I’m trying not only to find things that I am thankful for… grateful for… to look back on and smile… but also things to help my family do the same thing. A couple years ago I gave everyone a happiness jar for Christmas. I went out and bought a bunch of canning jars and made everyone one for Christmas… I have a hunch the jars went the way of many things that people get for Christmas… on a shelf for a few months then… either re-purposed or thrown out. I know the ones that were built for our house were made over into either dust collectors or change banks.
This year I’m working really really really really (yeah, really really) hard to find things to be grateful for… to find small reasons to smile every day. There are a lot of days that it isn’t easy (even with the ‘happy’ pills that keep me functional). There are a lot of days when I would cheerfully (okay… not so cheerfully) shut myself in the closet, crawl into the corner, and just hide under the coats and never come out. Sometimes a new reality sucks large.
This year I’ve discovered just how large.
When it was only me, only my aches and pains and limitations it wasn’t so hard for me to deal with. Between the drugs and the sheer stubbornness that is me, I just kept swimming (just keep swimming… just keep swimming… what do we do… we swim…). But this year has kind of knocked me for a loop. This year it’s not just me. This year it is bear… it is also my step-dad… it is reality that is crashing down around me and I’m having a really hard time… swimming… even with the happy pills.
I’m trying to make a concerted effort to find reasons to be thankful every day.
I started using an app on my phone called HappiJar. It’s not the most elegant and I’m not sure I will keep using it, but it’s okay for now. It means I can capture the small moments (100 characters at a time) and squirrel them away. I am still looking for an app that I like better, but for now just the fact that HappiJar is virtual buttons that you write on keeps me using it.
I set a pint sized canning jar on my desk at work to put smiles into. So far I’ve stored a couple quotes in it and one thing to remember. I have the one above sitting on my desk at home for the same purpose. I’m trying to enlist as many people as I can to help me store away happy thoughts so when I really need to find something to hold onto I can reach in and realize that it still really is all worth it.
I’ve even started to write down some of the comments on things that I post of Facebook that people’s comments on have made me smile (it really is the little things I’m looking for at this point… it’s not the mountains in the distance… it’s not even the stepping stones in my garden… it is the individual grains of sand that make up my beach). I’m trying really hard to not focus on the posts (or comments) that bring me down… because a lot of days I’m down anyway and focusing on wishing someone would say something nice to me just isn’t cutting it… I’m going out to try to make it happen myself.
To that end… my cousin posted this Gratitude Scavenger Hunt on her Facebook page and it made me smile (and made me think).
The picture is (because it is totally hard to read on the picture) a blog called Simple Acres Blog and I needed this picture this morning. I think I’m going to go hunting similar pictures… thoughts… whatever. Is it hokey? Probably. Is it cliche this time of year? OH yeah. But I think I need to make it my practice. And I sincerely hope that in a few months I need to find a bigger jar.
Love and Light