End of the year HAPPINESS JARS!

Longtime followers of this page know exactly what this photo is — my HAPPINESS JAR. This is a practice I started years ago. Every day (well, almost every day) I write down the happiest moment of that day on a small piece of oaoer, and I fold it up and put it in this big jar.

And that is the whole entire practice.

Then later (days, months or years later) when I am feeling blue, I sometimes reach into the jar and pull out a memory (one that would otherwise have been long forgotten) and I can remember one of the simplest and best random moments of my life.

They are very seldom glamorous moments, or dramatic moments, or moments of great accomplishment. They are almost always nearly invisible moments when suddenly I just felt in my bones the very best aspects of my humanity — gratitude, peace, hope, contentment. For instance, on the day that I went on the Oprah Winfrey Show — which was one of the greatest days of my life — my happiest moment of the day was not when I met Oprah (though it was the most dazzling and amazing moment of the day.). The happiest moment of that day was sitting in my hotel room in Chicago, two hours before I went to the studio, watching my mother lovingly iron the satin sash of the dress I was going to wear on the show that afternoon — feeling like a child again, being taken care of by my sweet mom.

So it's like that. Happiness comes in the sideways moments, the humble moments. And every single day, no matter how great or horrible, has one happiest moment (or at least one "least horrible" moment — some of my happy moments, for instances, have been times when a friend comforted me during a spell of grief.) It's worth it to record these moments, because they are fleeting and precious beyond measure. And someday, reading them over, they will make you happy all over again.

Thank you, all of you who have been sending me photos all year of your own HAPPINESS JARS…and welcome, to anyone who wants to start up the practice in 2014!

Grab a jar, or a vase, or a box, or a vessel of any kind…and begin tomorrow! Or even tonight…

A toast to quiet appreciation,

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall