A couple of years ago I was introduced to the Smile Jar by my instafriend @atssini . The idea being that when something makes you happy, smile or laugh – write it down and pop it in your jar. At the end of the year, or whenever you need a dose of happy, crack open the Smile Jar to relive and celebrate your best times.
Loving this concept I kept a Smile Jar in 2013, being a little slow I’ve only just cracked it open though and my smiles are shared at the end of this post. As I’ve been reading through my best bits of 2013 – and yes, smiling and laughing with each memory – a thought, a reminder as a fascinating as it is refreshingly simple, struck me.
We remember and focus on the big moments – the neon lit crowd pleasers that capture our attention like Cheerleaders at half time or drag queens at the beauty parlour – and there are moments in my jar that stand out like the garden of Pink Flamingos on Fire Island. The smiles that fill my jar though are small, everyday moments – the seconds, minutes and giggles that are so easily forgettable.
Moments like the day in May, dancing around my room in a shameless pop euphoria to Miley’s Party in the USA ; in August when the natural beauty of an orchid made me smile; a mid week catch up with a bestie over a pub steak; or just the uncontrollable giggling fits I break into every time I read DamnYouAutocorrect
When I started filling my Smile Jar I expected to enjoy and laugh my way through the memories when it was cracked open, but it gave even better. It gave a reminder of a valuable lesson, one I keep forgetting, the one that almost always costs too much and is learned too late.
It’s the little things that count the most
As I pick up my 2015 Smile Jar, excited to fill it, I’m disappointed that I failed at keeping one for 2014. So now, with instagram in one hand, Facebook in the other and iPhoto at my feet, I’m on the case to fill one retrospectively.
Will you start your own Jar of Smiles for 2015?
Break out the Butter, I’ll be back real soon!
Today’s toast is served with Strawberry Jam and a side of smiles
P.s Just in case you’re thinking this post gives my 2013 an even sweeter, more artificial sugarcoating than Paula Deen’s deep fried Cheesecake, of course the year wasn’t all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. The bankrupt circus pulled into town more than once, and as usual overstayed it’s welcome (you can read about the circus here) and to be completely honest, 2013 was probably the same as any other year. But today we celebrate the good… just because we can.
And that’s what makes the jar so remarkable.
Smile Jar 2013 – the moments that me smile.
A Thank You to one who deserved it. 01/10
Finding the smile jar on Instagram @atsinni
A rare night of super productive, focussed study. 06/05
1st beach visit of the Summer 03/13
Revisiting Star Trek: The Next Generation (Star Trek will always make me smile)
Step into liquid – Surfing Documentary. 08/09
Richard Hawley – Sydney Festival 27/01
Discovering the too short lived TV series, Sanctuary
Sleep No More – NY . 28/06
Rainbow Crossing for Mardi Gras It really should have stayed. 02 – 03 / 13
Protest Rainbows for the removal of the Rainbow Crossing at Taylor Square. 11-12/04
Productive little night at home… misbehaviour included
Great laughs walking the Fire Island beach on July 4…so drunken…. in drag. Perfect moment NY. 04/07
Poolside snoozing at Boy Charlton. 11/04
Cooking lunch for and catching up w friends – those ones where it’s been far too long. 14/04
Packing for NY. 21/06
Buying and making a new Lego Police set. 14/09
One Man, Two Guvnors. Brilliant, we cried with laughter. 07/05
Discovering Once Upon a Time (TV)
2 weeks in NY with Mr Alabama and the Doc. NY 06 – 07 / 13
Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George @ NIDA. 12/10
Totally gay dance off in my room to Miley’s Party in the USA (this is obvs not my room, the pic is representational.. and close to actual dance off). 15/05
Poolside with Batman comics
My Baked Beans
Mahna Mahna, The Muppets
Margaret Cho Live. 27/04
A visit from a bestie in Canada. 04/ 13
The entire MoMA collection – a day well spent – NY. 06/13
Today was a chilled, relaxing day. 08/06
Drag Queens work out Filming video for Fitness First Mardi Gras Campaign. 21/12
Lally Katz – Stories i want to tell you in person. Hilarious, talented woman! With the mini ginger). 15/05
Bette Midler: I’ll Eat You Last – NY. 29/06
House to myself while housemates away. Heaven! 08/13
Giving gifts from NY, and to one in particular. 23/07
Dinner and catch up, cooked up by the ginger
Hardware by Extra Dirty – club life good times, misbehaviour included. 03/08
Celebrating a friend’s birthday with hot dogs and Zoolander. 15 / 04
Gelato Messina, enough said really
Frances Ha – Super cute and quirky movie. 08/13
Fire fucking Island.. yes gurl! NY. 02 – 05/07
Winning at work – big social project delivered. 04/10
6.45am, raining – still went to gym, with a smile even. 16/04
The Sydney Festival Giant Rubber Duck. Artist: FLORENTIJN HOFMAN. 01/13
Extra Dirty Party- club life fun times misbehaviour included. 09/06
Fuerza Bruta. Exciting, immersive, unexpected piece of theatre. NY 07
Changing habits and smashing results in DNA Mag’s Make Me Hot Challenge. 11 / 13 – 03 / 14
DeNovo – Sydney Dance Company. 22/03
Afternoon sun at Beare Park. 25/04
Wedding days. 03/13
Christmas night, misbehaviour included. 25/12
Comic-Con Perth – William Shatner Live 1.5hr talk and Q&A, DeadPool (my favourite character) animators, Awesome pic w Darth Vader. 09/03
That messing about and being stupid, just because you can
Cubebot birthday gift, bonus smiles because of who it was from. 01/09
Morning cuddles with the cats.
Damn You AutoCorrect giggle fits.
Christmas Day lunch with housemates and their family. Not really into Christmas but this was a nice day. 25/12
20km run – surprised and impressed myself with this one. 31/10
A fun day at work, pampering and styling a group of inspirational women. 13/07
A simple lunch with besties. 04/06
Alone time and personal space while Housesitting
Driving Miss Daisy w Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones. Bonus smiles as I’d always wanted to see these two perform. 30/04
The day the brace came off, after December’s rollerdrag injury. 06/02
15km run – heaven. 10/08
13 Rooms – Fascinating, Interactive, immersive, exhibition 18/04
Summer afternoon laughing at YouTube clips with besties in the park
30 min quick stop on a beautiful day. 17/08
Winning at resolving an unexpected work issue on social (on a Sunday) 09/06
Jumping and squeaking my way through ‘The Conjuring’ with the mini ginger
Uni finished for 2013! 10/ 13
Vivid Festival with besties. 29/05
The simple beauty of a White Orchid. 10/08
The gift of Batman for a NY travel mate from a bestie. 20/06
2nd beach visit for the Summer (with the mini ginger). 16/03
First sets of push ups (2 x8) after my disclocated and fractured elbow had healed from rollerdrag injury. Great feeling but a bit of a shakey start
The simple joy of a clean and organised bed room (as represented by an overly organised style of hanging washing)
Remembering to write the smiles through the year. I enjoyed add every single one of to my jar.