I can’t believe it has taken me until today (25 January 2016) to open my 2015 Happiness Jar. My post at the beginning of 2015 in which I analysed my 2014 jar, was one of my most popular ever blog posts.
Just to recap, at the beginning of 2014, I read an article by Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Eat, Pray, Love, The Signature of All Things and, recently, Big Magic. She suggested keeping a happiness jar for the year.
Basically, you start with an empty jar and put into it a note of anything that makes you happy or grateful during the year. In 2015 I had 67 happiness notes in the jar, compared to 53 in 2014.
Twenty-nine notes related to family events and experiences. Many talk about the new member of our family, our first ever dog. She has definitely bought a new dimension and many firsts to our lives. The rest mention successful outcomes to events and, of course, the achievements of both of my sons. However, the most pertinent happiness notes relate to simple times spent with my husband, sons and dog at meals, walks and at home together.
Sixteen notes relate to friends. These notes detail times with writing friends at RNA events and accompanying other friends on courses or walks. One recorded an afternoon listening to my mother and my best friend’s mother reciting by heart poetry they could remember learning in their youth.
Four notes detail my gratitude for successful health outcomes – clear mammogram, clear smear test, a mole declared harmless. These are particularly pertinent as a number of my friends have had serious health issues this year.
Nine notes speak of trips, talks and courses. My London trip (Blog post 1/12/2015), tea with Katie Fforde (Blog post 23/9/2015), a spiritual writing course (Blog post 27/9/2015), local history talks and a quilted picture course and nine of achievements, mainly writing - shortlisting in two competitions, finishing my NWS manuscript and successfully completing Nanowrimo, together with various submissions of my work.
All told the jar gives a record of a successful 2015.
I have found the process of keeping and analysing a happiness jar, very uplifting. This year, however, I’m trying something slightly different. I am writing a gratitude and experience log book. I’m also using the last page of this book to record the names of anyone needing help, for health or other issues. By making this list, I can direct positive thoughts to those who need them throughout the year.
I’ll let you know how I get on with this new format.