Finding Time

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What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies? In the years since becoming a mother, I have found these questions increasingly more challenging to answer.

What are my hobbies? What do I do that is just for me?

Does cooking dinner count?

Or exercising?

What about playing with my sons?

All of these bring me joy, but are any of these just for me? Or do I have something that I can learn, grow and get better at?

I stumbled upon my latest hobby unexpectedly, and I am leaning into the balance it brings to my life.

I had someone ask me recently, “What do you do to refresh you- to refresh your soul?”. The question gave me pause. She expanded- “Do you do something regularly that gives you a break, gives you energy or settles you?”

Weeks before, and I would not have been able to answer her with a confident answer. But, with a smile across my face, I responded and knew- yes, I ride horses. I am not a horse owner or a consistent rider but a novice eager to learn. Allow me to digress.

woman riding a horse through a stream
Trail ride through the serene property at Hayes Ranch

An unexpected recollection of a childhood memory brought me to riding, a hobby I didn’t know that I needed. My good friend shared pictures of her young daughter’s newfound fun taking riding lessons at an equestrian center. It reminded me of my love for horses at that age and my hope to ride more consistently. That memory was all it took to start the internet research on local stables and riding lessons. I shared this dream with my husband, and he lovingly surprised me with a package of lessons for our anniversary.

I rediscovered Hayes Ranch, a local family-owned 150-acre ranch that offers all things related to horses- including lessons. Once a week, I practice my riding and learn the basic commands and skills it takes to be confident on horseback. Learning a new skill as an adult is humbling, and I have had the sore muscles, hand blisters, and self-talk to prove it. Jill Hayes has been the most encouraging and supportive coach, and I am thankful for her patience. Her love for sharing the art of riding is infectious. After testing my skills and pushing myself to get better on the horse, we go on a peaceful trail ride across the sprawling property. The afternoon rides lead to sunset, and it has been an unexpected respite.

woman on a horse in a field Are you searching for something similar that refreshes your spirit- something that is truly yours?

I encourage you to think about what has been on your mind to learn or explore. Have you been longing to fit time back in for lessons, workshops, or planned time for your activity or hobby? Do you want to learn something new or practice what you started long ago?

Perhaps the hobbies we have tried just have not been the ones we need at the moment, and the ones we really need are going to give us more than we knew.

Seek ways to find respite in new things and bring energy back into your routine.

Time is a fleeting resource, but when you can carve out time to feed your mind or soul, it becomes gold.

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A Pensacola native, Miranda enjoys raising her two young sons in her hometown with her husband, Paul. She graduated with a degree in Exercise Science from the University of West Florida, which ignited a passion for adopting a lifestyle around health and wellness. With a large extended family stretching from New England, Colorado, and California, Miranda has loved to travel and crisscross the country visiting and exploring new cities with her family. When Miranda is not playing with her sons- Cohen (5) and Miller (3), she is finding a new home project to start, researching a new recipe, enjoying quality time with friends and family, or finally sitting down watching The Office with her husband and a nice glass of Pinot. She is excited to combine her love of all things Pensacola, the adventures of motherhood/sisterhood of mothers, and writing with Pensacola Mom Collective!

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