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A year ago, today I woke up unemployed. The emotions running through me ranged from fear, anxiety, and nervousness to excitement, gratitude, and happiness. I had just retired at the very early age of 48 and was about to embark on a great adventure, new way of life in a new country that I had never been to before.  The decision to leave the workforce was a complicated one, some might say it was a matter of life or death. My life and my death. But that isn’t what this blog entry is about. (Well, sort of.) This entry is about how much a life can change in only a year. But not only that. It’s about HOW a life can change. On February 28th, 2021, I wrote the below email to my fellow co-workers. I then posted the same email on Facebook for all my former co-workers from over the years. I had no idea how writing this letter would lay the foundation for what was to come.



This is it! My last day of having a J-O-B! It’s my retirement day! I sent the below letter to my work family today, and in doing so, realized that there are many others who have been a part of my journey. I couldn’t have made it to where I am today without all of you in my corner.

So, I thought I would share my feelings and thoughts with you and let you know how very much I appreciate and am grateful to you all!


I have been thinking about this day since I made the hard decision to leave the Wild West Motorsports family. I have thought about how I wanted to say good-bye. I am a crier and an ugly crier at that, so I know if I tried to say any of this out loud, I would never get through it. The decision to leave was not an easy one. At times, I must admit, I have been scared and wondered whether it was the right decision. As with anything new, the unknown is always a little scary, but I have faith.

I never, in a million years, thought that I would be retiring before I turned 50! I am a planner, and I HAD A PLAN! I was executing my plan AND seeing results! Then life happens and things change. I have always loved the saying “We make plans, and God laughs.” Well, he must be rolling on the floor laughing right now! But…He also knows my faith is strong.

I have had many “jobs” in my life, and a few “careers”, but nothing has been more gratifying and more rewarding then being in the Motorsports Industry for the last 15 years. I have never worked harder. I have laughed and I have cried. I have failed and I have succeeded. I have been a part of some amazing teams and some not-so-great teams. I have been humbled. I have learned to be patient, to strive for excellence and to never settle. In the darkest hours I have learned to have faith in others and in myself.

I have been blessed to have incredible mentors and teachers who have believed in me when I did not believe in myself. They took a chance on me when no one else would. I have also had the opportunity to work with some “not so great” people, and I have learned from them as well. They taught me how NOT to be, and how their actions can affect people negatively. My faith was often tested.

Since I announced that I was leaving, I have had the opportunity to reflect and take inventory. I have made many mistakes. I have tried to learn from them and be better for it. I realized that there is a lot to be proud of, and it is OK to feel pride in myself, but only if with pride I feel humility as well. I have learned that there is so much I do not know and will never know. I have accepted that I will never be the smartest person in the room, and I am grateful for that awareness. Through that awareness I have learned to trust in others and to learn from them. In doing so, my faith is strengthened.

So, as I close this chapter and finish this book, I look forward to writing the next one with my best friend, my partner in life, my other half, my soulmate. Together, we will face the unknown. Together we will stumble. Together we will pick ourselves up and together we will find peace. And that is what I wish for all of you…find your path, be brave, don’t give up, never settle, believe in yourself, find your peace, and always, always have faith.

Humbly Yours,

Ashley Wood Lambert


Now, 365 days later, I’m sitting here, in our new home, in our small new town of Atenas, in our new country of Costa Rica. In the last 12 months I have laughed and cried. I have mourned the chaotic life, full of stress and anxiety, that I left.  I have stumbled and fallen. I have picked myself back up and dusted off the dirt. I have learned to meditate, embraced yoga, started to learn a new language. I have slowly begun to shed years of poor habits, living my life to serve others, and a pound or two.

Sure, I still have moments of anxiety and stress, but now, I have awareness and the tools to cope.  Now, I have a grateful heart for all the experiences and blessings in my life. Now I have the tools to manage the dark times and how to find my way to the light.  Now, I am the poorest I have ever been, and yet, I am one of the wealthiest persons I know.

My life is full and rich. My heart is full and rich. My love for life is full and rich. Most of all, my faith has strengthened, and I am finding my peace.

I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 365 day!

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