Why the Happiness Jar?
Last year my friend posted something on my Facebook wall.
It said: "This January, why not start with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. Then, on New Year's Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year."
Neither of us remembered to do it when January came twelve months ago, but she reminded me of the empty jar when I told her I wanted to create this blog. It still appeals to me, but it's because of the image.
An empty jar being filled with colorful pieces of paper, overflowing with happiness.
A person going about her everyday life being filled with gratitude, overflowing into joy.
My life is not empty, but my glass usually is...or at least it's half-empty. I begin my day with thankfulness, but before long I'm complaining about the little things. Or the big things that never seem to go away.
"Why aren't you married?"
"I can't believe you're not dating anyone."
"Shouldn't you be thinking about having kids soon?"
I overlook the many things I have in order to dwell on the few things I don't, and that is not the key to a joyful living.
Research has shown that gratitude is good for you. It leads to a healthier life--physically, emotionally, and socially. I've known that, and I've practiced the art of gratitude in various ways, but it isn't my default setting. I don't have a habit of joy.
I'd like to change that.
Many people have done similar projects throughout the course of a year by keeping gratitude journals, taking daily photos, or filling empty jars, and documenting their changed life. (I just learned that Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love [which inspired my first blog] popularized Happiness Jars, and that adds a whole new level of "OMG IT'S MEANT TO BE" to my project.) I'd like to give it a try on this blog, just to see what happens.
My "virtual" jar is nice because I can do a variety of things: I can write a sentence, a story, or simply post a photo. And I have the flexibility to expand in other areas (food, travel, musings) as inspiration strikes.
It is here, The Happiness Jar, where you'll find my daily gratitudes. This page is the essence of the project. I hope that by the end of the year, it will be filled to overflowing.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope..." Romans 15:13