My Joy Jar: Reminding Me of the Good

A few years ago I received a joy jar from a friend. You may have seen them called memory jars on Pinterest. I call it my joy jar because that is what I fill it with. The purpose of these jars is to remind us of the good in our lives and what we have accomplished. I keep my jar on a shelf next to a pad of paper and a pen. Throughout the year I jot down memorable moments and stuff them into it.

Fill it up

What you put in your joy jar is entirely up to you. Whether the activity or event you document isn’t a big deal to others doesn’t matter. Mine is filled with all kinds of memorable moments. Some are trips like the one I made to Philadelphia earlier this year or a single day at Disneyland. I also write down moments that filled my heart with joy because of something someone did to help me. Some things may seem insignificant to others, but for me the simple acts of being able to go the movie theater or driving myself to the grocery store are a big deal.

Remembering the good times

Most people use their joy/memory jars to reflect upon those moments at the end or beginning of the year. Because of my chronic illnesses, I battle depression on a daily basis. I can’t wait 365 days to remind myself of the blessings in my life or of what I have accomplished. I prefer to open mine when I am flaring. The reason for this is when I am flaring physical pain blinds my brain. I struggle to recall the good moments or accomplishments I made between flares because during a flare my mind can only see and process what I am unable to do at that moment. Reading my notes during flares reminds me of the fun I had in between. It helps me to remember that each flare is only temporary and that in time I will be adding more notes to my jar. Sometimes it reveals the progress I have made or how the changes I have made to my diet, exercise routine, or treatments have increased how much I have been able to do between flares. I may also notice longer or shorter stretches of time between flares which helps me reevaluate how I am going about my daily life.

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