate walking into unknown situations. Social anxiety, anyone? But after a bit of coaxing, he had me convinced. So in I walked… and after about fifteen minutes, out I walked to Andrew and Flynn waiting for me on the sidewalk, a huge grin spread across my face. After three years, I was getting back in the saddle!
Over the past month, spending a few hours outside in nature each week, away from my computer screen and my email, doing my favorite thing has been absolute therapy. I don’t know about you, but this past year had me spending so much time at home, by myself, looking to my screen for work and play. And while I’ve always enjoyed the creative aspects and connectivity of social media, I quickly learned it was an unhealthy (and anxiety-inducing) way to “escape” from the isolation brought on by the pandemic. Shocker, right? ;)
I felt a bit too weary to come up with any grand resolutions for 2021, and as I sit here closing out the first month of this year, I am so glad I didn’t force myself into any goals. Instead, I am so grateful I took a step away from more work, more screen time, more pressure laden resolutions and more time inside at home and towards a hobby that gets me outdoors, that gets meeting new people, and that fills my heart up to the brim.
I know how hard it can be to make the time to do something for yourself, especially when there’s always another email to answer or errand to run. (And I know that only multiplies once children enter the picture.) But one month into the new year, I’m so grateful to re-learn the gift of rest. Rest from work, rest from technology, rest from staring at a screen.
Even though it’s the opposite of what I often feel like I need to be doing, pressing pause on email, Instagram, and the demands of this world to get outside and do something I love has been the greatest gift. I have a suspicion it will never be easy to unplug and make room for these moments (there’s a sacrifice of time and finances, to be sure) but I’m learning it will always be worth it.
It’s been so long since I’ve shared a post “from the heart” (remember coffee dates?) and so I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to share this little update in my life with y’all. To be completely honest, criticsm and cruel comments/messages increased drastically this past year, and as a result, I’ve felt myself retreat quite a bit and grow more private than I used to be. But I’m working through that fear, and today feels like a step in the right direction for sure. A big, virtual hug to those of you who care enough to check in on these life updates. I am so grateful for you!
While I’m very much still a beginner and have no intention of turning this space into an equestrain-focused blog (if you are interested in that, however, check out My Equestrian Style!) I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to sprinkle a bit more horsey content into what I do here at Lonestar Southern. I’m feeling all sorts of inspired, and those moments are my favorite to share!
Before I sign off, I wanted to share the cutest equestrian apparel brand with y’all! Bit and Bloom was recommended by a reader, and I have fallen in love with their lovely, feminine pieces. A few weeks ago I ordered this top and this scalloped cutie, and have been so impressed with the gorgeous quality of both. While they’re designed for riding, I can’t help but think how cute they would be for tennis or golf as well! I reached out to the brand, and they were gracious enough to offer the code LONESTAR10 for 10% off!
Love from the Sunshine State,