I wish I had let myself be happier
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
The 5 most common regrets people share in their last weeks, days and hours are like a masterclass in how to live a whole life. They also come with more wishes than any Genie can give, but these wishes are even better because we all have the power to make them come true.
I started my first Smile Jar in 2013 and as I filled it with bright, colourful notes of laughs, little joys, big news, experiences and fun with friends, I didn’t really know what to expect from it. The idea is to catch your best times and feelings, no matter how big or small they seem, so you can remember and relive them. As you’re taken back to all your forgotten times, moments and feelings, it can be a bit like granting yourself all those wishes, one by one.
Some people only crack open their jar on New Years Eve, to celebrate all the good and bring that positivity into the next year, but I dip into mine whenever I need a bit of balance, and a real life reminder that reality can be better than it seems.
It’s taken me way longer than it should have to bring all the Smiles of 2016 together.. maybe because “The Year of Change ” (as I themed it) turned out to be the most tumultuous and unstable year for career and finances I’ve ever had and more change, stress and need for gin – with a few great mistakes thrown in for the fun of it- than I’d bargained for, or because I regularly dip into the jar anyway, or I’m distractable and kinda lazy, or maybe because I’m a visual guy so like to build a picture from the jar… and the image search is an epic fucking job I procrastinate about (but an interesting one that brings a bunch of smiles of it’s own)…who can say, but finally I’ve bought 2016 to life.
My first Smile Jar in 2013 reminded me that it’s the little things that count the most – good friends, forgotten chats over coffees and gins, summer beach days, great music on my walk to work, the scent of fresh cut flowers, fun nights, dancing side to side with Ari at home in my jockstrap and life wins, big and small – so little things are what I expected 2016’s Jar to be jam packed with.
Surprisingly my jar was full of variety that included; time spent in my happy places like The Rusty Rabbit and summer beach and pool days, live music gigs and theatre, favourite foods, TV shows, cleaning days, the joy of fresh sheets, hangs with mates, great sex, fun laughs, new friends, fulfilling dreams ( and wishes), selfies, events, career highlights I hadn’t even imagined possible, fun modelling gigs, Gogo dancing at Leather Doof, making Diva magic with Maxi, writing for theright.fit, learning to pole dance with the adorable Miranda Tapsell, my geo tat, sneaking through turning 40, the importance of a little altruism and giving back and the simple beauty of watching an ocean sunrise.
Big and little, I had a lot to smile about in 2016 and what’s great to know is that I was consciously aware of all of it.
I actually found I had two Smile Jars going without even knowing it. The Jar on my bedside table was filled plenty of smiles that I’d remembered to write down ( 110 to be exact) and Instagram was filled with over 100 more that either I’d forgotten or not thought to add. 2016 felt like Dante’s Inferno at times but, even when stuck in his 7th circle of hell, I had around 5 things to smile about every week ( and that’s just things I recorded).. and that feels like it makes those 5 wishes that little bit easier to make true.
And that’s what makes the jar so remarkable.
Will you start your own Smile Jar this year? Here are a few reasons why it’s worth considering.
2016 Smile Jar
The People, Joys, Experiences, Music, Laughs, Surprises and Moments that filled my 2016 Jar with Smiles
The Full Jar
The Rusty Rabbit – it’s one of the happy place – Chicken and Rice – so good!
Fitness First The Zone – wicked classes, good fitness
Snuggling into a freshly made bed
Steak and Eggs for breakfast
Fu Man Chu Roast Duck Soup
Banter is always fun and good for a laugh
Sam Parrott, getting to know the ball of joy
My gaytimes for marriage equality posts
My awesome little green lion – broken now
Lego, bought the Avenjet!
