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My Jar of Happiness

2014 is upon us and there will I’m sure everyone is making resolutions and deciding that “This year I will be better… wiser… stronger… fitter…” The list is endless and sometimes overwhelming. Last year, I saw this fantastic post on Facebook about a Gratitude Jar. If you don’t want to go back and read that post, here’s a brief description: “This January, why not start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen? Then, on New Year’s Eve, empty it and see what awesome things happened that year.”

This is what I started with last year:

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Over the year, it morphed into this…

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This jar, like a lot of things I keep, has a story. It once belonged to Eric’s grandma and was one of the few things he asked for when she passed away, because he had fond memories of “stealing” cookies from it. We’ve had it sitting in a box since we got it, because we simply didn’t have space to put it out. When we moved last year, it eventually got unpacked and since my vase was needed for some lovely flowers, I thought this would be a perfect replacement. What better jar to fill than one that had already been full of love before?

So last night, I dumped out the jar just before the kids went to bed. They each got to pick out a few of the notes and I read them to them. They had a good giggle at some of them and they seemed especially excited to see some of their contributions to our jar. After the girls were safely tucked in bed, Eric and I sat on the couch, in front of a nice fire and finished going through my notes. In total, there are 120 notes, some of which have been added by the girls, but most are written by me. They were a great reminder of the fun things I saw throughout the year. In reading them, I recognized how important time spent cuddling with my kids is to me. How much I love my family. How much I love our new home. Mostly, I was able to see all the little moments that made 2013 a really great year.

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The jar is now empty and ready for me to start again. This year, I’m planning to do things a little differently. I’m going to try and write a note each day before I go to bed. I think I’m going to put small notepads in several different spots in the house, so there’s always something available to write on when needed. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the notes from this year… maybe put them in an envelope and tuck them away in a box. Maybe I’ll photograph my favourite moments and add it to our family albums. We’ll see, but whatever I do, I know that these little notes are a great reminder of the things I hold most dear.

Oh… and my resolutions for the year… well I don’t really have any. I’ve chosen some words to represent what I want this year to be focused on, which I’ll share with you now.

Completion: I have a long list of things I want to do, but they never seem to become “important” enough that they make it to the top of the pile. This year, I want to complete projects. This includes a quilt that was started when Eric and I first got married, curtains for Tehya’s bedroom and putting up some wall hangings in the girls bedrooms. I plan to write out my list of “to be completed projects” and put them on the fridge and by my desk. As I complete them, I plan to cross them out with a big red line… a good reminder of what I’ve accomplished!

Organization: This goes hand in hand with completion. In order to complete some of my projects, I need to finish organizing my spaces. We have several things still in boxes, which need to find homes. I know I’ll feel better once the chaos is tamed.

Family: If my notes taught me anything, it’s how important time with my girls is. In the last month, I heard myself saying to them far too often, “Not right now, mommy has some work to finish.” I’ve always believed that happy kids is far more important than a clean house… but I haven’t been living that lately. So for now, I’m setting aside one weekend a month that is family time. It’s time for us to go and explore, to play in the backyard, to sleep in if we want to. This time will be “sacred”, in that I won’t be accepting sessions that weekend or invitations from friends. I know this may be tough at times, but something needs to change and this seems like a good place to start.

I’ve also joined a group of friends in setting goals for the year. The three goals that we’ve set have to be measurable and actionable. I’ve written them out and they are posted by my desk. I’m hoping with the support and accountability of the group, these goals will be easily achieved this year!

So… do you have goals or words for the year? I’d love to hear what you’re planning to make 2014 a fantastic year for you!

Happy New Year 🙂

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4 Responses to My Jar of Happiness

  1. Pingback: Seeing the Beauty in Everyday | Kalem Photography

  2. Pingback: So Grateful | Kalem Photography

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