2017 Jar of Gratitude

2017 Jar of Gratitude

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! We had my husband’s side of the family – about 22 people – over for a big celebration on Christmas Day.  It’s rare for us to have so many people in our home at once. I must say, it was a blast! I hope we host again next year.

During the last couple of weeks, I allowed myself to take some time off from both the blog and my freelance gigs to focus on enjoying the holidays. That’s why it’s been so quiet around here!

I am back to my routine, feeling renewed and energized. I have several things to tell you about, starting with today’s post, my most timely topic.

Rich Life Jar 2016

Last January I wrote about being inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s Happiness Jar. I created my own and called it a Rich Life Jar 2016 and I filled daily with notes about what made my life rich the previous day.

I decorated my jar with a gold Wine Glass Writer and kept it on the bureau in my bedroom all year long, never missing a day.

Early on last year, I removed the gold ribbon and later replaced it with the ribbon from a Chanel gift from a friend. By the end of December, my jar was filled to the top with little notes.

On New Years Day I dumped out all the notes and read them, one by one. I also put them in chronological order. As you can imagine, with 366 cards, it took the better part of the day to accomplish this.

It was so interesting to read through the cards. Although most of the notes were positive, not all of them were. There were some days I struggled to say anything “rich” and that’s okay – that’s life! Other days I sort of phoned it in, as they say, and quickly wrote down what I had accomplished – a workout, a blog post, a chore.

The cards I liked best had snippets about the little things I’d forgotten, like seeing friends who visited from out of town earlier in the year or the time that a photo of mine ended up on a nightly Bay Area news station.

Add a Little Moola $

The main purpose of the jar was not to sock away money but I did enjoy attaching a bill, usually just one dollar, to my card on some days.

The single bills here and there added up to a nice little stash of cash that I am saving for my 50th birthday later this year.

An unexpected outcome of keeping this jar and being consistent all year, aside from reliving memories and having some extra money saved, is that I proved to myself I really can stick with things when I put my mind to them. It has given me confidence as I begin a more rigorous and regular exercise regimen this year.

2017 Jar of Gratitude

With the jar empty, it was time to start anew. This year, I wanted to be more focused and prevent the old, “Went to the market, Took a walk, Made dinner, Wrote a post” sort of cards. This year’s cards will focus first on gratitude and second on enjoyment – what am I thankful for followed by what gave me enjoyment. Rather than dread certain must-dos, I wish to find enjoyment in even the most mundane or unpleasant things like a doctors appointment or a trip to the DMV.

So on January 1st, I got out the Wine Glass Writers and decorated my new jar, which I am calling my 2017 Jar of Gratitude and Enjoyment!

Instead of using a box like I did last year to store my cards, pen and paperclips, I am using this colorful bag, a gift from a friend. It’s so pretty and vibrant; it inspired me to add color and flowers to this year’s jar with my Wine Glass Writers.

Speaking of color, I also ordered these small index cards in a variety of pretty shades. I guess I’ll have a flashy jar by the end of the year!

Here it is January 3rd and I am already two cards into my new jar, adding one each day first thing in the morning.

Do you have a Happiness Jar or something like it?

It’s not too late to start one if you don’t. Just backtrack a few days since January 1st. You will quickly catch up!

If you are looking for a similar jar – I bought mine several years ago at a yard sale – I found this one that would work.


The first How I Wear My of 2017 is fast approaching! “Tall Boots” is the theme this month.

The deadline for submissions is Monday, January 9th. Send a photo of you in your outfit including Tall Boots, along with a description of your look that will be quoted, to howiwearmy@yahoo.com.

The post will go live on January 11th. Visit the How I Wear My page for more information.

Jill of Everything Just So and I can’t wait to see how you wear your Tall Boots!

Make it a rich day and a rich 2017!




  1. Kathy
    January 4, 2017 / 5:52 am

    What a great idea and so impressed that you stuck with it. Without getting too wordy, there’s an article in the NY Times this morning about how we’re “hard-wired” to over learn and remember negative experience and under learn from positive ones, as an adaptive instinct for danger, and survival. I think that’s why it’s so important to sort of push ourselves towards positivity and gratitude – as it’s not as genetically imprinted on us to do so.

    I love that you threw some money in there too – a piggy bank! Happy New Year Adrienne.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      January 6, 2017 / 12:36 pm

      Hi Kathy,

      I did read that article in the NYT. After reading it, many things made sense to me as to why I don’t recall the good things that happen yet the negative, I can pull up with ease and clarity. And I agree – being positive requires “action” beyond just thinking…saying, writing, doing – all of it helps and works!
      Yes, a piggy bank! Bill was very impressed and I think he is going to start his own system of stashing cash away. Unfortunately I can’t convince him to also write the cards…yet!

  2. Lori Lynn
    January 5, 2017 / 9:48 am

    So it was you that gave me the idea last year! I started a Gratitude Bowl and it got pretty filled up, I was enjoying it. Then somehow about the second half of the year I stopped and seeing the bowl made me feel bad but didn’t inspire me to start again. I am short on follow thru and worse, I beat myself up without doing something about it. BUT, that was then and this is now. I’m glad you wrote about it and I will start again. I really have so much to be grateful for and sometimes I forget to count my struggles and lessons among my more obvious grateful days. I like to write, I like to collect memories, I like to be inspired by positive, beautiful women even ones I don’t personally know. That’s for inspiring me this morning Adrienne. We are never done growing and enjoying life unless we miss opportunities to start again. Happy New Year!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      January 6, 2017 / 12:33 pm

      Hi Lori Lynn,

      Happy New Year! I can see how seeing the bowl or jar being unused can make you feel guilty. I have a stationery bike that gives me those same feelings!
      I tried to take it one day at a time until it became a habit. If I missed a few days – due to travel or when my niece passed away last fall – I jotted things down somewhere else until I could get to my box of cards and the jar. I say, do the best you can and if it’s not bringing you joy and/or satisfaction the way it should, try something else or give it up for awhile.
      You are so right – we are never done growing and enjoying life. I enjoy life more than I ever have – probably because I appreciate things so much more than I did in my youth. Happy New Year and thank you for your lovely comment. A

  3. January 6, 2017 / 4:22 am

    That is so fabulous. I started something similar this year, but rather than write something I am grateful for every day (as I do that already in a gratitude journal), what I decided to do was write only once a week something great that happened that week (however big or small) and I have got my Husband to do the same. Like you say it will be lovely to look back and review all the wonderful things that have taken place come the end of the year 🙂

    • Adrienne Shubin
      January 6, 2017 / 12:28 pm

      That’s a great idea, Vanessa. I got a new planner for the year and it has spaces for gratitude so I hope I don’t end up overdoing the gratitude thing and diluting it. We shall see! I also want to try harder to find the silver lining in things – thus the enjoyment part of my cards.
      Happy New Year to you! I wish you a wonderful 2017! xo

  4. January 8, 2017 / 5:52 am

    Adrienne! Love LOVE the idea!! I’ll definitely implement it at home. Hope to involve my husband and son Alex to do the same. Concentrating on positive experiences and achievements is so important! Great post!! xx Zuma

  5. January 10, 2017 / 2:20 pm

    🙂 Congratulations on sticking with it!
    It’s such a cute idea!
    I’ve got a diary I try to write something into every day.
    Everything else would be a little OTT for me.
    All the very best 🙂

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