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Making the best of Winter

Winter is kind of depressing…am I right?? Now don’t get me wrong…I love snow and get very excited, like a small child, when it snows. Peeping out the window every 5 minutes, and neurotically checking the weather apps and pages I follow on social media….snow brings me a lot of joy! I always make everyone in my family go out in the snow, including the dogs, and sledding on our hilly driveway is one of our favorite things to do! Dr Cody recently shared something that really speaks to me, and it was this quote: ‘If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow.’

I have thought about this quote a lot recently. I like it because I like snow (obviously), but also because I think it relates to so many other aspects of life too. Even if something is hard, or you don’t enjoy it, but you still have to do it – isn’t it better to find the joy in it when you can? Writing up charts and doing some of the tedious background work that goes along with running a business doesn’t always bring me joy, I’m not going to lie….it’s much more exciting to examine patients and talk with clients, or to do a challenging surgery! BUT…it’s still important to do those things, and it’s better to find joy in the doing, than to be miserable, if either way you still have to do the things!

I do find the gloomy gray days of winter a little depressing though, like so many of us do….and I think it’s important to find joy where you can – like watching your dog romp in the snow (they don’t worry about shoveling!), or appreciating the sunny days that much more since so many have been cloudy recently, or finding joy in spending time with a super cute senior patient (ok, this one is more specific to me, lol), or in any other way that you can find snippets of joy in the day to day.

Back in January of 2021, I went to Colorado when I was at a pretty low point mentally myself. I went there very last minute for a few days to climb some mountains, and take a break, and to try to remind myself why I love being a veterinarian. While there, I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I got to drive a sled dog team, while it was actively snowing, through the Rocky Mountains. And let me tell you what – those dogs leading those sleds were filled with so much JOY! They LOVED pulling sleds and being in the snow, and it was so easy to get wrapped up in the joy right along with them. That experience and seeing those sled dogs being so joyful in the snow, is something that I will remember for all of my days.

I know this blog doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with being a vet (at least not directly), but I also know that so many people struggle this time of year, so I thought it was a good time to give a reminder about joy. I also have mentioned before that vet med is filled with a bunch of really amazing and empathetic people, and is a very heavy field at times, that leads to there being a high incidence of mental health struggles in our field. And I know that there are some truly kind and wonderful people around me who are struggling in different ways right now, so here is a reminder. Whether you like snow or not, it’s going to snow – so I think it’s better to find the joy in the snow, than to hate that it’s snowing, right? Now here’s to hoping we get at least ONE good snow storm this year, so I can frolic in it with my dogs!

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