Memory Jar: Start a New Year’s Tradition

This New Year I tried something new.  Personally, I hate New Year’s Eve, it feels like another over-rated holiday.  So much hype and always some disappointment.  I had long given up on the idea of trying to make it an exciting night and just treat it like any other night.  But perhaps, I could start a small tradition that would represent the passing of the year that would be meaningful.

So, I found an empty mason jars (I am obsessed with these things!) and labeled it 2017.  Then I cut up a bunch of color strips and place them in another jar beside my 2017 jar.  I then informed my partner that we would be collecting our favorite memories from 2017 and opening them on New Year’s Eve.  Luckily my partner is very flexible and open to my wellness ideas so he jumped right on board.

According to the brain research our brain is like a Velcro for the negative events and a colander for the positive moments.  Therefore, we need to “stitch in the positive”, essential relive the moment so our brain remembers these moments instead of letting them fall through the cracks. We need to take time to savor these positive moments which was why I was so excited about the memory jar.

How does it work?  Each month my partner and I sat down and thought about our favorite moments over the month.  We separately wrote them down on a colorful strip of paper and rolled them up and tossed them in the jar without telling each other.  Did some months we forget?  YES!  But we just thought of our favorite memories since the last time we wrote them down.  Since the memory jar was front and center in our house many of our visitors asked about it and we suggested they write down their favorite moment they shared at our house.

By New’s Eve the jar was full.  We dumped out the memories and took turns reading them.  I was eager to hear what my partner’s favorite moments had been.  As it turned out some of our favorite moments has been the same but we each wrote about them from a different angle. Some memories we had completely forgotten about, some memories made us, laugh, and some memories made us sad because we recently moved.  We especially enjoyed  reading our visitors’ favorite moments. When we finished we agreed that this was a New Year’s tradition that we wanted to keep around and challenged ourselves to include our visitors even more.

This doesn’t need to be complicated, just take the idea and adapt it to work for you.  It’s okay that they year has already begun, just write down your favorite moments so far from 2018 and start from there. You don’t need a mason jar or colorful strips of paper take what you have at home and get started!