Anxiety, Humor, Life

The Happiness Jar

Last November, I taught a homeschool creative writing class and within the class “syllabus” I decided that we were going to create something called “happiness jars”. I don’t remember where I got the idea but I just know it wasn’t my original idea.



The gist was to get a jar with a lid and add in cut up pieces of paper with things that make you happy daily. If you could think of more than one thing that made you happy that day, write away; there was no limit. But the idea was that at the end of the year, you would have at least 365 things that made you happy on the pieces of paper within the jar.

For my beginning creative writers, it was a toe-dip in the pond of writing. Just the act of getting them to think about things that make them happy and then writing them down on a piece of paper was indeed, writing. Maybe it would inspire them to write even more about those happy things or maybe it wouldn’t, but it was a lot of fun and well-received by all of them.



I also created a happiness jar for myself that I keep on my writing desk. I am usually really good about adding pieces daily but since the virus has enveloped our country, I haven’t added as many as I used to.

Then one day in the midst of all the chaos, I decided I would add the letter C to the tops of the pieces of paper I was adding while at home in social quarantine.

C = coronavirus.

My thought was that I would see that even in the middle of a crisis, there was happiness to be found.

When I first began this project, I had plans of opening the jar the following November (a year later) to read all 365 plus morsels of good. But I really needed a boost now more than ever, so I decided to open the jar last week (the end of March) and this is what I found.


*I will have to translate in the captions because my handwriting is pretty bad

a really good homemade BLT


Mike’s homemade chocolate chip cookies


eating a big mac


I think we are seeing a trend here.


watching Love is Blind with Anna



going for a 3-mile walk with Ella, Mike, and Buddy


I mean, gotta walk off those cookies, BLT’s, and Big Mac’s.



But as I was unfolding one piece of paper after another I noticed a trend through, happy tears.



Most of my happiness entries were things that were happening inside of my home.


I had plenty of happy things outside of the home too..spending time with my mom and dad, lunches with friends, shopping alone, therapy….but the reoccurring theme was that things that were happening inside of my home, were making me happy the most.

That’s a really good thing to find out about yourself during a time when all you have to do is stay home.




103 notes so far of things that make me happy and we are only in March.


And if you don’t think you are making a difference in anyone’s life, think again.

the happiness my blog readers bring to me


There is happiness going on everywhere, even in shitty times. You just have to look for it. Or maybe, write it down.

37 thoughts on “The Happiness Jar”

  1. I completely agree with that last thought! I tried instituting a jar just like this and stopped when I realized I was the only one adding to it.. now I’m kind of wishing I had kept that going! (I’m sure many of my moments would revolve around food too!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen, sister. You’re preaching to the choir here. You have to look for the happy. It likes to hide, but if you pay attention you can find it. Even in times like these. Would that more people understood this idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. KARI!! I love this. So so much. I used to make “favorite things” lists (when the dog bites) and I got out of the habit. This inspires me to get back into it. I really need it now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is very sweet. I wonder if online penmanship instruction would make you happy too . . . I am only teasing. As a fellow sloppy writer I could not resist. I am honestly OK being home. I actually deep down enjoy having all the kids home (when they’re sleeping) – hee hee. I love their interactions and I love not having to race off to activities and eating together. I detest the nonsense that is inevitable, but overall these are my peeps and they are a helluva lot of fun. They drink a lot of milk though. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh is there such a class?? 😂

      For real, I’m always in a hurry which is why my handwriting is horrible. Maybe I should work on that since I’m not in a hurry anymore.

      And I agree with you, I love having us altogether and Anna home for more time than expected. It’s been such a gift. ❤️


  5. I love this, Kari. I also see how much of what brings you happiness is your family. At earlier times in this, I’ve been grateful that I haven’t had to parent through this, but today I’m really missing my kids. I’d give a whole lot to be able to binge watch corny movies with my daughter. Today might be a good day to start my own jar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel grateful that I have my kids and know that it’s such a distraction, especially when I talk to my parents. It’s very lonely without family for those quarantining and that isn’t lost on me.

      Sending you such a tight hug, my friend. ❤️


      1. Thanks, I needed that. Having a hard time with solitude today. Sending you one back for when you’re feeling the need for some. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Even though I’m still working, more time with the family is “happiness”. There probably should be a slip in the jar “Watch Tiger King…again” LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a blessing to find that out at this time that stuff inside makes you just as happy as things outside! I do “one happy year” of daily gratefuls and sometimes the only thing you can write is “I woke up and didn’t need bail money”…it’s the little things!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I couldn’t love you any more than I do right now. THIS is everything. HOME is everything.

    And yes, your handwriting is crazy. 🙂 *giggle giggle* My dearest friend Kelly has terrible handwriting (it’s getting worse as we age) but I know her so well, that I can read it with no issue. Her niece though, asked if she was always drunk when sending out cards. LOL
    My Mom had terrible handwriting and it would take several people together to make out her words. SO, you are in great company!
    BTW: mine is getting messier; age and I think I’m just lazier now.


    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this idea SO much! (And maybe got kinda teary-eyed…). I love that you have your kids at home with you. I wish Man-Child were here. I did tell him that the next time there is a pandemic he needs to come home and isolate with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is fantastic! I was doing something similar…writing down three things I was grateful for at the end of every day in my planner. But I stopped doing it a few weeks ago and had forgotten about it until I just read this blog post. I will start doing it again tonight. I think we all need this, especially now. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love this so very much. It is so easy, especially now, to just sit in the sadness. But I am going to make a Happyness jar today too.

    I’m so thankful for your blog posts. They are definitely helping me stay distracted.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this! A perfect project for the stressful times we are living in. I made one of these types of jars for my granddaughter when she went away to college. She had never been away from home so she was nervous about leaving her family.I had all of our family write notes to her. I included a poem about when she was lonely for family, she could read the notes. She loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Visiting again to say thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 11, open April 1 to 26. All entries shared on social media if share buttons installed. I’d like to invite you to check out my other current link parties!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to be honest, I just sat down to my desk and looked at the jar realizing I haven’t put an entry in since last week.
      It is so hard to find things right now but I am going to think about the past week and add a few entries once I am off my computer.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 12, open May 1 to 26. All entries shared if social media buttons are installed.

    Liked by 1 person

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