Last night, I felt really stressed and overwhelmed. For no good reason, too! I think the thing that put me over the edge was remembering that we have to bring our DVR box to a Comcast Service Center because we changed our cable/internet plan. (Does that sound like a good reason to get overwhelmed? It’s not.)
I found myself looking forward to this morning, to my early morning writing time. And I decided I wanted to write about our happiness jar.
For years, Tee and I have tried to make a practice of making a mini-gratitude list before we eat dinner each night. We say thank you for our blessings, and we name one or two things that we’re grateful for. A few months ago, we took one of our wedding Mason jars – there are dozens of them in our house, decorated with tissue paper; at the wedding, they had little candle votives inside them, which came in handy when the lights went out in the tent and everyone was dancing in the dark with only votive light – and now each night at dinner, we write down something that makes us happy on a slip of paper and put it in the jar.
This ritual itself makes me happy – it encourages me to count my blessings, instead of my woes, and it reminds me of how much I have to be grateful for.
Others who’ve had “happiness jars” have suggested emptying the jar after a year and reading through all the little things that made you happy. Maybe we’ll do that – but even if we don’t, just taking that moment to think about something that made us smile is a lovely ritual for our family.