Since well before Thanksgiving, the Gratitude/Happiness/Memories Jar memes were doing the rounds of Facebook (again). I've no idea when this tradition started, but, since it seems to include reading back all the memories, happy moments and things to be grateful for at Thanksgiving, I expect that it's more of a 'thing' in the USA.
The rules are simple, because they're basically whatever you want them to be.You take a storage or preserving jar, a pen, a stack of small note-paper strips or squares. You label and decorate the jar if you like. Daily or occasionally, you record something you're thankful for, a happy moment or memory, and pop it in the jar. Then, at the end of the year, or whenever you're in need of cheering up, you read the notes.
It's a lovely idea, definitely something I would do if I had children. I toyed with the idea of starting a jar this year and can easily find a jar, but where to put it? And considering that I can always find something to be grateful for or happy about, how big a jar might I need?
Mulling all this over, I thought about how I'd forgotten what I'd achieved last year. What and how much do I learn over a year? All the little skills or bits of knowledge which I acquire in the course of crafting, teaching, learning, doing, or simply because something arouses my curiosity so I go and look it up. Some things I forget completely, sometimes I remember them and 'know what I know', and others become embodied and automatic, as if there wasn't a time when I didn't know them.
So I am going to record them (when I remember to - no absolutes here!), in a diary rather than a jar. Not just some of the bits and pieces I learn, but the Yay! moments, no matter how small, whether it's managing to do tummy/diaphragm flutters (still working on that!), finishing a piece of work or doing a job I've been avoiding (for me, that's generally anything which needs me to get the stepladder out). It doesn't matter what others would think of them, because the important thing is their personal significance.
If reading back the notes in a gratitude jar can lift the spirits, then perhaps reviewing all the little victories of daily life can give a real boost to motivation and self-esteem.