Learning How to Cope When Life Falls Apart
by Karen Pickering
For many of my friends who’ve been following my Facebook posts and sporadic blogs you’ve no doubt heard about the challenges I’ve faced this past year. From Mark’s stroke last December to his numerous health challenges this year, it’s been a time I’d rather not repeat again.
I could go on about weekly doctor visits, feelings of hopelessness, losing my guy that can fix anything to managing his responsibilities as well as running a small farm, business and caring for him, watching him deteriorate emotionally and physically. There are days I cry a lot and times of simply sitting at my desk wondering how to get started on the mountain of undone tasks. My mind spins with questions: How will I save my business? Will this ever get better?
Yesterday was one of those days. My business is in a place where it needs more attention than usual. I’m so excited to run with some cool ideas that our local college students came up with, finally putting some marketing articles I’ve read to the test. It’s an exciting time for the magazine as we evolve into a new way of existence.
The day started off with two doctor appointments and on to errands. Then, wham, it hit me. The tears started falling for no obvious reason, but I couldn’t stop sobbing. To add to existing challenges, I think I’m starting to go through The Change—lucky me! My moods are all over the place and I go from peeling off clothes to freezing. Really, can anything else happen?
Last night I attended a ladies Bible study called Squadron of Sisters. Frankly, I had no desire to attend this meeting. An emotional wreck, I was exhausted and just wanted to go curl up in a ball. My good friends Duke and Wendy nudged me into going, however, and the lesson hit me between the eyes. I was reminded that I can’t do anything on my own; I need to lean on him. He alone provides rest and comfort in the midst of chaos. I cried through parts of the meeting but left feeling hopeful and armed with an outline of how to manage when times seem impossible.
Wendy had come to my house, cleaned my stalls and fed my horses so I could go. She even prepared something for me to eat before the meeting. She is an unbelievable friend.
Today the stove went out, the microwave died and I’m on my way to the vet with a sick kitten. Instead of freaking out, I’m taking 3 deep breaths, dropping my shoulders and writing down three things I’m thankful for:
1) Genuine Friends
2) Godly counsel
3) Today’s Sunshine
There are those who have it far worse than I and/or have suffered unbelievable tragedy. Gratitude is a practice that helps me see that things are better than I thought. And, simply put, friends (both earthly and heavenly) will get us through when life falls to pieces.
Today’s quote: There is nothing permanent except change.
Owner/Publisher Karen’s lifelong love of horses began at a very early age when she wore out a couple of rocking horses before convincing her parents to get her the real thing. That ill-tempered bay gelding, Brandy, was a challenge for the young horsewoman, but it drove her ambition to become a horse trainer. After attending Canyonview Equestrian College’s Horsemanship Program, Karen realized she needed work that was a little more lucrative than training, so she took a job with Customs Brokerage to pay the bills. There, she discovered an affinity for computers and a talent for creating informative, entertaining newsletters. The Northwest Horse Source began as such a letter in December 1995, with a distribution of 1000 copies for its 12 black and white pages. Since then, it has grown into beautiful, all-gloss magazine with the largest coverage of any free equine publication in the Northwest – a distribution of over 16,000 copies and over 600 locations monthly. Not bad for the results of one woman’s dream to work with horses!
Today, Karen remains involved with every aspect of the magazine and treasures the community of thousands who share a common passion. Somewhere in the wee hours of the early mornings and late evenings, she still finds time to care for April, her gorgeous and sweet-tempered Quarter Horse.