The “Joy Jar” Project

The “Joy Jar” Project

Maybe some of you have found yourselves a member of a Facebook group called The ‘Joy Jar’ Project. Maybe you were intrigued; maybe you were annoyed, who knows. I’m not in the habit of signing people up for things, but Big Brother FB doesn’t let you create a group without tossing a few “twigs” in the fire. So if I added you, consider it means that I think you’re thin (Get it? Twiggy? Ha ha ha!)

Okay, let’s get serious for a minute here. The idea of this jar is not original. The group was inspired by a photo that’s been going around on Facebook. Surely you’ve seen it:

What inspired the group.
What inspired the group.

I saw it and was instantly hooked. I couldn’t wait to start one and I did, January 1. Here’s mine, taken the first day:

Our "Joy Jar" for 2013. Are you staring one?
Our “Joy Jar” for 2013.

I keep a pen and notebook next to my jar, and any time I can, I scratch out a happy event, no matter how small, and drop it into the jar. A good parking spot just opened for me! I chatted on the phone with a friend for an hour! I won the lottery! (Well, maybe not that. Not yet…)

In any case, I felt so optimistic when I started this, I labeled the jar “Part 1.” If I don’t have this jar filled by the end of the year, by the springtime even, then I did it wrong. Why? Because the world is full of small miracles. Of flickering “fireflies” (more on this later) of happiness, which you will see if you open yourself to seeing them. No matter what other bullshit you’re being barraged with, you just have to be open to seeing them. Imagine you’re lost on a dark path, and then a thousand fireflies come to light your way. A thousand fireflies, a thousand happy thoughts. See where I’m going with this?

Because of this jar, I still have high hopes for 2013. Even if it is starting to look an awful lot like that bitch, 2012. This jar, the growing contents of this jar, make me feel not so oppressed by life anymore. To push the metaphor to (or probably well beyond) its absolute limit, I feel, well, enlightened, and able to focus on finding ways to create better news for myself. I now also find myself craving hearing good news from others. Hence the group (here’s the description):

Remember when you were a kid, and how joyful you felt capturing fireflies in a jar? As grown ups, we can have that “magic” again, simply by paying attention to those things that make us happy. By placing them, as notes, in a jar created for just that purpose, and taking them out when we need a reminder that our lives are full of good things, of magic, of joy. Please use this group to share the good things in your life, big or small. And please invite others to join us here. I look forward to collecting “fireflies” of happiness with you!

In the scheme of being rooked into FB groups, this isn’t a bad one. So don’t be annoyed if I try and rook you in. Because I’m probably going to try and rook you in. But heck, it’s a happy place! It’s open. The walls are calling out for happy thoughts. Anyone is free to comment, but no whining please. Let’s just enjoy sharing the joy!

Join The “Joy Jar” Project on Facebook!

Follow The “Joy Jar” Project on Twitter!


10 thoughts on “The “Joy Jar” Project

  1. That’s it. I’m definitely going to start a joy jar. It’s so important to acknowledge the good things in life. The bad things are so much more high maintenance and demanding of our attention, I think the good things don’t get the attention they deserve. Thanks so much for sharing this, Francine! I hadn’t heard about the joy jar before and I’m so glad I read this post. 🙂


  2. I am so starting a joy jar. I truly believe in spending more time on the positive than the negative and this will remind me of all the wonderful things that happen in my life. First joy in my jar? “Meeting” you, Francine. 🙂

    Samantha Stroh Bailey


  3. I love this idea and have started a “Joy Notepad” … which doesn’t sound nearly as fun as a Joy Jar, but I haven’t found the perfect jar yet. It needs to be BIG. Tonight, the hubs took the pup for a walk without me. When they came home and she came around the corner, she actually broke into a grin when she saw me. It was the most adorable thing! It went in the notebook. 🙂


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