. . . because sometimes you wonder how things turned out!
Last January, I wrote a post about finding hope . . . in a Jar of Good Things. You can click the link to read my original post . . . but here’s the quick-and-dirty scoop: Early last year, one of my favorite Peloton instructors started a Jar of Good Things for 2022 . . . to help him remember that Good Things DO happen, even in crappy times. Each week, he planned to write down just one Good Thing that happened in his life that week. By the end of the year, he was looking forward to having 52 Good Things to remember!
I really liked this idea, so Tom and I decided to give it a try. Each Friday night at dinner, we each grabbed a scrap of paper, wrote down a Good Thing we had noticed that week, and stuck them in a jar (which was a little vase I had out at the time).
And we kept doing it.
All year long.
There was nothing fancy about this little project. I cut strips of paper from an old notepad, and we just wrote short little notes about this or that each week. Initially, I thought we’d need a bigger jar, but that small vase fit a whole year’s worth of Good Things inside.
In late December, I dumped out all the Good Things from our jar and sorted them into date order. One pile for Tom, and one pile for me. (I will note that we missed a few weeks here and there.) (Life.)
Then, I transcribed our notes into a spreadsheet so we could “read” our Year of Good Things. And . . . there were some Really Good Things in that jar!
Some things were funny. . .
“Tom returned from D&W with a big bag of Russell Stover chocolates!” (Me, 1.21.22)
Other things were triumphs . . .
“Really good fishing trip with Brian and Kevin F_____. 6 steelhead (me); 2/3 steelhead (Brian) plus an awesome 24″ brown. Also wore new sweater from Kym! Great.” (Tom, 3.18.22)
Some were just little things that make a difference . . .
“It’s easy to bring joy to someone else — took my dad to Michael’s for glue . . .” (me, 2.18.22)
And some things were poignant reminders of Good Things on bad days . . .
“It’s a hard day. Roe v Wade overturned. I didn’t think possible. But the garden is beautiful and there was pizza for dinner.” (me, 6.24.22)
Over and over, there were just reminders of ordinary, Good Things . . .
“Abundance. Food, heat, lights. Hunkered down for the storm. Holiday delight.” (Tom, 12.23.22)
“Live music . . . and even dancing.” (me, 9.2.22)
The jar is empty again . . . except for the Good Things we added last Friday.
Because . . . YES.
We’re doing it again this year!
If you’re looking for an easy way to remind yourself of the Good Things that happen in your everyday life, I highly recommend trying a Jar of Good Things. It’s easy. (Especially if you build it into a dinner routine like we did.) It doesn’t require fancy equipment. And . . . it’s a real treat at the end of the year to look back and remember all the Good Things! (And . . . like I talked about yesterday . . . you can start any time of year. It doesn’t have to have been . . . last week.)
REMINDER: Tomorrow is our Read With Us discussion day for The Marriage Portrait. I’ll be sending out the Zoom invitations later this morning. If you’ve RSVP’d for the Zoom, but you don’t hear from me by this afternoon . . . please send me an email and I’ll make sure you get an invite. (It’s also not too late! Just RSVP to me or Bonny or Carole if you’d like to join us tomorrow night and we’ll add you to the invite list!)
I had forgotten your post last year, but I really do like this idea. I’m going to see if Fletch is up to doing it (because I think it would be more fun to do together than just moi).
Well, what a fun way to look back at a year! I laughed, and nodded, and cheered (TOM! Go you, you fisherman you!)
I hope this year of filling the hope jar has so many good things! XO
This was a great idea and I really love that you managed to do it throughout the year. I especially love the 6/24 entry from you, with terrible news yet still some good. Thanks for the reminder that good is still there even when things are awful!
That’s a great way to look back on the year.
I love that you did this and I’m so glad it resonated with both of you in a meaningful way. It’s very similar to my gratitude journal and I like reading back over the things I’ve written as they spark memories of good things I’m grateful for.
I just love this, Kym. This is one of those things where I’m like, “I could actually DO this.” As someone who never was, never will be in the realm of Scrapbooker, documenting simply, by way of actual scraps (that often end up tucked in a file or cookbook)–well, yes! And what a delight at the end of the year–for the two of you to sit down together and “Remember…!?”
I’ve been doing this at some level since 1998….. but we do it every night… 5 things that touched us, made us smile, that we were grateful for…. I say we… but for the first time in 25 years… I’m doing it on my own. A great exercise… and one that makes you look at every day in a different way, more alert to the little things…. the warmth of the sun, a call from a friend, the list goes on and on…..
What a great practice — and what a treasure all those slips of paper must be! I think the practice of looking for the good is such a valuable one. Even on the worst days, I think we can always find something to be happy about.