Why I decided to start a Gratitude Jar

I decided to start a gratitude jar this week because…

  • As they drove home from the Jersey shore during a nasty thunderstorm, my parents car was sideswiped by a young mother whose five month old son slept in the backseat.
  • My home heating system was deemed unsafe, a fire hazard and needs to be replaced immediately.
  • I spent majority of the week away from my family repairing our rental property that our former tenant decided to turn into his personal pinata.
  • A dear friend of the family passed away after a long battle with cancer.

So why, in such a lousy week, start a gratitude jar?  Because I’ve endured lousy weeks before and I stewed and spiraled with anger, despair and resignation. And quite frankly, those negative reactions became tangible weights that I shouldered for far too long.

In Episode 1 of the Power of Creativity Podcast, I discussed the intimacies of my “toughest season”. And since that season, three years ago, I’ve worked on changing. Its been a slow, up-hill change but I’ve progressed. I’ve changed.

Yet this week, with it’s hellish humidity and  shovelfuls of shittiness, I needed to remind myself that this will pass and that my life is a compilation of  wonderful things.

Hang around long enough and you’ll learn that living is tough business. It’s a punch-you-in-the-gut, kick-you-in-the-teeth, steal-your-lunch-money, insult-your-momma, spit-on-our-grave kind of business. Yet there is so much for to be grateful for.

Negativity is easy. Gratitude and positivity take work and conscience effort.  If you’re bearing the cumbersome weight of negativity and desire to live lightly then I would recommend a starting a Gratitude Jar.

It’s easy. Get a jar, place it on the kitchen table and everyday leave a little note–  a word, sentence, paragraph of gratitude or even a brief description of something that made you happy that day. It’s a simple yet empowering practice, one the whole family can rally around.

My hope is that our Gratitude Jar will teach my children to temper their entitlement and how gratitude can help them constructively navigate through their own tough seasons.

jarAnd so in what has been one of the shittiest weeks in recent memory, why am I thankful?

  • Because my parents, the young mother and her son were all unharmed.
  • Because cold showers build character.
  • Because I now know how to properly spackle drywall.
  • Because life is as fleeting as a child’s smile. A smile that curls and holds just long enough to catch the sunlight, to make you smile, to obliterate any thoughts of death and to remind you how wonderful it is to be alive.

Be well,

Jay

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