Saturday, December 27, 2014

The "It's A Good Life" Jar

Today is December 27, 2014.  There are four days left until the new year is upon us...and I'm actually remembering to start a project that I saw months ago on Pinterest which really spoke to me:  setting up a jar to collect memories of good times in.

I have picked out a jar.  It's our old cookie jar from when the kids were little.  It's nothing particularly unique - just a pressed glass jar, probably a reproduction, that I picked up many years ago.  With no children in the house and therefore no need/excuse to make cookies and keep them around, the jar has just been stored in the basement for years, gathering dust.

Said cookie jar has now been washed and dried, and it is sitting in the place of honor on a beautiful, new-to-us, carved table that was a special Christmas gift from friends Flip & Shelley.  Our old cookie jar is becoming our new "It's a Good Life" Jar.  Into this jar, I plan to place slips of paper anytime something happens that makes me feel lucky or blessed or particularly happy or just glad to be alive.  Hopefully, Greg will join in too.  On December 31st next year, I (we) will take out all of the slips of paper and have a wonderful record of the good things that 2015 has brought into our lives.

Yes, this is a little touchy-feely, to use Greg's favorite dismissive desciptor for activities or comments that look beyond the reality of day-to-day living, but that's okay.  A little touchy-feely-ness is a good thing, in my book, because remembering to be grateful for the positives in my life has always made me feel better overall.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I think it would be a good thing for all of us to make a special point of cultivating gratefulness.  In fact, sometimes I think that one of the reasons Americans are so stressed nowadays is that we, as a whole, aren't very good about realizing how much good is already in our lives.  Yesterday reminded me of this:  the emphasis in the U.S. on December 26th is "After Christmas Sales", and this morning our paper reported that many people were disappointed at those sales yesterday.  Compare that to "Boxing Day" on December 26th in Great Britain.  For years I had heard the term and thought it referred to the sport of boxing, which I was at a loss to connect to Christmas.  Just recently I learned that Boxing Day is actually a day put aside for boxing up your extra stuff - the stuff that you just don't need or use anymore - and giving it away to those who could use it.  Isn't that a wonderful holiday?! What a great way to be thankful for all the new we received the day before from friends and family!  What a great way to focus on the good in our lives and try to pass along some of our wealth to others!

So I'm cultivating a new tradition in my life to celebrate my gratefulness.  For starters, I must say that I'm grateful to Pinterest for the idea!

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