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
I think we are seeing a trend here.
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.
There is happiness going on everywhere, even in shitty times. You just have to look for it. Or maybe, write it down.