The Happiness Jar


The old year was a year of chock full of happiness- spending the first day of 2017 with the Fox’s Knob and its little friend, the Small Point with Chris enjoying thick slices of dark fruit cake whilst sitting in the snow, savouring a sunlit afternoon on the cliffs with a friend who was eating her first marvellous Flakie, enjoying Christmas Eve breakfast while we tallied up how many of the letters of the alphabet started from the bottom and the top. All of these moments of happiness were sprinkled with consistent drops of joy -mornings when the morning star greeted me at daylight, the many, many cups of steaming tea accompanied by good conversation with our family and friends and pen and paper days when writing was a trusted companion. I remember these moments vividly not because I have the memory of an elephant but because three years ago, upon taking the advice of the indomitable Ms. Elizabeth Gilbert, I started The Happiness Jar. It’s a simple concept, really. You need a jar (or a box or a tub or an empty crock of Miracle Whip), some small pieces of paper and a heightened awareness of what makes you happy. Then, each day (or whatever suits you) simply write down the moment of that day that made you happiest. There were days this year when I forgot to pop a note in the jar but, much to my glee, there were others who dropped notes, including a visiting friend who noted her love of the sea, two little girls who wrote of their commitment to going to Mass and finally, a bosom buddy who created a list of celebrities who would be our friends! Does this sound tiring? A note a day? This practice of being aware, of being truly aware of those pieces of your day and your life that make you happy is as fulfilling and necessary as anything you will do in this New Year to enhance your happiness. There’s a whole new shiny year ahead. A year full of happiness. As Rainer Maria Rilke said, “And now we welcome the New year - full of things that have never been.” Full of love, full of curiosities, full of blessings. Get your jar ready! 


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