The Happiness Jar

If you happen to follow the author Elizabeth Gilbert (or Liz as I call her; we’re close) on Facebook, then you know all about “Happiness Jars”. The concept is pretty simple. Each day you write down the happiest moment of your day on a little piece of paper and throw it into the jar.

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Nothing major, just something little that made you smile that day. And if your day is really bad, you can take Liz’s advice to just write down the “least shitty” moment of your day. Anyway.

I started one at the beginning of the year in hopes that I could have a little tidbit from each day for (at least) an entire year. So far I’m not doing so great. I started off strong, but then the majority of January just kind of really sucked, health wise. It depressed me even further to realize that I hadn’t had many happy moments throughout the day, so instead of forcing the issue, I laid off. Now I’m starting to feel better, and I’m trying to pick it back up and thought I’d share two, totally random, happy moments from the past week.

1.) We took Annabel to play on the playground near our house last Sunday. She was running around having fun when she fell and hurt herself. I scooped her up, and as I stood there holding her and comforting her, a little girl around six years old ran up to us. She began patting Annabel’s back, hugging her, and telling her it was okay. I set Annabel down and the little girl grabbed her hand. She told her she had “such beautiful hair” and a “beautiful little voice.” Then she led her back to the playground where she helped her up the stairs and down the slide, over and over again. Then when it was time to leave, she begged her to stay and then hugged her goodbye. It broke my heart in the sweetest possible way. My hope as a parent is to raise her to be kind to others. I look forward to the day when the roles are reversed and she’s the one comforting a hurt stranger friend.

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2.) Yesterday I had lots of projects I wanted to get done in the kitchen. Annabel never likes to be too far from my side, so she grabbed her step stool and set up shop right next to me at the counter. She started going through one of the drawers and pulled out a little sewing kit and wanted to play with it. I told her no and put it up on the other counter. Next thing I know, she’s got another one (why do we have so many sewing kits in our kitchen drawer?!), and I’m doing my mom sigh as she completely ignores that I told her no and begins to open it up. I decided it wasn’t worth the battle. I was totally off in my own world, not really paying close attention when I notice she has all of the spools of thread lined up. She’s narrating her story. One spool is the mommy, one is the daddy, and one is the baby.

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I loved this for two reasons. One is that I just really love watching her imagination bloom. I mean…spools of thread…as people. Gotta love that! But more than that, I saw it as her interpretation of her little world: mommy, daddy, and baby. She does the same thing with all sorts of other random objects as well. Cookie cutters, blocks, magnetic letters (Mommy “C” and Baby “c”) whatever she happens to have with her. There is always a mommy, a daddy, and a baby. I can’t really explain why, but that just makes my heart swell with happiness.

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Her view of the world is so simple, so innocent. I really hope I can keep it that way for a while longer!

And if you feel inspired, I hope you’ll go out and make your own happiness jar. It’s always the little things in life and this is a great way to record some of those!

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