As I think about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, my thoughts do not turn to a big meal or football or the Macy's Parade or Christmas shopping. I think about the past year, the upcoming year, and how - despite all the stresses and worries - I'm lucky to have my wonderful horses, a dream job, and good family and friends,
Thanksgiving for me is an attitude. It's trying to see the glass half full. Focus on the good stuff. Sure, I'm looking forward to the day off from work, but there's more to it than that. I'll dawdle in the barn in the morning, I'm sure, because I don't have to be at my desk at a certain time. Maybe I'll straighten up the tack room or do some dusting. Or, after the horses have been turned out, I'll just sit down with the barn cat and give him some extra attention and brushing. He's already caught a couple of mice this fall, so he's doing a great job and I want him to know I'm grateful.
I'll forget worries about our financial health in 2015 and chronic illnesses loved ones are battling that I cannot do anything about. I'll just focus on what's good in my life, especially our horses. I can't imagine my life without those deep-nicker greetings when I enter the barn or a quick head rub before they head out to the pasture for the day.
Our girls - Sally, Kelsey and Paz - have no understanding of what it takes to maintain a healthy barn, good nutrition and perfect care, but I know anyone reading this does. I'm thankful I can maintain that. We horse lovers of lesser wealth make a lot of sacrifices through the year to be sure our animals live like royalty, and I'm thankful I am blessed with a husband who doesn't mind me doing just that.
As I clean the stalls on Thursday, I'll think about my life. I'll consider what I'm thankful for, such as the dirty stalls. A too-clean stall can mean a sick horse. I'll be thankful the horses are out rolling in the mud, as it shows they're feeling good. I won't mind the extra currying.
I'll be grateful that we've only had one bale of bad hay so far this year - probably a bale I stored too close to an open window. And I'm very thankful for that full loft of hay.
Thanks will be extended to my neighbors with a wave and a hello for putting up with horse sounds and smells without a complaint (although they have expressed thanks to us for using fly parasites for the last several years). We all need good fences and good neighbors.
And I'll be thankful for all of you who help make Horse Journal what it is - a powerful consumer advocate that helps real horse people maintain their budgets, make wise buying decisions and take care of their horses properly and frugally - and I thank you for sticking with us as we moved to a digital format. And that means I'm giving thanks for our wonderful Horse Journal staff , too - Margaret Freeman, John Strassburger, Grant Miller DVM and Deb M. Edlredge DVM - who willingly share their expertise and genuinely care that our readers get the individualized attention they deserve. I could not do this job without them.
Yes, there's a lot to be thankful for this November 27 - but, as long as there are horses in our barn and the ability to care for them, giving thanks will always be at the forefront of my mind..