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Memory Jars

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.”
~Robert Brault

To visitors it looks odd when they first come over and see, there, set upon a windowsill or the kitchen side a huge jar filled with little slips of paper, to us its normal, it is one of the treasured items which has followed us around to the dozen or more houses we have lived in over the last decade since our children were born, and, it is always packed and unpacked with a deep reverence.

‘The Jar’ as we know it, is filled with memories, good thoughts, happy news, funny things the kids have said, beautiful things we have seen and experienced. Inside we leave a post it note of paper and a pen and each day we try and remember to add at least one note to the jar, there is no doubt the main driver behind this family ritual is myself, it started many , many years ago when I started writing three things I was grateful for throughout all of November, by the end of the month I noticed how much I would miss not making these little notes anymore, and so it stuck!

 

 

 

 

Our children have had it around since they were born, now they are older (9 and 4) they write or draw their own little notes but when younger they would tell me things to add and I would write them down for them. It is amazing how easily these happy thoughts or memories come once you get into the habit, and I have found that over the last eleven years or so it has altered my daily thinking massively, I have always been a positive person but this habit of stopping and being grateful for something which is then physically written down and added to a jar really has changed my mindset to one which stops and notices the smallest things each day, regardless of how busy I am or how tiny the beauty is.

We add all sorts to the jar, good news that has come our way, the time we had a lovely picnic on the beach, tickets and scrap notes the kids have written to one of us, a note of first words, steps, smiles, house sales, the date of a new addition to our animal family, the way the blossom blows off a tree in spring, the moment of sitting in the cool shade of a tree on a hot summers day.

Then on New Years Eve we sit as a family around the table after dinner and open the jar and read aloud the slips of paper, its amazing how many end up being surprising reminders as they are read out, fleeting moments which were long since forgotten with the whirlwind of kids clubs, meal planning and DIY jobs.

Not only does it end the year on a lovely note, reminding us of all the beauty that the last 12 months has bought us, it also helps us to look ahead and consider what wonderful things might be added to the jar by the same time next year

If this inspires you to take part for 2019 and you would like to share the start of your jar let us know on our Facebook Group – Pure Portugal Living The Good Life

Wishing everyone a wonderful 2019!

 

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