In the past I’ve reported the contents of my Good Things Jar. The first time I wrote about it was January 2015. Any time there is something good, it gets written onto a scrap of paper and tossed into the jar. Back then, Tara was living with me and we both contributed. We had intended a tradition of reviewing the good things to start off our Januarys, but we skipped a couple years, then Tara moved away for college.
I’ve continued to contribute to the jar. It sits on my kitchen counter, and one thing I like about it is that just seeing the pretty glass jar reminds me to think of something good. It’s a healthy habit.
The second time I wrote about the jar, it was a collection of three years of good things from both Tara and me. Today my post will be the same thing: three years’ worth of good things. Only…I did not put a single slip of paper into the jar in all of 2020. And there were good things in 2020, really good things. But in general the year was tough, and I’m not surprized that of all years to let the tradition slip, it was last year.
I want to motivate myself to use the Good Things Jar again. The first step, then, is removing all the old notes and getting it ready to receive in 2021. I will list what I found. There was so much self-affirmation, ha ha. Sometimes that’s my response to misery, and sometimes to joy. I am sure there were both during the past couple of years.
2018 good things:
- 1-1-18 Gorgeous weather and a bright outlook!
- 1-1-18 In 2018 I will not have to spend a single day worrying about money (not sure if that ended up being true, but I do recall this relief after I paid off some debt)
- 1-5-18 Exercise makes me feel great
- 1-16-18 I am painting (I pulled out my oil paints and started learning to paint again)
- 2-3-18 Massage (As a treat to myself, I began seeing a massage therapist every two weeks. It was blissful.)
- Myanmar made me smile
- 3-8-18 I have the best ADP on the team (I don’t even remember what ADP means, and I’m glad my self-worth is no longer determined by statistics)
- 3-9-18 I am beautiful and smart
- 4-11-18 I have options
- 4-25-18 I am filled with passion and hope
- 5-10-18 Compassion is one of my great strengths
- 5-26-18 I like hard work
- 7-29-18 I grew up in New Meadows and we all love each other (One of my favourite things about my tiny Idaho hometown)
- 9-27-18 I have options (I wrote this twice. I can tell I was thinking about my future.)
- 10-21-18 I can afford to leave my unhealthy job
That last remark was clearly the most profound thing I wrote all year. On 10-25-18, I had a nervous breakdown at work and never went back. It was almost as if I realized I didn’t have to stay there and kill myself anymore, and once I realized it, my body gave up trying. I didn’t put another piece of paper into the Good Things Jar for six months. I spent those six months in a fog, as I told some friends: “walking into walls.” But that is what I needed to decompress from my tough job.
2019 good things:
- 4-23-19 I am strong
- 7-6-19 My hard work paid off
- 8-24-19 Got a photo with Toby Froud! (Yes, I am a nerd)
- 9-8-19 I am a catch! 😉
- 8-14-19 I got hired for a super cool job (teaching in Annapolis for employees of Veterans of Foreign Wars)
- 10-13-19 I’m always excited to spend time with Tara 🙂
- 11-23-19 I am good at teaching
- 12-31-19 Eggs! (ha ha. I remain grateful for the eggs from my fat and sassy Hussies)
I feel hopeful about this year. Do you feel hopeful? Not that it’s going to be great, but that we – as a global community – are no longer sinking but beginning to rise. It feels so good to be hopeful after such a long, hard slog through fear and death and loss and not knowing what was ahead.
It makes me want to get all ambitious about turning my life around in the new year. I want to make Resolutions!! I used to post – instead of New Years Resolutions – New Years Fantasies, because it allowed me to hope, but without all the pressure.
Another idea I have is to do a series of One Year Later posts. You see…at the end of March I began a COVID journal. I was thinking that the world was changing and with time we would grow accustomed to what was different, and it would seem normal, and we would stop noticing it. I titled my journal “Noticed,” and I tried to capture the things that caught my attention, that were different because of the pandemic. I think it would be kind of cool to take a single interesting thing from each day I wrote in 2020, and post it on that day in 2021 – to remind myself that we came through Shelob’s lair and here we are still. Stronger. Wiser. Maybe a little quieter after our lesson in humility. And we should be proud that we did it, and honor those we lost.