So I mentioned in my last post something that touches a nerve and I figured I might as well discuss it.
Last week we went on our annual vacation. Because I have small kids, my first focus is on them and then the horses. Don't get me wrong. The horses' care is taken care of but the extra stuff slips to the wayside when my kids' stuff comes up.
I want me kids to have every advantage that I had growing up. That means vacations, camping, being gone from the Sanctuary.
What rubs me the wrong way is the offhand comment "Well, that's nice. Wish we could." or other comments similar. It actually makes me see red.
What people don't see are the hours of work that goes in to getting ready for us to be gone, even if it's only for a day or two. We don't have volunteers. Since I'm the sole caretaker, I am responsible. So when I ask someone to look in on the place, I want to make sure that my caretaker/volunteer has to do minimal chores. But that means hours and hours of moving horses, filling water tanks, checking fence, etc. It means hours of work and in reality, it means weeks of prep. And because I know for the most part when and where we will be going on vacation, I plan months in advance so that we'll have adequate pastures so everyone stays happy.
We don't just, on a whim, throw some clothes in a bag and hit the road. We have horses and dogs and that takes time to prep for being gone. It doesn't matter what time of year either.
So the next time you hear that we are going on vacation, please refrain from saying "oh that must be nice, wish we could go on vacations" or "you guys are always camping or not at home", please keep in mind, we've busted our butts to make it possible. We refrain from putting but minimal work on the caretaker and want to keep it that way.
If our young are supposed to be our future, than I want to continue to ensure that my children have the same opportunities that I had growing up. That means being gone from the Sanctuary. It means being on vacation. It means long nights after the kids go to bed to get everything ready. It means cutting our vacation short to make sure that all the chores are done before we head out.
It makes it tough to stay focused on the Sanctuary when we aren't around but my kids come first and I want them to be as well rounded as I am. That way, if they take up a passion as strongly as I have, they'll feel as though they too can change the world and make a difference.
So maybe next time, instead of saying "gee, wish we could go on vacation but we can't." offer to help. I'll gladly repay the favor and help out if/when you're gone but dont' sit on a high horse and tell me you can't when I make every sacrifice to make it happen. There is a give and take in everything.
My kids are our future. I want them to be passionate about something, anything. It doesn't really matter. Let them be one of the few who want to change the world and know that they can make a difference. But to do so, they need to see the world and that's what I'm trying to give them. And to do so, there's hours and hours of work. It simply refrain from having to go into detail about the amount of work done in preparation for showing my kids that they too can make a difference in the world.