I’ve started a “happiness jar”. The past few years have been a little rough emotionally for me and last year 2012 was particularly awful, or so it seemed. I don’t think I met one person who wasn’t glad to see the back end of 2012, everyone agreed that it was a horrible year. Maybe that’s what the Mayans were talking about.
New Years eve I had an epiphany, 2012 could not have been as bad as I thought, there must have been some good moments, although for the life of me I couldn’t really think of any. I had my health, that was good, I had amazing friends, roof over my head and lovely cats, all good. It just seemed like it was one of those years when I felt like I was caught in the wash…every time I tried to get up another wave would hit and slam me down and hold me under.
I have been reading about “gratitude” lists for awhile now but for some reason that word makes me feel like I should be groveling and crawling across broken glass and being grateful that I’m able to do so. The jar seemed like the best idea for me. I started with a small fish bowl (I love the old fashioned fish bowls) but soon realized that it would fill up quickly, so off to Value Village to see what they had in stock. I found a big glass cookie jar with a big weird wooden lid.
Then there was the decision on how I was going to do this….was I going to use what ever paper I had around to write on? that would be cool all sorts of different little pieces of paper all colours shapes and sizes, or would I do a consistent thing of all the same shape and size? and how big were the papers going to be? potentially there will be at least 365 pieces of paper in this collection and what about extras?
Since the jar sits beside my bed and is glass I decided to go with the same shape and size. This way, I have no idea what memory I’ll be opening next December 31st it will be like opening a present to myself, and it doesn’t look to messy. However, I also decided to include other things, for instance there is a blue bell attached to a Prosecco cork, New Years Day 2013, Kari and I drank that bottle (and a few others) to celebrate the new year, one of her daughters wrote the date and our names (and the amount imbibed) on it for me…that day has a physical memory as well.
I decided to make the papers small, this isn’t supposed to be a novel just a reminder of a happy thing. The other thing I decided was that I’m not putting something in just for the sake of getting a memory in, no ho-hum memories, it has to be something good that stands out. We’ve had a few snow days here this past few weeks, the snow day went in but that’s it, I hung around my apartment and puttered that’s not really worthy of a mention. A phone call with a good friend, seeing an eagle, having a drink or dinner with someone, these are happiness memories. So some days there are no memories and some days there are more than one. I also decided to date the papers, so that I can see a trend of how my year went. Of course, it’s occurred to me that I should have a “shitty” jar as well, for the days that things just didn’t go right at all…but that’s really not the point to the experiment.
I haven’t decided what exactly I’m going to do with all the papers at the end of the year. Originally, I thought I might get a little picture album and put them all in it, like a happiness diary 2013 so I can look back and see the lovely things that happened when ever I want. A friend suggested that I burn them and release the energy to the universe. This isn’t a decision I have to make now, I’ll figure it out later.
I have no idea how this will turn out, at the very least I’ll have something to do next December 31st. I’ll keep you posted on how this experiment works out, if it does I’m sure I’ll start another one in 2014.
Happy Valentines Day from the East Coast,