Celebrate the Best of 2014: Make a Memory Jar

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. – Robert Brault

At the end of the year, I’m often filled with regret. My mind is on the money I didn’t save, the races I didn’t complete and other the lofty goals I didn’t achieve. 2013 was a little different, though, thanks to the “memory jars” I started last January.

2014_jarThe concept is simple enough. You find an empty glass jar or container.  Every time something good happens or makes you smile, write it down, fold it up and put it in the jar. On December 31, open your jar and celebrate your wonderful year.

I saw the idea featured on someone’s Facebook post, and it touched a chord. I spent some time finding the perfect glass container (a decorative glass block with an opening in the top from Hobby Lobby) and colored slips of paper (a colorful twirl memo pad from Staples). I decided to do two memory jars: one for home, one for work.

It was hard to get into the habit at first, but it soon became second nature. And almost immediately, it changed my mindset. I found myself seeing things differently, always being on the lookout for that “memory jar moment.” I also included sticky note messages, fortune cookie predictions and ticket stubs.

On December 31, I emptied both of my memory jars. What fun it was to read the many good memories of 2013 and focus on them instead of those inevitable regrets and unfinished business. Here is just a sampling of some of the memories that made me smile:

  • “Flipping the calendar to a new month”
  • “Seeing one, two, THREE lizards in the morning glories this morning”
  • “Today’s meeting was postponed, leaving my Friday lunch open”
  • “Mowgli attacking my green beans, apparently thinking they were lizards”
  • “New growth on my jade plant”
  • “Hearing the girls next door talking to Moon Pie”
  • “Freshly popped popcorn”
  • “Realizing that sometimes knowing where to find the answers is just as good as having the answers yourself”

Join me in starting a memory jar this year. You’ll be glad you did, I promise!

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