Editor's note: The following monthly perspective was written by National Horseman's publisher, Allison Lambert, appearing in the November 2015 issue.
Count Your Blessings
By Allison Lambert
As we approach the end of yet another show season and the whirlwind of horse show life comes to close, it’s a great time of year to reflect on the events that have brought us to this point. All of us who are lucky enough to be involved in this industry are truly blessed beyond words. The resources and free time that showing horses requires are two luxuries that most families could never afford. However, as the holiday season quickly approaches and Thanksgiving peers around the corner, it’s the perfect opportunity to sit back and consider all that we have to be thankful for.
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important—from crowded stores, to cancelled flights, to fulfilling Christmas lists, the onset of stresses makes it almost inevitable. However, sometimes we start to focus so much on what we don’t have that we fail to appreciate the things that we do.
Underappreciating the simple things in life is sometimes an easy thing to do—making dinner for your family, rushing your child to the bus stop or just sitting on the sofa with your spouse watching a movie are all easy things to take for granted. However, most of us don’t realize the things we take for granted until the thought of losing them arises.
The key to being thankful is knowing that these seemingly simple things are the very same things that others are praying they had. This is an unfortunate reality for many members of our “equine family,” who have experienced their share of struggles this year, from battling serious illness to losing a family member. These simple moments are ones they would do anything to experience again.
In reflecting on gratefulness, I can’t help but think of my dear friend, Andy Illes, a talented, vibrant woman who has touched the lives of many in the Morgan industry. Andy can always be seen at shows with a camera in hand and giant smile on her face, never letting on the battle she faces every day with her illness. Most of us wouldn’t be able to handle one day in Andy’s shoes, but after numerous brain surgeries and more days in the hospital than one could count, Andy continues to be thankful for every day. “There are so many wonderful people who go through so much more than I ever will,” she says. “And they do it with a positive, wonderful outlook on the life they have in front of them. I promise to view the love that I still have alive and well inside of me and do a better job of focusing on all of the positive, amazing life that I have around me, every day, all day long.”
Andy is grateful for her struggle because without it, she wouldn’t have stumbled across her strength. So when the hectic whirlwind of the holidays begins, and you start to veer off course, think about wonderful people like Andy, and remind yourself of all the blessings you have to be thankful for.