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Arizona - Halfway

It occurred to me last week when my calendar reminded me that it's time to turn in our 60 day notice, that we're halfway through our time here in Arizona! I'm not sure where the time has gone and it hasn't quite been how I expected, but it's been refreshing.

I've started my job, and am enjoying working side by side with some old friends as well as making new ones. I've learned another new IV start system called "difusics", a different EKG system, that the mental health crisis is significantly worse in the Southwest than in the Midwest, patience, and a load of other things I can't put to paper at the moment. Though each contract comes with a different set of personal challenges for me, I can't express how much I grow as a nurse, as well as a person with each.

I've found an amazing farm to lease a horse at! I've been saying for years that I'm going to get back in to horses and during the beginning of our stay here but before I had started work, I decided that I wasn't going to just keep "saying" it. I reached out to a few Arizona horse groups via Facebook asking for leasing opportunities and out of the two people that actually responded, one was miraculously only a 6 minute drive away! I met with Jennifer the first chance I got and she's been gracious enough to let me borrow Bella for our time here. Bella is an Arabian/Andalusian Cross that sits at around 16 hands tall with an even taller personality. Before Bella was with Jenny, she had been too much horse for her previous owner. I very much enjoy "big personality" horses, I think because there's a mutual recognition that happens between us but I can't be sure. Bella has taught me to be more gentle, more patient, and more trusting. I'm truly enjoying making time for myself and having a hobby again.

When Jennifer first offered me lessons along with the leasing opportunity, I was resistant. I tried to eat my humble pie and approach the situation with a grain of salt but I had not set out for lessons and most importantly, I knew I didn't need them. I've been riding since I was 3 years old and I already knew everything. However, I've recently been working on accepting that sometimes, I'm wrong. So... instead of approaching the situation as I previously would have with a negative attitude, I forced an open mind approach and allowed my vulnerability to show. I could not be more grateful that I did, because I hit the jackpot. Jenny is hands down the most gifted and intelligent horsewoman that I've ever met. She has given me tools that have changed the way I ride entirely. I feel safer, more balanced, and more gentle on the horse. I've told her this many times but Jenny, if you're reading this... I cannot thank you enough for being so kind and understanding with me. You've changed my "horse life" forever!

Dave's mom and stepdad came for a week-long visit! We went hiking, TopGolfing and trail riding. Enjoyed some pool time, some family dinners, and teaching Mark Rummy! It was lovely to have a slice of home here with us and we enjoyed their stay immensely.

Dave and I also jumped out of a plane, so that's pretty neat. Dave had been multiple times before, but it was my first time. We'd been discussing going since we were in Florida but it always ended up getting skipped over while we made plans for other various adventures. From the beginning of our skydiving conversations, I had always said I was ALL IN and last Wednesday Dave asked if I wanted to go the next morning and my knee-jerk reaction was, "I'd LOVE to!". Oddly, I wasn't nervous at all... but I was worried I'd wake up and have regrets after having time to process that I was willingly going to jump out of an airplane. The next morning came without nerves, the hour drive there didn't spark any either. Walking in and suiting up, all I felt was excitement. Watching a guy that was training jump out at 5,000ft while we climbed another 9,000ft... nothing. Dave and I were the last two off the plane, I was the very last and the nerves didn't hit until it was only me and my instructor left in the belly of the airplane and my legs were out the door. There was roughly 5 seconds of, "oh sh*t" before we were out the door. Once we were falling though, I let it go and let myself enjoy the ride. Other than not thinking about having to pop my ears on the way down because we're falling at 120mph and the pain that went along with my ignorance, it was an absolute blast. We had so much fun! I even bought another jump before we left that day and I'm looking forward to going a second time now that I know more about what to expect so I can fully enjoy the experience. Hopefully the ground temperature is above 36 degrees, because I'm still chilled to the bone.

Fun Story insert: The guy training that jumped out at 5,000ft was doing what they call a "Hop and Flop" where you jump and immediately pull your chute. Dave's instructor told us as the plane slowed, "we're gonna stop quick to boot this guy out and then keep going!" I made the sarcastic comment, "I'm gonna boot Dave outta this plane!" When the time came for Dave and his instructor to jump, his instructor goes, "GIVE US THE BOOT!" and let me actually kick them out of the plane. Which you can see in the first photo below, and is probably my favorite picture of us together to date.

Before we got to Arizona, I thought this stay would be filled with hikes, adventures and exploring the Southwest. So far, we have not done much of that at all and I was upset about it... until I realized we're both just spending our energy on other things that make us happy and that's okay! We've got plans to explore more and trips already in the books, but it's a nice change of pace that we've settled down a little bit to get back into some of our former hobbies.

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