A jar of joy!

I’ve seen a suggestion flitting about on the social networks about noting down the good things in a slightly different way than we might usually think of, and I think it’s a great idea so I decided that I would follow the suggestion myself.

The suggestion begins with you re-using an old jar by giving it a new purpose for 2013….

I have a jam jar that I attempted my first ever glass painting on years ago, so it’s really messily done, but it’s still with me so rather than it being a jar-of-random-stuff-coz-I-don’t-know-where-else-to-put-them it has been reassigned to the job of my 2013 Jar of Joys! Of course, we could use any container we like, I think it adds a little something more if the container is pretty or meaningful in some way although, on the other hand, a fresh start with something new is also very meaningful and adds to the cause, too.

My Jar of Joy at the beginning of 2013

My Jar of Joy at the beginning of 2013


The idea is that whenever a good thing happens in 2013 we write a note of it (little bits of different coloured or patterned paper would be really pretty) and pop the notes into the jar. At the end of 2013 we have a jar of reminders of all the good things that it’s so easy to forget or not give it the importance it deserves in our memory. For those of us living with health conditions, or any other challenging life anomaly, this could be really beneficial to our satisfaction at the end of 2013 and looking ahead to 2014. Many of us have experienced the mixed emotions at the end of one dastardly tough year and trying to feel like it was worth it and that the new year will somehow be better. It is easy to remember the hardships, especially when they’re reinforced in our memories by occurring daily, so it’s even more important to remind ourselves of the little joys that so easily get lost along the way, x

From an ill health perspective ‘good things’ would mean slightly different things than perhaps a rock band roadie or NASA scientist might imagine 😉 If we manage a physio’ session with less pain, clean the bathroom and still have enough juice left to make ourselves a congratulatory cup of tea, if a good friend comes to visit and lighten our day, if we have a meal with family, or get to visit a library or museum  or see a film or play, If we dress ourselves without as much pain as usual, or put on an item of clothing that we couldn’t put on ourselves for a long time, any of these things and more are experiences and achievements to allow ourselves a moment smiling and a warmth in our hearts, and if they make you grin then they deserve to get jotted down and added to the jar. Think about what will make you smile when you look at them again at the end of the year, and those are the ones to note down.

I’ve started mine.So far there is note in there about one of my best buds coming round on New Year’s Eve to natter, make christmas Lego and pull crackers 🙂 And a note about Magic Dude taking me to the cinema on a date. (Yes, we live in the same house, but dates are great ways to treat yourselves to some couple time instead of worrying about bills or who’s going to do the dishes)! Oh yes, and one about sculpting in the snow with the nieces, too 🙂

I kept a couple of party hats that came out of christmas crackers which I’m currently using as my note paper for the jar!

christmas hats for the jar of joy

I have a tendency to keep things, I’m a sentimental 😉 So last year I kept scraps of memories in the form of things like cinema tickets and birthday cards, but this Jar of Joys allows me to note down moments that warmed my heart and made me smile as well. These are the moments that lift us, and make us feel all warm on the inside. So I reckon collecting them is no bad thing, and getting to read them during the next tricky transition from 2013 to 2014 seems ideal to me. I shall keep jotting down joys and see what I end up with at the end of the year 😀


10 thoughts on “A jar of joy!

    • Good idea, I used to include them in my photo albums which were my prints of piccies stored in lever arch files. But with one lever arch file per year and a tiny house I had to stop! But I love to flick through memories, so maybe a selective scrapbook is the answer 🙂

  1. So simple and so lovely.
    It’s a charming and approachable practice of gratitude, which has been shown to reduce pain and stress and to help rebalance the system… Good medicine, as the Native Americans say 🙂

  2. A great idea! You and your wonderful ideas make me smile… (and I want to learn how to do glass painting, too, ’cause your jar’s so darn purty!)

    • Thanks ladies, I can’t claim that the jar was my idea, but I do think that a jar of joys gives us a different perspective at the end of a year we’ve just completed and can lift our spirit about the one ahead. With ill health the negatives get drummed in on a daily basis whereas the joys are individual days and moments, not coded and re-coded the way the pains and difficulties are. So I think jotting them down to help keep them safe for our hearts is a lovely idea. I feel much more grinney about my next New Year Experience now 🙂

      Lili, the glass paints should be easy to get hold of, they’re in most art/craft shops in the UK, and they’re online too, so hopefully they’re accessible where you are, too. I avoid the spirit-based ones and get the water-based ones instead as they don’t turn my stomach with the smell when I work with them. The colours come in individual pots, and there are also tubes of opaque colours, including the metallics, as outlining works really well with glass painting. It’s best to lay down one colour at a time if you don’t want the colours to run into one another. Usually not dishwasher proof, but okay for gentle hand washing. It’s great fun, and there’s so many things you can do. 🙂

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