Does It Really Work? A "Good Things That Happen" Jar?

Happy New Year!

I hope 2014 is the year that brings all your dreams and hard work to fruition. 

Last year was kind of tough on me. The hardest thing was letting go of my son as he embarked on a two year mission for the LDS church. He's been gone for almost four months. Only 20 more to go, right? I got this. *deep breath* I don't care what anyone says, that the time is flying by. To the parents, it's just not so. They have been the longest four months of my life. But we are hanging in there and so very proud of him for sacrificing two years of his life in the service of others. It's a rare trait in this day and age to find young people who will focus outside of themselves.

Early last year, I realized that I had been emphasizing the negative aspects of my life, probably for a couple of years, rather than remembering all the great things I've going, so I started filling up a jar last year looking for "Good Things That Happen." 

Here's mine before my youngest son and I opened it up on Dec. 31st and started reading and remembering what a great year we've had. We had a good giggle fest.

Here are some of my favorite entries for 2013--

My husband said the sweetest thing: "I can't believe you've taken the time out of your life to be married to me."

During the winter, I wrote quite a few entries about the sun shining through the inversion, but this one included something even more important to me: "The sun shined brightly today and my boy told me that he loved me. Unsolicited!"

Contemplating life without my son when he serves a mission: "His great big giant laugh. What will I do to smile when he's on his mission?"

Baby owls were born and fledged in our yard during the spring: "The boys are absolutely hysterical about those baby owls, chasing magpies off with their airsoft guns and saying all this ridiculous superhero stuff. Such funny boys."

My son's deadpan sense of humor: We were talking about a possible Tarzan musical with my youngest and his friends. He said, "the guy [who plays Tarzan] will have to have a big nose, big muscles, and dred locks (referring to Disney's Tarzan). Well, I don't have dreds or big muscles:)" You might have to think that one through. I about fell on the floor laughing. His nose is not that big.

Another one from deadpan boy: We were talking about girls and he says something that I can't remember. Too bad. And I say, "Says the boy who pays no attention to girls." To which he replies, "Mom, I have a harem. I have to pay attention to girls." Oh, the humility:)

Preparing to pitch my story to an agent: "Sweet boy making his goofy Star Wars sound effects over my shoulder as I was reading about how to create a one page synopsis for my book."

Regarding the Christmas Skype phone call from our missionary: "So wonderful to see his face, his smile and cute dimple, and hear his voice. He even sang." He's quite a fantastic singer.

See? Life was pretty darned good in 2013 when I looked at it from a different angle. I am convinced it's a matter of attitude. Life is going to come swinging at us, and sometimes hits us really hard, but we all have the capability to find our way through the dark times and walk into the light. Nothing that bad happened to me. I just wasn't as happy as I should've been and that was absolutely wrong. I made the most important people in my life pretty unhappy from time to time. I'm entering the new year with a much better attitude than I did last year. I think part of that is because I was able to review some wonderful things that happened in 2013. 

I highly recommend it. I thought a lot about fun stuff that I could put in my jar. I'm telling 'ya. It works!


  1. That's an excellent idea, Shantal. The bad can take over if we let it. I think that one of the reasons we're encouraged to keep journals. Too busy for that? How about a happiness jar. Love it.

  2. Great post!!! Love this idea. It is perfect for the less than perfect world we live in. Thanks :}


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