As anyone who works for themselves (and particularly anyone who works for themselves from home) knows, it is often very difficult to differentiate between working and relaxing and knowing when “good enough” will do. We see our work (and a plethora of uncompleted and necessary tasks) every single time we look out the window or open the front door. It is VERY easy for Type A personalities to fall into the trap of working all the time, from first morning light until one minute before bed. I know personally that this entire scenario can quickly become overwhelming for those with perfectionist tendencies (this includes BOTH of us, although thankfully not on the same topics !!). Over time and with much (!) practice, we have devised some coping mechanisms and strategies that work reasonably well for us in differentiating our business from our personal lives and in keeping both running *relatively* smoothly most of the time !

1. The horses’ needs ALWAYS come first. It doesn’t matter who is visiting, what the weather is doing, what is planned, or what time it may be, caring for the horses always comes first. This very much includes such items as keeping the fences, buildings and equipment in good repair and keeping the pastures mowed in addition to feeding, emergency care, farrier work and grooming . Regular communication with our clients is very important too, but even this takes second place to caring for the horses.

2. Caring for us comes next. Obviously this doesn’t involve month long vacations in Tahiti twice a year, but we believe it is absolutely critical to take or make adequate time for us, both individually and as a couple. Individually, this includes Melissa taking lessons and riding her horses several times a week while I enjoy some uninterrupted quiet time to enjoy a good book or surf the net. Jointly, this means ensuring that we create enough time on a regular basis to ensure that we can tackle little problems before they become big problems AND ensuring that we have enough time to have some non-work related fun together ! For us this means creating two or more evenings a week when we are focused on each other or on something that both of us want to do/see/watch.

3. Caring for everything (and everyone) else comes next. After tending after the first two, sometimes there isn’t much left in the tank to deal with anybody else. Learning that this is okay was a long hard lesson of a thing to learn for both of us.

I’m very curious to know what similar issues you face in your world. How do you cope with them successfully ? When is “good enough”, good enough and when does it require considerably more effort to be acceptable ? For those with spouses, what are your challenges ?

I think learning to say “good enough” in all it’s ways has probably been one of the biggest marital and business challenges that Melissa and I have ever faced.

(post written by Jason)

I saw these sitting on the fence one afternoon. I don’t know if they are hawks, vultures, buzzards or what. I do know that they look like something I don’t want to mess with, and I’m thinking their presence means something had a day that ended badly!


Ogie, Winston, Faune, Asterik and B-Rad

Teddy and O’Reilly


Lightening


Elfin decided that chewing on the fly mask on the gate would be a nice way to pass some time


Hemi and Slinky playing over the fence. Hemi is 17.2 hands and Slinky is a large pony who very much has a macho man personality. Here he is coming down from the classic squeal, swish my tail and strike at the fence maneuver. I hoped to snap this picture sooner but both front feet are still off the ground. Hemi just found it entertaining to make Slinky go through the whole routing. He would basically keep putting quarters in so he could watch the whole routine again.


Clay

Winston


B-Rad and Alex


MyLight and Lily


Homer and Trigger