This wasn't an original idea, but one that stuck with me for ages until I got around to implementing it. Not that it was a difficult process: all it took was an oversized jar, a few minutes online browsing to find a graphic that appealed, and a few more minutes to assemble them. Put them all together and voila: the Joy Jar.
Because I am known to be just the teensiest bit lazy, I knew that I needed to make this as easy to use as possible. Thus, tucked beside the jar are a pen (printed with the cover of my first Superromance!) and a pretty heart-shaped glass bowl filled with bits of blank paper. The papers are small, just scrap paper I've torn into quarters or eights. This is key. A very wise woman once told me that people feel a need to fill the entire space they have to write upon, so a full sheet of paper is often too intimidating. Scraps are far less scary. There's no pressure to make the thought so involved or important it justifies the use of a whole sheet of paper. A few words, hastily jotted, will suffice.
And indeed, that's all that's written on most of the papers I've tossed in the jar thus far - a few words to remind me of something big or small that brought me joy. It could be something that happened, something I saw, something someone said - any moment that I want to remember. Things like:
- making my deadline
- the sight of freshly washed clothes hanging on the line
- taking the final dose of a medicine that upset my stomach
- sitting on the glider on our deck with a latte by my side and a notebook in my lap
- the night my daughter was actually excited to do her homework
Nothing that would make the news, nothing that would have meaning to most folks - but rereading those slips of paper takes me back to those moments and leaves me with a smile in my heart.
At some point around the end of this year - maybe on Christmas night - I'll dump out all the bits of paper and read them, reliving the year one joy at a time. And then, the good Lord willing, I'll start collecting a new set of joys.
What are some of the things that would be in your joy jar?