03. January 2017 · 2 comments · Categories: writings · Tags:

Journal JarSometimes, you have a hard day. Sometimes, it’s a rough week. Other times, the whole year is a dumpster fire you’d like to forget. *cough*2016*cough*

But the thing is, even a dumpster fire will keep you warm on a cold night. Humans have a tendency to remember the worst while forgetting the best. And sometimes the best might be small, fleeting moments. Nevertheless, they are still there.

Journal JarThis jar can help you remember the good. It can also help you remember some of the bad, if that’s how you want to use it. The main thing is you make it what you want it to be!

The Journal Jar (as my mom and I now call it) is something that has developed over the last few years. We first saw it on Pinterest as The Grateful Jar (which is kind of a mouthful). The idea is to write something you are grateful for or something good that happens to you on a piece of paper, fold it up, and drop it into the jar. On New Year’s Day, you go back through and read the pieces of paper, reminiscing about all the good moments you’d forgotten about.

The next year, we called it The Happy Jar. Later this year, my mom had a light bulb idea: The Journal Jar. Yes, it’s awesome to write the good stuff down, especially when things are rough, but sometimes you want to note when not-so-good stuff happens, too. My amazing aunt passed away last year and sometimes things remind me of her. They may not be Happy things to note, and it might make me a bit melancholy or even a little sad, and maybe I’m not particularly even Grateful for the memory, but it still might be a moment I want to note so that I can look back on it because it’s still a memory tied to this wonderful person, and I want to write it down while I still remember it.

Journal JarAnd don’t put pressure on yourself! All over Pinterest you’ll see photos of mason jars, full up of pieces of folded paper. Our “jar” is a cardboard tube wrapped in pretty scrapbook paper with a  lid. You can’t see through it, you can’t stress about how many notes have or have not been written for the year. I look at it like this: If you write just two things a month that you drop into the jar, at the end of the year you’ll have twenty four memories to look back on. That’s great! That’s 24 moments or thoughts to remember the past year you might not otherwise have had.

And we don’t stop there! We scrapbook our memories so we can read them again. Wait, you say–now you want me to scrapbook them? Don’t run off just yet! You haven’t seen HOW I scrapbook them! We’re all about no-pressure with this project! Now that you have these bits of paper with moments of your life, you don’t want to lose them. So we take a couple sheets of 12×12 paper and glue or tape them down. That’s it. Nothing fancy. I told you it was simple! 20 years from now it won’t matter that you don’t have any fancy stickers or photos taped to it. Sometimes it’s just neat to see your thoughts or memories written down.

Here’s a quick step-by-step overview for your own jar:

1.What is the purpose of your jar? Ours changes each year, but for 2017 we decided on The Journal Jar (don’t feel pressured to actually name yours!). We’ve chosen The Grateful Jar and the Happy Jar in the past and written only happy or good things down. This year, we just want to record whatever happens–be it losing a friend, a bittersweet event, or a wonderful party we went to. We want everything to go in the jar this year! It’s your jar so you decide! Pinterest, blogs and the internet in general is a great place to get inspiration for your jar, just make sure you make the jar you, and something you will be happy with doing all year. Don’t try to please anyone else.

2. What container will you use? You can use a jar, an envelope, or stuff it in an old sock. Use whatever brings you joy!

3. What are you going to write on? I am a paper fantastic so part of the joy I get out of this project is using a variety of paper. I use what’s on hand, as well as changing out the paper in my set up throughout the year. I also put different colored pens so there’s a bit of fun for us and any visitors who want to participate, too!

3. What is the purpose of your jar? Ours changes each year, but for 2017 we decided on The Journal Jar (don’t feel pressured to actually name yours!). We’ve chosen The Grateful Jar and the Happy Jar in the past and written only happy or good things down. This year, we just want to record whatever happens–be it losing a friend, a bittersweet event, or a wonderful party we went to. We want everything to go in the jar this year!

4. Where are you going to put your jar? Make it easy for you to jot down a note and toss it in your container. We have a set up in the middle of our dining room table for ours, complete with paper, pens and Journal Jar, so everything is easy to access and quick to jot down. This allows people that come over to write something down and add to the jar, too, but you might want to tuck yours in a corner and keep it private.

5. Think a little bit ahead-how do you want to store your memories when the year is over? You don’t have to decide now, but if you want to keep them, you might want to think about what you want to do with them at the end of the year. It could affect how you set your jar up. Do you want to use Project Life cards or certain sizes of paper so you can scrapbook them? Do you want to keep an eye out for a special box while you’re shopping so you can store them on a shelf? We chose to do it simple to keep the pressure off ourselves since we’re not fancy scrapbookers, but we wanted to be able to go back through the years and re-read them. It also makes it easy to put them in a scrapbook binder and just keep adding the each year to the same binder since we decided to keep going with it!
Journal Jar

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2 Comments

  1. It’s the highlight of our New Year’s Eve and I look forward to it every year!

    • Mine, too! I especially like all the good ones we read–I ended up not liking the sad or not good moments we put in the jar last year. I like the feel-good feeling it leaves afterwards when you’ve read just all positive things.

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