Back in January 2020 (BC – before Covid!), a friend shared a post about a gratitude jar where you write down something every week that you’re grateful for, pop it in the jar, and then open it at the end of the year and remember all the good times and things that have happened that year.
I really liked this idea, and although I do something similar at the end of every day (come up with three good things from that day which I say out loud), I thought having a written record every week would be a nice way to reflect on the whole year.
Little did I know that it was going to turn into quite a year!
Opening up the jar (well, I used a tin) was fun to see all 50+ pieces of paper. I made sure they were in the correct order and then read through from week 1 to week 52 (well, I did 53 weeks as the year is just over 52 weeks). I had decided to write down one ‘best thing’ and one ‘grateful for’ each week.
As I read through each note I remembered many of the ‘best things’, and given what happened in 2020, it was really nice to reflect on what was good, despite everything that was going on.
Some of the things I wrote down could be seen as insignificant, and easily forgotten by the end of the year, so reading them again is a good way to remember that ‘small is beautiful’ (to borrow a title of a book).
The public library service has always been important to me (so much so that it underlies my other career), and although I had been re-reading books on my own bookshelves, it was great to be allowed in the local library again and to browse the shelves and choose books.
I was also grateful for the weather!
In other weeks, I was grateful for what people were doing to help during lockdown, and for the simple pleasure of being allowed outside for a walk, run or cycle ride.
There’s time for you to do this for 2021 if you like the idea. It’s a simple yet powerful way to reflect weekly and at the end of the year on positive things, being grateful, and to remember that despite everything, there is always something good we can find in our lives, no matter how small.