On New Year’s Day our family opened up a jar which we had been filling up with happy memories since the first day of 2020. The idea of a ‘Good Things Jar’ was one we heard from a friend and shared in our post about Making Meaning with Rituals and Traditions from our Low-Carbon Luxury Series. When we first started popping scraps of paper into our most recent jar, we couldn’t have imagined 2020 would go the way it did but on the first day of 2021, after so many months of lockdowns and restricted activities it was especially valuable to have a collection of happy moments to look back on.
2020 wasn’t a perfect year by any measure, we had our fair share of mood swings, frustrations and cabin fever, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of perfect little moments worth remembering. This morning we unfolded all the little pleasant scribbles we had tucked away for winter in our Good Things Jar.
If there’s one thing we learned this year, it’s that you don’t need glitz and glamour and luxurious vacations to enjoy life. All you need is a certain amount of stability and a few rituals to help you to highlight the good things in your life. It’s also important to remember that these principles aren’t just lifestyle prescriptions: they can and must guide our larger systems too.
As Matt wrote earlier in the pandemic: Getting pleasure from our experience is a craft and one that we can get better at. We as a society should focus on meeting basic needs and then allow people to increase their pleasure by practicing the craft of getting more out of less. The pandemic presents us with an opportunity to change both our daily habits and our social systems with these two insights in mind.