I try to be a positive person, generally. Speaking personally, I found 2016 very trying, tiring and well, just sad really.
Jon’s father, Jerry Janet lost his battle with lung cancer in February 2016. Jerry spent his final days with his family in his home just as he wished. It was hard to say goodbye to the man who gave me such a wonderful husband. I was blessed to be able to tell him how grateful I am. There was so much love in the house that Jerry built the final days of his life. I know he felt it & took our love with him to the next place.
Still reeling from the loss of Jon’s father, my lifelong friend, Lori Reynolds lost her son Alex to depression in March. Suicide touched my life just as it has touched Alex’s son, Cohen’s life. The loss of Alex left me with a hole in my heart. My daughter Zoe and I got semicolon tattoos like a couple of hipsters to try to fill the hole but it was only punctuation. To honor Alex I remember that I can never know someone else’s pain, so I try to show kindness to everyone.
The Janet family said goodbye to our beloved cat, Isabella Ophelia (izzi b) in November. Izzi was a wild one. She let us hold and comfort her in her last days, which helped to bring us comfort and peace. We miss her.
2016 has been tiring. I am looking forward to working a little less for the world famous Mayo Clinic in 2017 and a little more for The Great Soap Company. Mayo has taught me to work with integrity for the last 25 years for which I will always be grateful. I am thankful for the huge art fair they throw at the Mayo Civic Center each November. The Mayo Craft Show is the super bowl of art fairs. It showcases the employees, volunteers and retirees more creative endeavors and supports small business in a beautiful way. The event offers the community the opportunity to find a variety of handmade gifts under one roof. We saw hundreds of customers this year, it was amazing! It was fun to hear about where you like to pick up our products, like; Dwell Local, Scrub Your Butt Soap Company, Treats and Treasures, and Urban Artifacts of Preston. It was awesome to make new connections with folks I interact with through my career at Mayo like Sue, who picks up our products at Hunt’s Drug. I had the pleasure of meeting two of Sue's children. I introduced myself as their mom’s cheerleader at the DAHLC. With Sue’s permission, I proudly told them that I support and encourage her early morning trips to the gym and what a great job she is doing of taking care of herself. It was pretty cool. The shows we do give me a unique opportunity to intermingle my carefully compartmentalized life. To talk about our passion for soap making with people who see us as Mayo employees everyday was a great opportunity for Jon and I. We enjoyed sharing the soap making part of our lives with the community at several shows and look forward to expanding our repertoire in 2017.
I enjoyed sharing quotes with thousands of Mayo employees and their families at the DAHLC in colorful liquid chalk on stark black boards each day, again in 2016. One positive thought in the morning might change your entire day so I also send a (generally positive, occasionally cynical) ‘thought’… provoking email to over 400 people each day too. The kindness I feel from others in response to these small gestures sustains me. It reminds me that we are all more alike than we may appear.
Thank you for supporting our little Great Soap Company in 2016 – we look forward to cleaning you up in 2017 as we celebrate our 5th anniversary. Jon and I will be ringing in the New Year at home making Gin and Tonics three ways, in our Shaving puck, a 4 ounce bar soap and in a glass with ice and lime. Who knows? If we get really wild, you might see Gin & Tonic in our AAA Beard Oil in 2017. Celebrate responsibly. Cheers!