Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Joy Jar

A few years back, I read something somewhere (...don't ask me where. Does it really matter?) about a thing called a Joy Jar; its purpose being to jot down those little moments of Joy when they happen, fold up the note, and drop it into the jar. Then, after a time, (a month, a year, tomorrow...when you're having a super-shitty day), you pop open the jar and read your notes.

Needless to say (but you know I'm going to say it anyway), when you read back those moments of Joy, it brings you right back to the moment...AND the JOY...and your whole perspective changes. Pretty cool, huh?


So, I found what I thought might be a proper Joy Jar, pulled out my favorite linen paper, and began looking for things to jot down so I could fill it up. What I didn't know at that moment was how much it would change my day. And when I say "day", I mean all the days that ensued.

You see, when you set out on a new quest, if you're anything at all like me, you get a bit obsessed. As in: you think about it.


That is to say, if you happen to have an "obsessive personality". (I do.) So it makes sense that I would (think about it all the time). The psychological professionals (of which I am...or was...) call this character trait "Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder", or OCD.

I call it TENACITY.

{At the risk of getting side-tracked here, I'm going to offer up my perspective on this whole OCD thang. I promise I'll get back to the Joy Jar. HONEST!}

First of all, is it just me or has the world gone mad with labeling shit that needn't be labeled? My best guess is that the ginormous pharmaceutical companies are behind all this labeling. Because, let's be honest here, if they label it as a "disease/disorder", more folks are likely to buy the drugs they think they need to overcome said disease/disorder. I have three words for you: Shaking Leg Syndrome.


It's not a "syndrome". It's a symptom of someone who may or may not have anxiety of the highest order. OR they have some energy that needs expending. OR they don't like sitting down for long periods of time. OR....(oh, there are so many...) What it is NOT is a DISEASE/DISORDER. Just something the puny human might like to take some time to address. As in: what are you so freakin' worried about???? You do NOT need drugs. You need to calm the fuck down and pay attention.

Okay. Rant over.

Back to the Joy Jar.

So, I found a proper jar and immediately wrote a little note to remember the finding of the idea and the excitement I felt in this new ritual. {I'm big on rituals.} Dropped my pretty little note into my pretty big jar and found a spot where I wouldn't forget to continue adding to it. Once finished with that task, I went about my day.

Wouldn't you know it, by day's end I had another note to add to my jar. And then...

The next morning, after the usual love fest with my SophieDawg (another of my greatest Joys), I remembered the Joy Jar. I said aloud, "today I shall look for moments that bring me Joy...and put a new note in that jar."

And so I did.

And the next day.
And the next.
And, while it hasn't been every day, it has been more days than not.

{Some days are tricky.}

I wake up in the morning, I snuggle with my puppy and thank the stars for a new day to LOOK FOR moments of Joy to add to my jar. And at the end of each year (or...on those super-shitty days), I pour the contents of the jar onto my bed and relive those moments that I might otherwise have forgotten.


Yes. It has changed my Life. It has helped me to begin each new day with a sense of adventure and HOPE for what this day might bring. It has helped me to remember that when I look, I find. Whatever I look for. It has helped me to stay afloat on those super-shitty days when I forget that there is far more good than not. Most of all, it has brought me those same joys, over and over and over.

And I can tell you, without question:

Joys NEVER get old.

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