A day off

Tuesday evening I learned that the horses we care for were on stall rest and needed to be kept dry. (They are fine, just a healing aid for a common equine fungus due to muddy conditions.) This meant, though, that we had to rotate pasture groups and thoroughly clean the stalls, fill them with bedding, water, and hay again. Then, I had to clean their hooves and apply medicated lotion. The horses are not pleased at their cooped up lives. Nor at the hoof cleaning and massaging. My kids and I had the lovely job of doing all these things for three days straight. We typically bring the horses in from pasture, feed, return to pasture, and clean up minor messes. It takes about two hours on a typical day. These extra chores take much longer. And, they are exhausting. We love these horses and are happy to keep them healthy, but it is tortuous on our bodies and tiring. There are others who must do these same chores in the evenings and days we aren't there.

This extra work and longer hours with little down time really took their toll on our minds and bodies, though. On top of them all, we had our regular music lessons and soccer. I did let them take the days off of school work, though.

Today, we are recovering. We cleaned the house as normal, but the rest is just calm stuff. Right now, the rest are watching a movie. I am working on this blog and on my book. I also polished off a Christmas gift for one daughter and finished making the list of gifts for others.

This calm day might sound glorious after knowing what we have done in the last three days. And, it is for most of us. But, for Will, whose brain functions differently and thrives on routine, it is somewhat torturous. We have to give him some sort of expectation and schedule for him to be able to enjoy calm. He is happy to be calm, but he needs to know what is going on. He needs to know that he will have set, uninterrupted time to himself. Time to do as he pleases. Time to relax his way. Playing games is stressful for him. They are unpredictable. He wants to play with us, but he needs his own time to decompress after too. A day off isn't really a day for Will. A day off means he doesn't know what to expect. A day off still needs structure.

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Whether you school year-round like we do, or take summers off, the question (or thought) about taking a break from whatever your schedule is will come up. Your kids are resisting more, you're movin