Improving on 2013

Not to put too fine of a point on it, 2012 largely sucked for us. 

It didn’t suck as bad for us as it may have for others. We ended it (mostly) healthy, employed & together, which not everyone can say.

Those are blessings I am in no way belittling.

But comparing your sadness and your joy with others’ is unfair to all involved. None of us are living one another’s lives. We are living our own and that is the yardstick we need to use to know what does & does not need changed in our lives & attitudes

I’ve kept a lot of the suck off the blog because it’s not all mine alone & other people have a say in what gets shared here. Though Havoc & Mayhem often make a point of telling me to put things here or on Facebook, they also ask I keep things off. DH as well. And there is only so much fictionalizing I can do.

So 2012 sucked for us in comparison to other times for us and it’s made a couple cynical people just that much more cynical. And added to the overall stress.

Were there good things? Sure! You’ve gotten to read just about all of them. And I have certainly managed to find the humor in many of the sucky things, which you have also gotten to read.

But eventually all the little things pile up and push me down & I need to do something to get away from the feeling of suck.

When it happened last spring I decided to spend the boys’ summer vacation counting my blessings. I have an Oh Life subscription and every evening when the prompt arrived I detailed the day and finished with something I am grateful for. I managed this 90% of the time.

But the thing about me and daily gratitude journals is I end up feeling bad about it. I know you don’t have to have some big meaningful thing to be grateful for every day, small things are fine, but I end up feeling inadequate because I am grateful for finding a working pen and not …I don’t know, something big & meaningful. Like it just highlights how shallow & ungrateful I am. Or how narrow focused I am. Or how unobservant.  I don’t think gratitude journals are supposed to make you feel like a terrible person but mine usually make me feel that way.

It did help with the overwhelming feeling of suck overall though.

So this year I thought I’d try something a little different.

And drag the rest of the family along with me.

I’m sure if you have been on pinterest or Facebook you have see the blessing jar thing it seems everyone has been pinning lately.


I’d link to the original photo of it but I never actually repinned it myself or liked it, probably because I was thinking  “Oh everyone is pinning it, if I need to refer to it it’s sure to be in my stream”

Of course, now that I need it, it isn’t. So please pardon the lack of attribution.

Anyway, I like this idea because it doesn’t involve me trying to come up with a blessing a day, when I can only really manage 4-5 days out of 7 if I am lucky, or me feeling bad because most of those are along the same lines of finding a working pen. I also like it because possibly 2012 didn’t really suck as bad as I think it did. Maybe the sucky things just made more of an impression than the good stuff but the good stuff far outweighs them?

I used to keep a 5 year diary, where you record a few lines a day with all 5 years for that day on the same page, so you can see back to where you were before. Plus you had a record of events to refer back to, so you could say “Yes, 14 things really sucked, especially the way they happened in groups like they did, but overall, it was just 14 things and look at all this good stuff.”

I found a new 5 year diary so I am starting it. I’m out of practice though so I wanted a back up and I didn’t want this to just be my thoughts of what is good.

So we’re doing the jar. The whole family. If something good happens you write it down & put it in the jar.

I’ll probably have to remind people, including myself, to do this, but I think we can do this once we start the habit. We’ve got problems ahead of us, situations don’t end just because 2012 does, but there is bound to be a lot of good stuff as well. Hopefully an overflowing jar full of stuff.

Wish us luck! I hope 2013 brings you all an overflowing jar of joy as well.

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10 comments to Improving on 2013

  • I’ve seen that jar on Pinterest too. It’s easy to remember the bad things and take the good for granted so it’s such a great idea to jog our memories that although bad things have happened, there’s still a lot to be thankful for.

  • middlechild

    Love this idea!

  • I pinned the jar too. I chased it back to a mom in Nashville, who modified it from a jar to put cute stuff your kid says in for the year.

  • Cindy

    Good luck!

  • We are doing this this year as well. I am pretty good about focusing on gratitude but I think it will be wonderful to sit together next NYE and read and relive all those wonderful blessings. I hope the blessings far outweigh the sucky times for all of you this year.

  • I’m doing pretty well with the daily gratitude email thingie.
    I’m definitely hoping that 2013 is less sucky than 2012!

  • I think this is a great idea, I just can’t seem to find a jar to put the blessings in. I have been looking for a mason jar for this and just cannot find any place that sells just one.

  • We’re doing a family based Project Life – something to remember and/or be grateful for each day. Should be interesting to see how our projects develop. Hope you get everyone involved.

  • I think you will like doing this jar. A friend of mine did this for 2012 and loved it. It is very easy to forget the little bits of joy that occur during all the stress, but they do happen and this is an easy way to remember them. My friend kept hers in the kitchen and each time I visited her house I took a peek at the jar to see if it had more in it than the time before. Even though she had a horror of a year her jar kept filling up :-) She found that keeping a coloured mini jotter pad and a pen next to it made it easier to remember to write it down there and then – No having to hunt for a working pen :D All the best for 2013!

  • Love this idea (and I totally get the daily gratitude thing getting ridiculous – some days I am grateful that I haven’t had yet another argument with my son who won’t find a job)
    I do hope that 2013’s jar is really full by the end of the year :o)