Shoes – well Adidas hitops to be exact
Prince Alfred Pool Days
Fri 8 – Day at Bondi Beach
Tues 20 – Evening walk on bondi beach after work
Mon 25 – Australia Day Pool Party @ Stephen Collins’
17 – lego exhibiton w Rob + Prince Alfred Park
29 Jan – Jaws at Boy Charlton
Wed 3 – 2am – 4am run around the city. Barangaroo, The Rocks, Circular Quay, Watching the sunrise over Bondi
Sat 13 – Rob & Dylan’s housewarming
Sun 14 – Social Media Presentation @ Pinnacle induction
6 Feb Pole Dancing Class w Jason E
12 Tattoo planning
Mardi Gras with the Heart Foundation
Getting Sam P involved in TEDx
23: Awards night w Sam
Helping Cam work through his decision to move
Pole Dancing classes at Bobbi’s w Miranda
Fri 15 – Present at Social Media in Govt Conference CBR ( blog post)
Sat 21 – Gogo dance @ Leather Doof in Melb, and catch up with Michael K
Star Trek – watching Enterprise and rewatching Voyager ( May / June)
Dan Murphy asking me to help w his socials ( Ignite)
Ghost, The Musical w Sam P
Tues 17 -Future of Social Media Congress ( present)
Tues 17 – Fri 20 – Kevin & Justin visit from the US
Thur 25 – First TEDxSydney @ Opera House ( blog post)
Sat/Sun 28/29 – Cheeky fun
Stumbling across the artist reimagings of Mr Men – part of their anniversary celebration
We Will Rock You w Sam P
Sun 5- Dan Murphy’s Ignite @ Recital Hall ( first one)
Sat 11 – Megan Hilty @ Capitol Theatre w Jason E (thanks Fraser for the tix) – First time hearing The Rainbow Connection live. Loves it
Sat 11 – Gogo dance @ Honey
Sun 12 – Dancing it up on the podium @ DILF
Tue 14 – Shane’s bday, dumplings with Graham and Paul Oh
Tue 14 – Two day delay on starting new job thanks to long weekend ( web profits)
Sat 25 – Squash game w Marty
Orlando post published on woofd
Getting baked / watching Twin Peaks
Marie Claire / Swarovski Rising Stars w Sam ( thanks Marg, Miranda Tapsell spoke)
Abseil from building off the CBD for Charity ( see blog)
Jack Garratt @ The Metro
Swarovski gave me Crystal Dust braclet
Joined Pinnacle as Social Media Manager ( thanks Nathan Parker)
Tamara Meyer Fitness Program – 8 weeks ( see blog)
Full scale room clean, tidy, organise and refresh
Kurt settling in as new housemate well. Loves it 🙂
Movies w James Williamson – The Conjuring 2
Watching friends succeed, Luke Pickler performing @ Munich Pride
Sat 16 – Heartbreak and crying shoot w Petros Ktenas – reading Shane’s eulogy to cry and capture the raw emotion for creative shoot
Sun 17 – Full scale house clean, tidy, organise and refresh
Sun 17 – shoot for #thebarenakedtruth at My People My Tribe ( Brenton and Josh)
Cheeky fun Weekend
Catch up w Benn Anderson
Sat 20 – Lunch w Jason E @ Ruby’s Diner –
Sun 21 – Full scale room clean, tidy, organise and refresh
Sat 27 – Dinner w Michael Sonnenfeld ( Surry Hills Fish Shop) – Acting on plan to get more social, but not enough.
Wed 30 – B’day dinner w Wayne and Jule’s @ theirs ( 40th)
Andrew Boy Charlton Pool Days
Thur 1 – 40th bday.. Afternoon at Bondi
Last day at Web Profits. What an awful fuckin mistake
Mon 4 – Start at JWT / Colloquial.. Bit of a disaster start, got better
Sep 4 Boy Charlton opens for season
Mon 12 – CBA Shoot
Sun 11 – Graham Price, bday laser tag
Wed 22: Random Malebox night x Sam P
Sat 24 – LG Shoot – washer and TV for billboards and social
Wed 28 – Diva video shoot w Maxi
Thur 29 – Dinner w Gary Nunn
Fri 30 – Bought sony sound bar, finally decent sound system @ home
Cheeky long weekend
Sat Oct 1 – Christian Bowie’s 30th – Acting on plan to get more social, but not enough.
Sun 3 ( October long weekend) -Apollo with Sam, Zac and crew
Mon Oct 4 – Full scale house clean, tidy, organise and refresh
Sun 16 – Hacksaw Ridge movie premiere w Marty
Sat 29 – Halloween and cheeky adventures
Andrew Boy Charlton Pool Days
Anna Van Dyken reached goal 🙂
Pump @ Arq w Sam P & Dave W
Thurs 10 – Tkay Mazida w Sam P
Sat 13 – Day @ Milk Beach w Jason Hirsch and James Williamson
Sun 20 – Helping Katherine organise the first Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil in Taylor Square
Sat 26 – Deadlift lessons with Andrew Fox
Facebook message from someone, complimenting on my social media work, voice, skill, approach etc
Fri 23 – Full scale house clean, tidy, organise and refresh
Dec 19: Pizza and Dinner w Cammy Gee and one of his mates
Christmas / Boxing Day: Arrow / The Flash binge watch, comics
Sun 27: iZombie binge watch