Gratitude Jar: That for which I am thankful

Last Thanksgiving–November 28, 2013–I took this photo and committed to writing out the things for which I was thankful throughout the year and dropping them into my gratitude jar.

Mason jar with notes of gratitude inside
My gratitude jar began on Thanksgiving 2013

I pulled out all the little notes this Thanksgiving (2014) to see what made me happy over the past year. True to Kelly form, I forgot to write a lot of them. I’m chalking it up to me being busy, being happy, or living in the moment and not always thinking to put pen to paper. I know some of these notes were written a week after the fact. Oh well, it’s the A.D.D. version of a gratitude jar!

Stack of hand written gratitude notes
My stack of gratitude notes

So I ended up with 13 notes. I promise you I was grateful more than 13 times over the past 365 days. Most of the notes reference time spent with family and friends: backyard cook-outs, dinners, movies, and concerts–even the freezing cold camping trip made it to the jar! There are notes about volunteering at the animal shelter, having days off work, and beautiful memories of my Dad.

A few notes made me smile because I typically don’t think about these things. I’m glad I wrote them down:

  • Lots of things make me smile (it’s true, but I don’t often realize it)
  • People read and enjoy my blog (thank you for sending encouraging words; it means the world to me)
  • A warm sunny day in December

Although I didn’t do this exercise exactly right, the act of slowing down to read my notes has given me the opportunity to reflect on the past year. Of course I am ever grateful for my good health. For the incredible doctors who care for me and the facilities right here where I live. For having a job, a paycheck, and health insurance. For not having to worry about much of anything. For a very human and fun group of people with whom I work. For my family, and for the good health of my 86-year-old Mother. For dear friends who support me beyond belief, and for my dog, Grace, who is sometimes the reason I get out of bed in the morning. I am incredibly fortunate, and for that I give thanks.

I don’t bring a lot of religion to the blog, but ultimately I am grateful for my faith in God, which means if all of the above fail me, one way or another, I’ll be okay. I hope your days are filled with little pieces of gratitude too. Amid all the hoopla of the holiday season, there is no better time than the present to take a few minutes to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for. It’ll make you smile.