Happy November! I can’t believe there is a little less than two months left in the year. I was thinking about that when I posted a photo of Happiness Box 2021. Someone wanted me to share the story about how the project came to be. I did share, but quickly made it private. I feel weird sharing my story on Facebook. Yet, I don’t mind sharing it here:
Thanks Ruth for the comment. It might have been prompted by the post I made on Writing.com earlier:
*”Happy NaNoWriMo! Good luck to all the novelists this year! I plan on working on my memoir this month. Memoir? Maybe… it’s about my Happiness Box Project. Memoir? Creative non-fiction? I’ll just write and see what happens!”*
I’m writing about the origins of the Happiness Box Project currently, although I do have to talk to some professionals about the legalities with sharing my story.
On Sunday, it’s the 8th anniversary. I was given a second chance to life, but I floundered in anger, anxiety, and hatred for two years. In August 2015, I saw an idea for a Happiness Jar on Pinterest and thought I’d start it for 2016. Write something that makes you happy daily, then open it in the new year and count your blessings. Hey, why not? What could I possibly lose? Absolutely nothing. In December 2015, I revisited the idea, and decorated a jar I inherited from Nan.
Unfortunately, the jar didn’t hold a whole year. I ran out of space in March 2016. When I opened the jar on 1-1-17, I felt sad. However, I did have scrapbooks I could look at from 2016. That year I was given a sweater box and I thought that I’d create a “Happiness Box.” A happiness box might hold more. Lo and behold, it did!
One thing I didn’t acknowledge in the aftermath of November 2013 was the people who helped me and stood by my side throughout the whole ordeal. I had one co-worker from my internship accompany me to appointments. She didn’t have to, but she knew it was a time of high anxiety and stress. She didn’t want me to go through it alone. Even other co-workers from both jobs helped me and gave me time I needed. Instead, I focused on the negative voices and obsessed on all the negativity. I didn’t look at all the good that happened during this time period, I just focused on what I had lost.
Not everyday is a happy day or a good day. Instead of skipping those days, I decided to find one grateful moment in the bad day. There’s always something to be grateful for. Life isn’t all good and it isn’t all bad. It’s a mixture and there’s always something to be grateful for.
Opening Happiness Box 2017, I felt a sense of gratitude and joy reading through the notes. I decided I wanted to keep them and I decided to incorporate scrapbooking. I scrapbook the previous year while I collect the current year. Scrapbooking is therapy for me as well.
I have help. I don’t do everything on my own. We are not an island unto ourselves and there are many people involved in my journey. This project is one aspect of the journey. January will mark 5 years since I started this project and I’m happy to report it has made all the difference. I can’t wait to open 2021’s Box, scrapbook the contents, and collect for 2022.I might have to refurbish the box a bit for 2022! The sweater box has worn down a little over the years.
This project may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I would like to a write a story about it.
Sunday is the 8th anniversary and I was doing well until 1 November 2021. I’m feeling all the emotions. I was talking to my friends and my friends helped me talk through everything. They also asked me what I could do for myself that would cheer me up. I hugged myself and told myself I am a strong, beautiful woman. Thank you, dear friends! I love you!
My self-care for Sunday won’t be a tattoo or piercing like years’ past; I’m working over-time helping voter’s services with the election ballots. That will be 9:30-11:30 am, and then my self-care will be a book discussion group in person from 2-3:30 pm. I’m grateful that the book this go-round hasn’t been depressing, and being surrounded by others will help. I’m so excited to see everyone.
Today is also Diwali. I’m thankful for Ms. Rina’s blessings and I’m glad we could share the holiday, even if over e-mail. I posted photos from Diwali 2018 (at the library) on Facebook, and the photos brought joy to my Hindu friends who celebrate. They wished me a Happy Diwali too. Awww, so glad we could bring cheer to one another!
I’m also thankful for family, co-workers, and both jobs. What are you grateful for today?
One thought on “Thankful Thursday 4 November 2021”
Hi, Jessica Marie!
You’ve come a long way, dear friend. With the traumatic anniversary looming on Sunday, you’ve got a plan in place, one that will enable you to get through these tough days in good shape. You’re going to keep busy, keep your mind and hands occupied and help others. I applaud you for that. Yours is a inspiring story. You started with a happiness jar and it runneth over, so you created a large box to hold your daily memories throughout the year. Coping, adjusting, self care and focusing outward to care for and serve others. You have a success formula going, and it does my heart good.
Happy Thankful Thursday to you, dear friend JM!