Last year I did that “happy jar” thing. Writing down good, pleasing and otherwise happy making events onto a piece of paper. Folding that paper and putting it into a jar.
The instructions were to then sit down with said jar, on NYE I think, and read through the notes, reliving and remembering all the good things that have happened through the year.
Well I got as far as placing quite a few notes into my jar, but didn’t follow up (NYE was a bad time, I was unwell, had tonsillitis, a fibro flare and deep depression) so the jar had remained untouched since then.
In the last few weeks I have found myself on many an occasion in need of an emotional pick up, at times this has coincided with me being at home and in close proximity to The Jar which makes itself visable and grabs my attention.
My arm reaches out, fingers slip into the jar in slow motion selecting one folded slip and gently grabbing onto it. Somewhere along the line my other arm and hand join in and cooperate to open that small piece of paper and present it to my eyes. Scrawled shapes dance and squirm, my brain struggles to understand until…. “Awwwww yeah 🙂 I remember, that was lovely/great/empowering/scary as fuck but a positive move!”
Not everything in there is true today, things that made me happy then may have sad or painful associations now. But they made me happy THEN and that’s what matters NOW I was and have been happy, it’s possible, it’s happened more than once and it can, and will, happen again.
More than that, there will also always be sadness of some form attached to many happy moments, be it loss or regret or confusion or anything else, but life (such as it is) continues, we (I) survive and other better memories will be made.
I’m not sure that makes sense, I’m trying to say that it’s okay. Things get good, things go bad, life keeps moving. Ups and downs, stumbles, crashes and missed opportunities will always be a feature, especially in a life marked by mental and other health issues.
But those things end, they (hopefully) fade and as much as they try to dominate and obliterate the precious happy moments they can’t, not really. Because they will always be there too, they can’t be undone.
So it’s good to remind myself, particularly in times of need, that there have been good times, I am capable of feelings other than doom & gloom, anxiety, paranoia, fear and desperate isolation. I CAN BE HAPPY! 😀
I’m not keeping a happy jar this year, I still have this one to empty. But it’s working well for me this way, I think maybe next year I’ll do another one, create a 2 year cycle of recording and remembering the big little things that make life worth living!