Episode 4: Gwen and Will Parks “Partners in life and business.”

by jilleien

 A little more about our guests

Gwen saw Will at work and immediately had a plan. As former Navy, Gwen was used to taking the lead, and that is exactly what she did.  It wasn’t long before Gwen and Will became the Parks. Both graduates of culinary school, they have worked in various kitchens as chefs.

Gwen greatly influenced Will to launch Saucier Willy. Saucier Willy is dedicated to producing intricately-made concoctions from fresh ingredients that invoke your tastebuds to long for more. They use local farms to source their ingredients, support their community through this partnership, and provide their customers with unique and fresh products. Small batch hot sauces, marmalades, preserves, seasonings, and simple syrups. Check them out at saucierwilly.com. Everything in life is better if it‘s a little spicier, tangier and saucier!

Use the code MARYJANE for 15% off your order!

 

Thoughts after the show

Think about the last time a coworker pissed you off. Did you text a friend and say what an ass-hat Bob was being? When you got home, did you tell your significant other how hard your day was because of Bob?

Imagine if that ass-hat is your life partner. What the hell do you do then?! Couples who choose to be in business together are a special kind of crazy, kind of like anyone who is a goalkeeper in a sport…I mean who would choose to have balls shot at them at hyper-speed?!

Gwen and Will have made that choice.

I remember the first ”Cooking with Cannabis” class that Will and Gwen hosted. It was a packed house. I was watching history in the making. How far we have all come since that Summer day in 2018.

Fast forward to over a year later…I was sitting across a kitchen island watching them both dance across the kitchen making food for a hungry crowd. They weren’t just sharing with us their knowledge and passion for cooking with cannabis, they were sharing their love and life with us. I watched as eyes in the crowd dreamed about cooking with a future significant other. Even I found myself daydreaming.  I was brought back to a memory where my wife (Colleen) and I were in a meeting together. I started to laugh as I recall how different that meeting was compared to today…it was more like a wrestling match and less of a well-choreographed dance.

So how do they make it work? Here are 3 tips that they shared during the show.

 

  1. Set boundaries with one another.
  2. Let it go! You can’t hold on to work when you get home.
  3. Learn and respect their strengths.

 

There was a moment where Gwen and Will opened up about another aspect of their relationship. Will is now Gwen’s caregiver.  They shared with us their challenges with his new role, the biggest one being Gwen accepting that she needed the help.

I also wondered and asked how has this affected their romantic and physical relationship. When you listen to the podcast, you can hear the love of two people trying to figure it all out.

My dad, brother and I were all caregivers to my mother. There was no support for us, we weren’t told that we should really make sure to take care of ourselves. There was no offer of counseling. We were just expected to figure it out and love would get us through.

I have seen the lasting mental and physical effects of this caregiving— anxiety, depression, poor physical state due to lack of good food and exercise, ADHD, PTSD to name a few. I would even say my diabetes is a side effect of the shitty eating while navigating through it.

According to caregiver.org, up to 70% of caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression, with half of those displaying signs of major depression. I spent a few hours after the show diving deeper into the topic of caregivers and their family patients. Caregiving often begins as an act of love… so it’s jaw-dropping to read statistics that show that it can have such adverse effects. We will be focusing on this topic more throughout the season and bringing in experts to help us navigate these hard waters.

Thank you, Gwen and Will for being so open and honest with us about all aspects of your relationship. You are exceptional role models on how to live an authentic and saucy life!

 

Without our show sponsors there is no show, so please show them support as they support us, The Cannabis Community.

Atlantic Test Labs  – https://atlantictestlabs.com/

Pure Life Wellness – https://purelifebaltimore.com/

James Hyland – https://www.facebook.com/jhylandcoaching/

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