Slow Down

I am known to be some how is always on the move, constantly busy, going non-stop, running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and so on. Eventually, the wear and tear was starts to show itself at work, at home and in my day-to-day interactions and to be honest, it’s not always pretty.

This past week, I decided to take a mental-health Monday. But, as usual, I triple-booked myself on my day off, but this time was different. I booked myself with all of the things I love to do, photography, hiking and horseback riding.

Morning – Photo Tour

After visiting my boyfriend, Ben, in the fields at work, I headed down Snake Mountain Road towards New Haven. Along the way, I stopped to take a variety of landscape photos. The breeze was cold, the sky clear and the colors, brilliant!

Upon arriving to my destination, the weather turned for the better and I was able to start on my Kettletop Farm II Panorama Project. Recently, my farm family was able to get some new land from the Vermont Farmland Trust. The fields, crops and views are spectacular! My end-goal for this project is to capture it’s beautiful panoramic views during every season. And of course, I had to start it off with the fall colors;

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Afternoon – Hiking Adventures

Despite the chilling cold, Ariana and I were determined to hike! Neither of us had ever climbed Snake Mountain before so we geared up, drove down and started to climb. The hike provided many reminders with every step;

1. Don’t give up
We were about a third of the way up the mountain when I breathlessly exclaimed, “ Do you hear that? My heart is saying, “What the hell are you doing to me!?”. And Ariana replied with, “No your heart is saying “Thank You I needed this!”” and she was right.

2. Be Grateful
It’s easy to get frustrated from the climb, feeling out-of-shape and beginning to feel lost. But when I looked up and saw the colors of the trees, felt the sun on my back and listened to the birds chirp, it reminded me of how lucky we are to live in the beautiful state of Vermont!

3. It’s Okay to Get Lost
We took a few unmarked trails, got a little lost and while we didn’t make it all the way to the top of the mountain, we came upon a series of beautiful ponds, interesting trails, deer tracks, beaver dams and so on!

Yes, this is somewhat of an analogy. In life, we spend so much time on the “highway to success” that we often forget to stop to detour “on the road less traveled”. So to anyone who is feeling a little lost right now, embrace it, you may just find something truly beautiful.

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4. Life is Better with Great Friends
…and two adventurous spirits! As expected the 2 hours of hiking was filled with girl-talk, bonding, laughter and adventuring on the paths less traveled. A few hours of quality time with my dear friend, Ariana, made the day that much better.

Late Afternoon – Horseback Riding

There’s nothing better than ending your day on Horseback. To give you a little background info, I’ve been riding horses since I was 5, bought Emma “What a Dl’Emma” when I was 19, brought her to college with me for 2 years and returned back home, where she now lives with her “baby” Glee (an almost 6-year-old-brilliant-mare).

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Sue (Glee’s owner/my farm family/Kettletop Farm II owner), Ariana and I have been working together to teach Glee how to be a real horse. And no, it’s nothing like you see in the cowboy movies, we are natural horsemanship folk. With steady progression over the past few months, it was time to take Glee for her first adventure outside of the ring! With Sue leading in-hand, Ariana riding Glee and Emma and I tagging behind, we ventured to the perimeter of the back paddock.

As we approached the fence I nervously asked “Is the fence on?” Sue quickly replied, “Yes, and stop worrying, your horse knows how to walk in a straight line.” I took a deep breathe and walked on behind them.

To our surprise, Glee got shocked by said live fence while trying to avoid some overgrown trees. Both horses spooked into the trees, but only for a moment and then just stood there. What started as a fear, turned into a valuable lesson – our horses are incredibly smart, brave and trustworthy!

And for once a full day left me with a clear mind, a few life-lessons and a truly happy heart!

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