Gratitude Jar

Last year the holidays were tough. Omicron began picking up the pace somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the idea of being together with friends and family, which had so recently seemed possible, was suddenly as far off as ever. Again. I was so sad to have to cancel all of our plans and to be returned to this place of fear and isolation. And, worse, once I got to that place, I couldn’t remember anything good at all that had happened in all of 2021. Surely it wasn’t all bad? Right?

I have written about the negativity bias (Utterly Imperfect and Always Seek the Sweet) before, and it’s truly fascinating how hard it is to find positive memories or thoughts when times are tough. Our family started a gratitude jar last Christmas as an antidote to the negativity that has really swallowed us whole for the last several years. The gratitude jar (I called it our Glad Tidings jar) partially forced us to make a conscious effort to be aware of our blessings, no matter how minute, and also created a steady supply of all the good things the year brought us, no matter the conditions or circumstances of the end of 2022. The glad tidings jar sat on our kitchen counter with a notepad and pen next to it all year. Anytime any family member was so moved they could add a little note.

In the end, this year was mostly, kinda, normal. We were able to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with family in a way that was very reminiscent of pre-pandemic years (no masks, no distance, much laughter and noise and good food). The year also brought its fair share of hardship and health issues and loss. Life showed up in all its fragile beauty in 2022, as it always does.

I am happy to see that we have a full jar of notes about the blessings in our life. I am excited to look back and remember both the amazing things as well as the mundane that brought us joy and gratitude this year, from reprising international travel to finishing an entire school year uninterrupted to our first big snow storm to, simply, it’s June :-).

Here are a few random selections from the jar:

January – “Reading the Adventures of Tintin!”

February – “Sponge Bob the Musical”

June – “I am feeling thankful for having such a loving and supportive family.”

August/September – “COVID came…and left”

This is one new year’s tradition I can get behind and bring forward into 2023.

Happy New Year! Wishing glad tidings to all.

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

One thought on “Gratitude Jar

  • I have done this and loved it. I think it’s time to start again!

    Sent from my iPhone

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