Gratitude is essential.
Last January, thanks to my friends Callie and Jeff Dauler, I started practicing daily gratitude. It’s quite simple. You find anything in life you’re thankful for, big or small, and write it down each day of the week. Are you grateful for coffee? Same, write it down. Grateful for a successful surgery? Hell yeah, write it down. Grateful for NyQuil when you’re not feeling well? Girl, same. Write it down. That may sound silly, but that’s the thing… it doesn’t matter WHAT you are grateful for, it’s just the simple task of writing down one thing each day. Over time, you’ll be amazed how daily gratitude can change your perspective and shift your mindset.
My mother was killed in a very tragic car accident on September 8, 2020 and it was the worst day of my life. I am still so heartbroken by the significant loss of such an incredible human being and I loathe the fact that she’s no longer with me. I often scream and cry, asking God “why?” I feel incomplete.
That said, you know what I also feel? Gratitude. I feel so damn grateful because I was blessed with 32 years with Janet Sawyer Muse. That’s more than three decades with the most loving, selfless mother and best friend. We shared a beautiful bond that some mothers and daughters will never experience. For that, I’m grateful.
My gratitude doesn’t take away the pain and I would give anything to have her here, but expressing what I’m thankful for helps in my healing process and often allows me to keep moving forward. It contributes to the strength I need to continue going so I can share that same special bond with my own daughter.
Back to the actual act of writing down your gratitude… While you could simply write it down each day on a Post-it Note, I’d prefer you consider purchasing a gratitude journal, designed and sold by my friends mentioned earlier, Callie and Jeff. They sell these bad boys every year and the journals ALWAYS sell out. [Scroll down for link to buy]
The journals are especially meaningful this year because a portion of the proceeds will benefit Canine Assistants in Jan’s honor. Canine Assistants is a non-profit in Milton, Georgia that raises puppies to become service dogs for people in need, and it’s an organization that’s near and dear to my heart.
Following my mom’s accident, in lieu of flowers we asked for donations to Canine Assistants.
Jan loved the organization because several years ago I helped teach a Golden Retriever named Max to become a service dog for a woman with epilepsy. I co-fostered Max with two other women and it was one of the most rewarding, incredible things I’ve ever been part of. My mom was very active with “Operation Max” from the moment it was established – she even came with me to the Canine Assistants farm to meet Max when he was just a few weeks old. She often went with me on outings and took the time to learn about the process of teaching an animal how to become a service dog.
One month after Jan’s car wreck, Canine Assistants worked with Callie and Jeff (and our sweet friend, T Bird) to surprise my family with the most heartwarming gift: they named a puppy in Jan’s honor. “Puppy Jan” was born on September 9, the day after my mom died. She’s now well on her way to becoming a service dog for someone in need, and I feel so grateful I get to watch her journey unfold. [WATCH PUPPY SURPRISE HERE]
If you’re looking for a unique gift to give someone this holiday season, please consider purchasing one of Callie and Jeff’s gratitude journals. Or think about gifting one to yourself – it’s truly a gift that keeps on giving.
Callie and Jeff – Thank you SO much for once again being so kind and loving toward my family. We feel so honored that you’re including Jan’s memory as part of your gratitude journal sales and that you’ll be giving back to such a wonderful organization in her honor. I love you both!