Apart from being the most beautiful word in the history of English vocabulary, hindsight means that you look back on a matter that’s already happened, often to realise something about that matter long after it’s done. Hindsight often leads to an ‘afterwards realisation’.
Meet my happy jar. That’s right, it’s the glass jar on the picture stuffed to the limit with folded pieces of paper. And on each and every single piece of paper I’ve written down a date and something that happened on that day that made me happy. Hence the happy jar!
I first read about this experiment somewhere in December 2013 and thought it was a cool thing to try: for a whole year, jot down everything that makes you feel good or puts a smile on your face, no matter how small or silly it may seem. Then on the first of January of the new year, open the jar and read back through all your happy moments of the year before.
Despite having no notes from September (it must have been a very bad month. Although I did visit Norway then…), I have had a good share of happy moments in 2014, ranging from very little things such as: ‘had a nice run today,’ to big moments like: ‘today, I thought I was beautiful‘. And okay, I have to admit that most entries are from January, when the experiment was still new and exciting, but I’ve had a lot of things written down and what I read on line is true: leafing through all the good moments took me back to when they happened and, more importantly, I relived the happy feelings. And feelings of pride at some things I did, like telling my doctor off for sending me to an undesired hospital, or the blood donating agency for making big mistakes that lead to an unnecessary temporary disqualification of my donor-hood.
There are more moments I can now think of where I ended up being proud at myself, or honest (which is pretty much the hardest thing to do, being honest to yourself). It’s like a snowball: one memory leads to another one. I feel a bit sad I didn’t write all of them down, but I am happy I have the memories. Happy that this experiment ended up being a lot of fun, very interesting (I’d already forgotten about a lot of things) and informative, because I have a tendency to forget about good moments and remember the bad ones (which is a very humanly thing to do, apparently most people do this subconsciously). But today I’ve learned that, in hindsight, 2014 was not half as bad as I remember it was. And that it is more fun to focus on good things happening to you than their evil counterparts.
Yes, this harmless experiment has left me with a smile on my face and a warm feeling inside 🙂 In fact, I think I’m going to write this down as a Happy Moment of 2015 and put it in my new happy jar!
I can recommend and encourage everyone to do this, too. For a year, jot down everything that makes you smile and keep those in a jar or a box, without ever looking back at them until next year. Then take them out on January 1st 2016 and relive your finest moments of 2015. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll (re)find! You’ll probably learn that the previous year actually offered some sweet moments. And that in hindsight, those treasured moments are even better than before, because you get to experience them twice.
Happy New Year everyone! May 2015 bring nothing but happy moments for all of you! 🙂