November has come and gone. I have to apologize, because I’ve been a bit quiet on this end. The truth is, I’ve been struggling. I don’t want to sound negative all the time… That’s a weird burden of mental health. There’s a certain point where you definitely don’t want to be bringing people down all the time. But, the truth is I’ve been down, and I guess part of my deal here is that I’m transparent. So, that’s where I’ve been.

In the times of trouble, sometimes something that helps me a lot is expressing gratitude. Also, I meant to do a big Thanksgiving post outlining just that, but it got sucked away in busyness and that whole mental health thing. So, here I am now.

December is the 6 month mark for my kennel having started. That’s pretty hard to believe. There are times when I’m mushing where I have to remind myself– This is my team, these are my buddies, who I get to stick with from now til the end. I wouldn’t be here (and I meant than in more ways than one) without these things (and I’m sure more I have failed to recall).

I am so grateful for:

  • My parents, who made a long drive after work on Wednesday to join Shawn and I for Thanksgiving, who brought groceries, and who support me in a million other ways, all the time. I love you so much parentals.
  • The folks who have constantly stuck with me, through thick and thin, and who aggressively follow my little social media posts when I make them. People like Lisa, Amanda, Riley, Gaylynn, Shawn’s parents, and so many others who are always there with a like or a follow.
  • Friends who have reached out and said, “Yeah, I get this, I have gone through this too, and I know how it goes.” Who grab a beer with me, or text through the day and night. Friends who check in. Friends who maybe don’t struggle with this particular mental health demon, but are there also and anyway.
  • The mushing community in Two Rivers, who are supportive, neighborly, kind, and there to lend a hand. Thanks to Ryno Kennel for watching Jessie the old dog soon, and to Chris and Melinda for watching my dogs over Christmas, so that Shawn and I can go visit our families. Thanks to Allen for taking time out of the day to come fix our heater.
  • Avid ATAO supporters like Cynthia and Gaylynn, who send things to the kennel for the dogs, and who cheer us on every step of the way.
  • My amazing boss who is not just a great manager, but also a great friend.
  • Winnifred the happy light. I literally spend all of my free time with Winnie. It is my secondary relationship. (Also thanks to Arthur for giving us Winnie.)
  • My partner in kennel, in crime, in teamwork, Shawn Goggins, who is more supportive of me than I could ever ask.
  • My dogs. Even demonic Rogue, who is mastering the art of breaking out of EVERYTHING and also helpfully showing her sisters the same thing. These dogs are ridiculous, tenacious, demanding, and my best friends. I feel like I’m constantly letting my dogs down. It’s something I struggle with so hard. But they are always present and always happy. They are good, good dogs. My only goal is to do right by them.
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Will loves dog mushing, boxing, writing, and hiking. He spends his off time reading as much as possible and going to the movies.
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