- 1 litre-sized mason jar
- 3-5 pads of scrap paper
- 5-10 pens
- gratitude to taste
In January, start with a clean jar. The first time you smile, find a pen and piece of paper as quickly as possible. Write down the reason you’re happy, make it as specific as possible: the pop of the pomegranate seeds in your teeth, a winter picnic, the surprise camping trip.
Each time something good happens, write it down. Rip up the paper in exact squares, fold it with the press of your finger nail, drop it inside the jar. Wonder if you will remember what you wrote down when it’s time to read it again.
By August, you are pushing down on the papers to make room for more. The jar sits on the shelf in the kitchen so that it is easily reached and easily seen. The orange scraps glimmer against the glass like hungry goldfish.
When it becomes the last day of the year, light some candles, smudge some sage, eat lobster, or whatever it is you do to mark a special occasion. Wear your nice clothes. Put scents in your hair. Wipe your hands quickly on a hand towel but pull all the blessings out of the jar with greasy fingers: they have been marinating long enough.
Read backwards. What happened in April happens again now. You taste watermelon, the ache of first snow, fresh sheets, a plane taking off down the runway, a birthday card. It all happens again.
Echoes of smiles wash back on the shores of your lips, and all of a sudden you are everywhere and here, all at once.
Keep them or burn them—decide in the moment. Whether you want to be able to savor these memories in the future or send them out into the universe is up to you and how you feel. Feel the goodness of the past year creep into your bones and heart.
Repeat as necessary.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Courtesy of Author