Monday, February 25, 2013

My Happy Jar and Gratitude Journal

"I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself.  For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance, but by our disposition" Martha Washington

Last December was a difficult month for our family; we learned that my father-in-law had brain cancer.  Shortly thereafter, he had brain surgery and was due to begin radiation and chemotherapy in January.  This shocking turn of events caused me to count my blessings, more than ever before.  I felt thankful for every single day and all the little things; things that we all too often take for granted.

When 2013 arrived, I wanted to start the new year on a positive note.  I remembered seeing an online post about starting a memory jar at the beginning of each new year.   You drop in a note every time something good or special happens.  You are supposed to keep adding to it, the whole year long, and at the end of the year, empty it out to see how very blessed and fortunate you have been. I thought this was a great idea and set out to make my own jar.

I looked for a pretty glass jar.  You can make one too!  You can decorate it any way you like.  You can keep it simple or make it fancy, it's all up to you!  This is how mine looks...

I call it my Happy Jar!  Anyone in our family can add to it...Nuno, the girls, and myself.
It's nice and big so we can fill it with many happy things throughout the year.  I keep it on a shelf in the kitchen where we can see it at all times.

I bought the glass jar at Michael's and decorated it with things I already had at home.  The label and ribbon were gifts from friends, which made it even more special!  

My jar is filled with happy notes, receipts from special dates, a champagne cork, hearts, among other things.  It will be fun to empty it out at the end of this year to see what we all wrote.  Isn't it a wonderful idea?

I also started a gratitude journal in mid-January.  My first entry was on January 17th.  At the top of the page, I write the date and the words, "Today, I am thankful for..." or "I am grateful because...".  I take a few minutes every evening before I go to bed or early in the morning before I start my day to write down what I am most thankful for that day.

I've been doing this daily for over one month now and I can't tell you how much I enjoy doing it.  It is so rewarding to flip through the pages and recall all the blessings each day brings.  My girls wanted to start their own gratitude journals.  They, too, own one, and write down things they are thankful for.  Neither of them write in it daily like I do, but it's nice to see them pick up their journals once in a while to count their blessings.  

I bought an inexpensive little journal at the dollar store with blank pages and a ribbon .  You can buy a special journal too, and write in it with your favorite pen.  My pen has flowers all over it.  It was a gift from a sweet friend.  

My happy jar and gratitude journal have been a positive addition to the start of 2013 and to my life.  They serve to remind me how much happiness and blessings fill my daily life, even in the midst of life's most challenging times.  I have never been more thankful for my life, my family, my friends, and the simple little things - which in the end, matter the most of all!  

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 
thank-you, that would suffice" - Meister Eckhart

My blog brings me so much joy.  I am thankful to all of you who take the time to read it.  I really appreciate your comments and feedback. It lets me know that someone out there is actually reading this!  Wishing you all a happy, gratifying week!  xoxo


  1. I love this so much Rosinda! And that quote from Martha Washington is so true. Words to remember. xo

  2. I love both of the quotes and believe in them entirely!!! You get a B+ on this post!! That stands for Be Positive!!!

    You're a darling woman, filled with so many genuine kind thoughts and dreams----I'm wishing all good things for you and yours and the abundance of love to always be yours.

    p.s. I LOVE the jar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Good for you Rosinda! Not a day goes by that I don't think of something for which I'm grateful, some way in which I'm lucky. I don't write them down tho, just live in the moment. I'm sure at the end of the year when you review the jar's contents it will be a massive pleasure. Keep up the good work! ♥ And by the way I'm grateful I know you!

  4. Oh, Rosinda! What a darling blog! I LOVE the Happy Jar! The little fabric hearts and the cheery label and ribbon make it so inviting to add wonderful things to each day! I got a bit teary when I saw your post-it in the front of your journal...assuming it's from Nuno! I am going to share this with my son and daughters! And I'm going to start my own! I have SO much to be thankful for every....single....DAY! "This is the day the Lord has made...let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

  5. Hi Rosinda! It's me again! I was just perusing the list of blog entries at the right and I think I am going to make myself a pot of tea one morning, put my feet up and read through every single one until I've read them all! They look so inviting....every last one! So happy to have met you....wish I knew you years ago....but I will get caught up and we'll be old friends! xoxo

  6. Love your thank you quote! I say it every single day at least once, eyes to heaven, thank you! Your blog is charming Rosinda! xoxo Susan