I felt overwhelmed this week. There is the economy and all its implications. I went into the weekend with a to do list a mile long. I haven’t really seen my husband to carry on a decent conversation in days. Compounding it was allergy season giving me a miserable headache, weepy eyes, lungs full of pollen, a raw throat and itchy nose. I didn’t sleep well last night. I had tons of excuses not to go and would not have minded if she cancelled, but, my friend, Andrea offered to go horseback riding with me and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. Ever since her husband bought a horse, their two horse trailer is gone most weekends as they trail ride and camp together leaving my horse and me at home. Three’s a crowd you know. But, he had something else to do this weekend so it was my turn to load up and go. And I discovered that sometimes, all it takes is a different path to change your mood. We went to Little Manatee State Park. It is close and she was taking her older horse who was just diagnosed with osteoarthritis. She didn’t want him in the trailer for a long ride until the vet figures out what treatments to use. She knew that I wouldn’t mind a sedate ride as she just exercised her horse with a quiet walk. Despite my allergy medicine induced haze, I felt my spirits lifting as we unloaded the horses at the park. A little girl and her parents came by on a hike, and they stopped to watch. She was obviously enthralled, so I invited her to pick up a brush and help me groom Trucker. She did so eagerly and wanted to help put his saddle on bridle on too. I told her the names of the tack and explained everything to her as we got him ready to ride. It was fun teaching her and reminded me how exciting and new everything was when I first started riding. We set out over the familiar trails. Around the lake, back through the woods, across a stream and through the piney flatlands thick with palmettos. The sky was a cloudless blue, and the sun warm on our backs. Though we were only twenty minutes from home, my real life seemed far away. Along the trail, I asked Andrea to take my picture. I did not realize until we got home that my shirt was on backwards! Pretty true to how I felt when I got up this morning. But, if you look closely, you will see a smile on my face. Even Jesus felt sad and stressed sometimes by the demands put upon Him and felt the need to withdraw and rest. We should do the same. When life is coming at you full force, take a breather and do something different, something out of your routine. When you come back to it, things will look so much better.