I’ve always wanted to do one of those jars where you write little notes about good things that happen to you here and there. You put your happy thoughts down on a small slip of paper, put them in a big jar, and read them one by one at the end of the year.
This year, my husband and I decided to do this, and I took away quite a few happy surprises from the whole process.
At first I thought I would have way more notes in our box (we chose a cool shoebox decorated with Paris-y stuff) than he would. I’m a writer, after all, and writing stuff down is what I do. As it turned out, he had a few more than I did. As the year went on, I found that each time I opened the box to place my pieces of paper inside, I could see his notes there waiting for mine with open arms. When I tossed my notes inside, I smiled at the thought that they’d have some good company in that box.
I could have read all his notes ahead of time, I suppose, but I didn’t want to. The waiting tested my patience in a good way.
I never used to wonder if my husband was thinking about me during the day before. I thought about him, and we had a great marriage, and I left it at that. But seeing those notes of his waiting for me has me thinking now, “What did he write?” I wonder what happened yesterday that made him pick up a pen and jot something wonderful down. What was it that made him smile so much that he wanted to share it in the form of a love note?
We agreed to write about a variety of things. Anything positive that moves us with gratefulness. Good moments, funny ones, times where we are overwhelmed by the blessings of a simple life, one in which we are loved and appreciated. The box has broken down these moments, made me more aware of them.
Yesterday we sat and read through the notes. What a blessing that time was. He read mine aloud and I read his, and we took our time, savoring each thought. Our notes were a collection of all the small things, all the things we smile about in a day that we’d never think to tell anyone about.
The box has made are lives more intentional. We don’t fly past the tiny but important moments that make up our life, but we pause, taking a mental snapshot to remind ourselves to write them down later. Remember them just a little while longer. It’s given us a new family tradition and another way to acknowledge our blessings.