This past year was a hard one. Everyone I’ve spoken with seems to agree with a universality that seems statistically impossible. Despite the fact that the reasons it was a tough year is personal to each of us, we’ve all seemed to have suffered a shared traumatic experience. There were good things, sure. There had to be. But they seemed to be so beset on all sides with the bad stuff that it’s hard to remember the good. The good just doesn’t stand out.
The other day, my wife dusted off a a tall clear jar. Beside it, she placed some small slips of paper and a pen. The slips are large enough only for a sentence or two. The plan: Anytime something good happens,we write it down and put it in the jar. This way, we won’t forget. This year, no matter how bad we perceive things to be, look in the jar, focus on what is good, remember these things. And, if this time next year comes and one speaks of only the bad hard stuff when we look back, one of us will point to the jar and say, "Look in there." We will judge the year by how full the jar is instead.