“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”
Alright, if I’m being honest the ‘New Year New Me’ thing is ridiculous but I can honestly say that was me last year. 2016 was the start of a new year and the new me had it in her head she was going to stick to a New Year’s resolution for once in her darn life. I do not think I’m alone when I say that resolutions are easy to make but hard to keep.
For a few years in my 20s, my friend Ashleigh and I used to go out for New Year’s Eve and use one of our napkins to jot down a list of resolutions that we’d ultimately read a year later and laugh at because no, we did not lose 10 lbs, work out more OR find boyfriends. But at the start of 2016 I was determined to stick to a resolution.
My roommate had recently read on Facebook about writing down something that makes you happy every day and put it into a ‘Happy Jar’. I had attempted something like this a few years ago; instead of ‘happy’ I wrote down 3 things every day that I was grateful for. The thought is that after 30 days you become a more grateful person. I did this because Oprah did it and raved about it and what Oprah says to do, I follow; I don’t argue, I just follow that woman wherever she says to go! Except, I didn’t make it the full 30 days because every day I said the same thing: Friends, Family, Health or maybe Friends/Family, Job and Health. I was not good at this. Sorry, O!
When I heard about the Happy Jar I thought that this could be the thing I can stick with. Honestly, what did I have to lose? I found a Vera Bradley note cube stack at my desk at work and eye-ball’d that I had about 365 pieces for my project. I liked the idea that my ‘Happy Notes’ would be on the same piece of paper so it would look pretty. If it’s not pretty, why bother?
I found the first month or so pretty easy and liked that I saw the stack of note paper get taller and taller. A few months into 2016, my grandparents were in a car accident and totaled their car. There wasn’t anything really happy about this situation. On that day I decided to make my happy jar and notes take a slight detour. The day my grandparents car accident became ‘the day my grandparents walked away unharmed from an accident and we are all blessed that they are ok’. I was changing the tone of the notes from happy to finding the positive in the negative and yes the happiness in the tragedy.
Now, incase you weren’t sure I am writing this post because I made it all 365 days and filled up my $2 mason jar from Michael’s. It was one of the greatest resolutions I ever made and stuck to. The fun part was coming in to work after a long weekend and starting my day by recapping the fun things I did over the weekend, the happy moments and the positive. Even on days that things felt a bit bleak, I’d use the note to myself as encouragement or a mantra. If a date with a guy wasn’t the greatest, well then I’d pat myself on the back for going and tell myself ‘he’s out there, this guy just wasn’t it!” or “You went out and met someone new, ok on to the next!” and I found this attitude trickling over into other aspects of my life with work, family and friends.
I even gave everyone in my family a mason jar for Christmas and shared with them about my year and encouraged them to keep track of things that made them happy. Fill the jar with a movie stub from a fun date night, or keep the receipt from a really yummy dinner and in a year you’ll have a jar of amazing memories from 2017.
And yes, I most definitely have already started my jar for 2017, one month down…11 more to go! I want to keep going and create a collection of mason jars that are 365 pieces of paper that are an insight in to the year in my life.
Do you think you can create a happy jar? I think you can…I double dog dare you!