Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Happier You for 2014!

Hello! I know I've been pretty lax about posting around here. My only excuse is that I have been crafting like mad this past year. I took an inventory of 2013 and ignoring all the stuff I made specifically for selling in my Etsy store, for the family or gifts I sewed: 3 baby quilts, 2 travel pillows with pillowcases, 5 sets of napkins, 1 table runner,  3 totes (one computer, one tablet and one lunch size), a folding lunch bag, 1 summer weight sleep sack, 1 crib size sheet and a tooth fairy bag.  I knitted or crocheted 9 hats, 1 scarf, 1 pair of booties, 6 coffee cup cozies and finally finished my 6 year pillow!

Although busy, I had a great year. I have a fabulous husband who I like as much as I love (which on a day to day grind is probably more important). I have 2 awesome kids who are loving school and blossoming. Aside from usual colds and the like, we've all been pretty healthy. Two family members who faced serious health issues are on the mend or in remission! I've been able to continue to stay home full time despite the lagging economy. We've had a number of short (but fun) camping excursions with both the core and extended family. I've turned our not-so-useful office/master bedroom add-on into a pretty awesome crafting station.

With all this, its still easy to get bogged down in the daily grind. Its easy to forget all that we have and all the little things that really make life great. So rather than focus our New Year's resolutions on health (although we'll work on that!) or finances (yep, again!) I'm choosing to work on happiness.

We all know that happy people generally do not have more than those who are unhappy -- in fact it is often the opposite. Material goods do not make for contentment. So what does? Study after study has shown that happy and contented people focus on the positive parts of their life. They are the ones who count their blessings -- who are actively grateful for what they have.

I freely admit that I am often guilty of focusing on the negative parts of my day/week/life. And, my oldest seems to have that tendency as well. So to help us get into the right attitude, I've decided to start a "gratitude/thankful/blessings" type of jar. Each week (or even each day) we'll find something positive to write down-- a compliment from a friend, an achievement at school, something cute the kids did/said. Then, at New Year's Eve next year, we'll open up the jar and read through all the papers. Besides being something totally fun to look through next year, it also has a second purpose-- as we participate on a regular basis, it will force us to focus on the positive and be actively grateful on an ongoing way.

There are tons of ideas to make your own jar floating out there on the web-- just type in "blessings jar" or "gratitude jar" and you'll see lots of cute ideas. Here's what we ended up doing-- just a simple graphic I put together in Word and taped onto a cleaned up jam jar. This could be a fun project to do with the whole family-- let the kids put stickers on or paint it!

Here's hoping 2014 finds you healthy and HAPPY!

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