Every year around this time, I start thinking about the year that is wrapping up and the shiny fresh one that’s about to start. About all the things that went well and all the things I would love to change.
Around this time last year, I decided that one thing I really wanted to do was change how I look at things.
So many days I find myself focusing on all the things that are not quite how I want them to be – my husband works too much, our house isn’t clean enough, I never seem to finish my to-do list. I focus so much on the little things that are messing everything up that I completely overlook everything wonderful that is happening. Like my little boy’s toothy grin when I tickle him. And the times my husband does the laundry when it’s my turn because I look tired. Those are the things I want to remember at the end of the year.
So I decided to make last year the year I was going to make sure I remembered all of those favorite memories.
That’s where the memory jar comes in. The idea is whenever something happens that just really makes me smile, write it on a piece of paper and toss it in the jar. Then a year later on New Year’s Eve we pull all our favorite memories out of the jar and read them together.
I originally shared this memory jar last year at Domestically Speaking. So now that it has been (almost) a full year since I started this little endeavor, how did it go?
Well, to be quite honest, I would consider it both a success and a failure.
I had grand plans that I was going to document all the little moments that make me smile all year long and have a big jar full to enjoy come New Year’s. In reality I forgot all about the project for weeks and even months at a time. Yes, even though it was sitting in plain sight on the kitchen counter.
But then I would look at it and remember and write down a whole bunch of recent make-me-smile moments.
Which means in reality, we only have a jar half full to enjoy in a few weeks. So how is that a success? Well, in true optimist fashion, I see that the jar half full of happy memories is a lot more than I had at the end of last year. And even though I wish there were more in there, I’m pretty excited to crack it open on New Year’s. Who knows – maybe I’ll get super motivated and manage to get the jar filled in the next two weeks.
Want to make your own memory jar this year? I’m definitely planning to give ours another go this coming year!
To make your own etched glass memory jar, you need a clear jar, etching cream, a paintbrush, alphabet stickers and painters tape. (You can get etching cream at any craft supply store.)
First spell out your word on the front of the jar using alphabet letters. I chose to spell out ‘favorites’. (It really doesn’t matter what color or design the stickers are as long as you like the size and font). Tape off a box around the letters using painter’s tape. Use your finger to press the stickers and tape down firmly.
Apply the etching cream liberally to the taped off area using a paintbrush or foam brush. After waiting the amount of time listed on your etching cream directions, rinse it off with water.
Let the jar dry and remove the tape and stickers.
Once I had etched my jar, I felt like the lid needed a little character as well so I covered it with silver glitter washi tape.
And that’s it – our jar was ready for action!
And here she is all ready for New Years. When I fluffed up the papers, it looks pretty full!
Here’s to a great year!