2015 was a monumental year for me, age-wise. So when 2016 rolled around I took some time to look a little closer at my life and what I’m doing with it. The last decade had been tough and I’m afraid I had let it get to me a bit. One glaring characteristic that I had begun to lose touch with was being grateful. I had started waking up grumpy and going to bed grumpy. And who could blame me! Money was scarce, romance was non-existent, job was unenjoyably stressful, furniture was falling apart, house needed tons of work, wha wha, wha wha, wha wha…
STOP! That’s not the kind of life I wanted to live. It was robbing me of the precious time that I have left in this mortal body. How did I get here?
A lot of inspirational people that I read and the friends who I find most enjoyable to be around always talk about being thankful and grateful. I thought, that is what I’ve lost. I had become so jaded I couldn’t see past my petty disappointments to the beauty in my life. So I decided, at the beginning of 2016, to start a gratitude jar. What did I have to lose….maybe a grumpy attitude? Worth the investment.
Truth is, my gratitude jar didn’t cost me a dime. I had a big jar sitting around gathering dust in my basement (thank goodness I hadn’t purged that yet, see it was already starting to work). I decided to put my gratitude jar in my bedroom where I would see it every night before I went to bed. Being an artist, my gratitude jar HAD to be colorful. Luckily, (again the gratitude is already working) I had a big colorful paper memo cube. Voila!
Each night before I go to bed, I take a moment to reflect on the day and find something that I am grateful for. Then I write ‘Today I am grateful for……’ , I fold my little note, and I drop it into the jar.
I wish I could say that I am diligent about writing my gratitude notes each and every night, but alas, I cannot. Some nights I walk right past it without even seeing it, other nights I snuggle into bed only to see the jar twinkling at me from across the room. Some nights I get out of bed and other nights I don’t. It’s not about the strictness of adhering to a schedule, it’s about bringing more positive energy back into my life.
Has my gratitude jar solved all of my problems? Of course not, money is still scarce, romance is still non-existent, job is still stressful, and so on. What my gratitude jar has done for me is it has made me pay attention again, to the little things, the things that bring a smile to my face, the things that make me feel loved, or appreciated, the things that make me laugh.
And look how colorful it is!! That alone makes me smile!