I’ve read about gratitude jars before but I’d seen too many Pinterest posts of antique jars, perfectly personalised, next to fresh flowers on a DIY makeover bookshelf full of vintage classics. My bookshelf is a mess, my hoard of jars is covered in dust under the house, and it’s been months, possibly years, since I’ve had need of a vase.
But it was this blog post by my friend, Tasha, that freed me up to not have to decorate the jar or clear off the sideboard for the perfect jar placement. My most important takeaway from Tasha’s post: Gratitude is appreciation for what is, not what could be.
So on New Year’s Day, I washed an old Moccona jar (those jars are the only thing I miss about instant coffee), ripped off the corner of some drawing paper, grabbed a crayon (yes, that was the handiest writing implement), and scribbled down something I was grateful for. My husband was sceptical but did it too.
(Note to self: I am grateful for my husband’s semi-enthusiastic support for my little projects.)
To this day, weeks on, the jar has only moved from one end of the kitchen bench to the other. The only decoration I’ve added is wrapping a broken necklace around the neck of the jar – mainly because, I couldn’t think of anything else to do with the chain other than throw it out. I like it. It looks artistic. Maybe even Pinterest artistic.
Things I’ve noticed since putting that first bit of paper into the jar:
- My kitchen bench is less cluttered. (I shit you not.)
- The jar seems to radiate positive energy.
- I have moments of spontaneous gratitude throughout the day.
- My general attitude has noticeably shifted from pessimist to realist and even, on some days, to optimist. (And it’s not just my imagination! Someone did a study.
A jar is great cos it’s container – it holds your moments of gratitude. I see #365grateful about, but, for me, nothing beats the physical presence of lots of little bits of paper. Perhaps it’s the act of holding, the cherishing that speaks to my heart?
Maybe a gratitude journal would work better for you, something that you can peruse before sleep. I’m definitely not up-ending my jar before bedtime, lol.
However, you choose to ritualise gratitude in your daily life, I encourage you to start. Even on the crappiest of days, you’ll be glad to read back and realise that there’s still a lot of good in your world.