Looking Back and Forward While Being Present

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As we come to the end of 2012, I find myself evaluating the year. How should I sum it up? 2012 was filled with a lot of good stuff—my daughter’s graduation from middle school and the start of her career at a truly excellent high school, lots of laughter and delicious food shared with good friends and family, beautiful weather, wonderful new clients, reconnecting with favorite past clients, and a multitude of random acts of kindness. Yet the coda of the year has been punctuated by natural disaster, senseless violence and an uptick of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) cases. What can we do to hold onto the sweet parts, the bouts of hilarity and the just plain good?

Determined to capture some of the good that will come in 2013, I grabbed an empty Ball jar and labeled the top “2013” and called an impromptu family meeting. I asked my husband and my daughter if we could make a commitment to write down the good, funny, and sweet things we experience in the coming year and put these notes into the jar. Our intention is to spend our 2013 New Year’s Eve reading these notes out loud to each other so that we can savor the year. I am elated that they enthusiastically agreed.

While spending these last few days of 2012 enjoying the holidays with family and friends and making plans for an amazing new year, that empty jar keeps catching my eye. My hope is that as 2013 comes to a close, we’ll have spent a year being fully present and aware while looking forward to the good stuff to add to the jar. I wish that for you in the coming new year. Go ahead, grab an empty jar and put on a label that reads “2013.” That jar may be empty now, but it holds a great deal of promise.

Happy New Year!

30 thoughts on “Looking Back and Forward While Being Present

  1. Laura Reply

    Love your thoughts….and, it certainly was a challenging end of 2012 for so very many ~ especially those living in your area and the surrounding areas. My heart goes out to all those who are now learning to walk a different path.
    Love your jar ~ I had seen this and thought of it but chose to Go REALLY Big….check out my Blessings Bowl here http://www.soul-wiseliving.com/2013/01/02/how-to-count-your-blessings-create-a-blessings-bowl/
    Can’t wait to see you and Martin in February and LOVE LOVE LOVE your new site!!!!

    • Janine Post authorReply

      Laura, you have such a BIG heart! I definitely understand why you need a punch bowl to contain all your blessings! Especially since you share so many with others. Big hug to you!

  2. Scott Roewer Reply

    Great idea to use the jar of good memories. I may suggest that to some clients to even note their organizing accomplishments. Their ‘things-done’ for those who use small paper for each task. Toss them in the jar and watch your hard work build up.

    Congrats on the new website. 2013 may include a third design for mine.

    • Janine Post authorReply

      Scott, I love that idea! Tracking accomplishments can be so challenging and I love the idea of containing those accomplishments so that you can clearly see them “grow.”

  3. Linda Samuels Reply

    Janine- What a beautiful idea! I love how it keeps you all on the lookout for the daily moments of joy and fun. This not only keeps you mindful of the present, but promotes that gratitude-seeking mindset. I’m a huge fan of appreciating the moments. Wishing you a overflowing jar of fabulous moments!

    Congratulations also on your lovely website redesign and first blog post of the year! You go girl!

    • Janine Post authorReply

      Linda, Thank you so much for commenting.I am always impressed by your posts and consider it an honor to have you read my first!

  4. Cena Reply

    Anxiously anticipating more brilliance to come from you my friend. Welcome 2013 with a blaze of excitement! Can’t wait!

  5. Maria Nikolaeva Angelova Reply

    Empty jar… it is like a blank canvas… And the picture is yet to come. Such a nice way to think of the future, no expectations, but only expecting to fill the jar with what is to be nice memories…

  6. Janet Reply

    Hi Janine! This is a beautifully written blog article. It touched my heart as I think of my daughter and me doing this for this year. Each night we say our Thank yous…this is another way to capture, remember, and celebrate them throughout the year. Thanks so much! You warmed my heart 🙂 Janet

  7. Nancy Tierney Reply

    My jar just received two entries today! This 2013 jar idea is spreading like wildfire, and it’s a good one! What a great way to spend New Year’s Eve this year.

  8. Lori Byron Reply

    Oooo, what a fun and rewarding idea, Janine! I can’t wait to put this into practice myself. It feels like an almost effortless way to capture successes and happy moments – and then, what a payoff on 12/31!

    • Janine Post authorReply

      Lori, keep me posted about your jar! I bet it will be packed with yummy goodness before you know it!

  9. Kelly Reply

    Such a simple yet great idea … The best part is it creates such memories and togetherness with the family .

  10. Linda Reply

    It’s such a good idea Janine. One, so that we continuously recognize and focus on moments that bring us joy, and two, because it will lead up to a very special family event and hopefully help to ring in the new year with much thanks and gratitude!

  11. Sandi Reply

    My husband and I are doing this as well – it’s been really fun already. I consciously think about the positive that comes to my life every day, and (competitive person that I am) am getting great pleasure in seeing our slips of goodness increasing 🙂

    • Janine Post authorReply

      Sandi, Enjoy the journey! So glad to hear that you both are capturing all the good stuff this year holds for you!

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