We were recently in Reno showing at the Nugget All-American Sheep Show and Sale. It's tradition to bring winning entries to a stage and reveal them with a curtain swoosh and The Auctioneer song.
Our hearts were racing, as it was the first time our winnings had landed us in this vaulted spot. My son and his Reserve Grand Champion Wether shared the stage with my dad and brother, who had won Reserve Grand Champion Ewe.
However, before the fanfare, the event coordinator apologized for putting us to the trouble of having to bring the sheep to the event.
I laughed out loud. Having to? Who on earth would be complaining about getting to line up with their family on champion row? There were a host of exhibitors back in the barn who would have gladly taken a spot on that stage. Until this year, I was one of them.
Since that day, I've been making a conscious effort to notice how often people seem to be living "have to lives" instead of "get to lives."
I heard it at the feed store when someone was talking about having to feed cattle in the mud, and I thought of how many ranchers in a drought pray for a porch full of muddy boots. A woman in the airport complained about having to sit in a middle seat on a plane to the beach, and I thought of friends who have never been able to afford to take their children on vacation. I overheard someone in a doctor's office complain about having to waste time at this checkup and immediately thought of women I know fighting cancer who would love to go to a routine doctor's appointment.
This little exercise has really changed my perspective. When you are consciously trying to live a "get to" life, it's amazing how many opportunities to do so arise.
Tiffany Dowell Lashmet gets to balance family, farm and a career in ag law from the Texas Panhandle. Follow her blog at http://alwaysafarmkid.com/… on Instagram alwaysafarmkid and Twitter @TiffDowell.
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