I won't lie--I'm happy to say goodbye to 2013, and I fervently hope that 2014 brings peace and joy to my family and friends. It was a difficult year, full of health worries about our loved ones, coping with chronic illness, financial uncertainty, job concerns and a host of small, niggly problems that don't seem like much at the time but taken all together made for a year I am glad to say goodbye to. There is so much to look forward to in the new year---baby and wedding showers for close friends and relatives, my first grandchild, and my daughter's wedding. I look forward to a year of celebrations!
But on a deep level, I know that I and so many of my friends are searching for a way to make every day a happy day-- how do we acknowledge all the quiet days of going to work, taking care of our family's needs and trying to be a good mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend that exist outside of the few celebratory holiday and special days? How do we conciously recognize that each day has the same opportunity for "finding" happiness? I've had Lincoln's quote on my refrigerator for years--the paper is wrinkled and ripped from packing and unpacking and living on a number of refrigerators, but it is such a meaningful quote that resonates with me and no matter how battered it now looks, it is a constant reminder that I set the tone of the day for myself and for my family.
That is why I was intrigued when I saw this suggestion recently. It comes from the Hunting Happiness Project (link here) and I thought it is an idea worth trying. I kept a "gratitude journal" for several years, but wasn't very consistent with my entries and it eventually ended up on a shelf in my library. I think this is a more visual way to remind myself daily to look for the good things that happen spontaneously. I already have one of my treasured vintage blue mason jars set out in my kitchen, ready to start recording happiness moments. I love the idea of reading all those special little moments next New Year's Eve and remembering that even when life gets tough and the path is unclear, happiness still arrives. All I have to do is greet it.