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Karen's Corner 26.05.24

Welcome back to this week’s Karen’s Corner! Join me here each week to catch up with what I’ve been up to both in and out of work and what I’ve been loving and connect with me on Instagram

Karen xx


I’m having an extremely odd weekend … the kids are away having a fun weekend with their dad, John is up on Orkney working and I’d planned to have a really productive work weekend. It’s not panned out to be very productive at all however and instead I’m feeling a little restless and a bit frustrated that I’ve not taken proper advantage of the rare “me” time.

Of course, all the necessary jobs like caring for the animals and preparing the lodge for guests is all getting done but I’ve got an urgent work-related task that I can’t actually complete until Tuesday now due to the bank holiday and that’s weighing on me a little. I hate that feeling of something not being complete and ordinarily, I’d become ultra-focussed to get it done. This one however, I just have to wait for assistance and that is, I think, why I’m left feeling particularly restless this weekend. I can’t seem to make peace with the fact that I’d decided to have this task done and have failed to accomplish that.

This feeling of things being incomplete, and my frustration directed at that, is all too familiar to me at the moment and I’m seeing that pattern emerging a lot at work. Some of the uncertainty is necessary at the moment due to a lot of moving parts within the business, but there are definitely areas in which I could be a little more decisive and just power some things through to completion.

The Potting Shed is one such area. We had a bit of a set-back the other week which raised a lot a questions about what we’re doing there, why we’re adding that to the mix and how we can make it work in a practical sense. At a time when we’d built up a little momentum and looked closer to opening, it kinda took the energy and motivation out of the project for me. I think those questions are really important and valid but at that particular moment, when I was feeling like my energy was depleted from other areas of the business,  having to re-work the idea from the beginning felt like too much. I took a day or two then did just that, sat down and re-worked the idea from scratch. I sent the proposal to mum and dad, and we’re going to talk it through tonight over a drink at our favourite bar. All going well, I’ll be able to push forward with that this week and that’ll feel good.

It’s a funny thing running a business like Fossoway Stables … there is no end to the list of jobs to do so we’re definitely not short of things to fill our days. That said, we have a list of ideas we’d love to add to what we offer here as we believe they would enable us to offer so much more value to our clients and customers as well as build a beautifully sustainable and circular economy within the estate. 

We can get excited and a little ahead of ourselves sometimes but what we need to be careful of is adding so much to our plates that we end up creating a monster of a job that we can’t handle or that doesn’t actually add value for us. We have to question whether anything new we do makes financial sense, whether it’s balanced in terms of effort vs reward, and whether it’s necessary for growth or simply a nice-to-have. 

I think I’ve always been prone to taking on a little more than I am capable of managing sustainably and more now than ever, i’m very aware of the limited time I have available in any given week. Recently I’ve been assessing whether I’m making the best use of it, considering what I can add or take away from my schedule to make my working day more productive and then I’m trying to marry that with creating and living a life that I’m excited to get out of bed and live each day.

That then begs the question, what does that life look like? Or more importantly, feel like? I’ve made some pretty big decisions in my personal life over the last few years that have got me to such a happy and settled place but it’s maybe time to do the same in my work-life. I want time in my days and weeks to be present with the people I love, space to dream and suppose and be creative, confidence to make bold decisions when they’re required, resources to inspire, support and reward my staff team, opportunities to learn and grow and for my hard work to result in something I’m proud to have built. 

So, I’ve pushed my ‘productive work weekend’ plans aside and have replaced them with that dreaming and supposing stuff I was claiming I was wanting in the last paragraph! What do I need to do to reverse-engineer that work-life I’ve described above? Though it may not be how I thought it would look, perhaps if I can answer that question, this weekend may end up being more productive than I could ever have imagined. 

In other news …

Myself, Mum and John took a trip up to Birnum during the week to attend a Climate cafe meeting organised by GrowBiz. I’m sure you know that one of our core values here at Fossoway Stables is Sustainability so it’s always incredibly motivating to be reminded of the impact we’re having on the world around us, learn from the expertise and experience of other business owners and consider how we can do better.  The premise of a Climate Cafe is to make space for people in a community to get together, have a cuppa and strategise about local sustainability efforts. Mum got chatting and has made the first steps towards potentially setting up one here at Fossoway Stables which is perfectly in keeping with our aims and an exciting addition to our work.

Yesterday, I took a trip out to a local equestrian venue to support one of my coaching clients at her dressage competition. I hadn’t been to a competition, as a rider or a spectator, in a good few years and it was a strange experience to be back in that environment. Competing was such a big part of my life for so long, something that I was preoccupied with for years and years, and wound up so tightly in the building of KA Equestrian but I remember the moment I realised I was chasing a dream I thought I should want rather than one I truly desired. It wasn’t a quick or easy decision to let that go which resulted in lots of back and forward with it over the years but standing in that competition venue yesterday, it was lovely to be there purely in a supportive capacity and no part of me wanted to be in that arena myself. Horses were my first love and will forever be a part of my life now and in the future but the ‘sport’ … I’m happy for that to stay as a lovely chapter of my past.

That’s probably enough writing for me this week … you’ll all have things to be getting on with! I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a wonderful week ahead.

Until next week,

K xx

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