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jan blogEvery time I return from Ghana the joke around my house is “batten down the hatches” because here comes Mom. I always return with the urge to get rid of the excess of stuff – stuff in my house, stuff in my car, and stuff in my life.

Last year I spent nine weeks in Ghana. It has become a second home to me. Even though I miss my family and friends during these travels, I look forward to seeing my family and friends in Africa. And, I look forward to hitting my reset button.

Resetting for me is about putting things in perspective. I often get caught up in the frenzy of trying to keep up with the Jones. Does my house look nice enough to host book club or have the end of the season party for my tennis team? It is during those times that I have to step back and think about my time spent in Ghana. Ghanaians are some of the most joyful people I have ever encountered.  Their joy does not come from the material things that they have collected. In fact, many are very poor and have few possessions. However, that never seems to stop them from being joyful and thankful for the life they have.

I sometimes feel bogged down by all of my stuff. I get the urge to clean out closets and reorganize the cabinets. What I really need to learn is that it is not the material things that make you happy. My greatest joys come from the simplest things in life, like having all my family under the same roof. I am grateful to have good health, a comfortable home and plenty of food so I never go hungry. I want to be more like my Ghanaian family: joyful, thankful and content. To learn more about how you can give to Touch A Life and experience more joy and gratitude, please visit

Jan Osborn
Executive Director

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