A couple years ago I found this idea in an article and I’ve adopted this practice ever since. Last Sunday was the end of the first full week of the new year. Having experienced the uncertainty and unpredictability of the last two years, I am confident things will continue to surprise and sometimes disappoint me in the coming year. That has not dissuaded me from setting intentions and maybe even a few goals. Yet that is not what the practice is about.
At the end of the week, or Sundays for me, I stop to reflect on the blessings of the week. 2020 was packed with the drama of retiring in a pandemic and moving across the country. Last year, I have to say, sometimes I considered an uneventful week a blessing.
A day is lived moment by moment. A week is built by seven mostly ordinary days. And a year is filled in by 52 weeks. It’s fine to have a New Year’s ritual of looking back at the year but my memory vision is not what it used to be. I have found a weekly recording of blessings both keeps me present to the gifts of my ordinary life and gives me a scrapbook of memories for my New Year’s Eve reflection. I enjoy the challenge of looking for gifts as the isolation of our pandemic continues to disrupt the adventures we used to look forward to. Nature offers her gifts in the silence and isolation that always exists and I return to her often. Sundays I take time to take a page from a calendar or a small note sheet and fill in my blessings. I tuck the note into the Blessing Jar and release it. New Year’s Eve is a pleasant surprise as I (and family if they are here) pull the notes, one by one, out to review the year. There are always more blessings than we remembered.
If you have no Blessing jar, any container will do. If you don’t have a page-a-day calendar, recycle any piece of paper. The important thing is to take time to sit in gratitude and savor the blessings of the now moment. If you think you have nothing to be grateful for, consider the mishaps that didn’t happen. I had one of those driving days yesterday. I sighed as I pulled into my parking space, grateful none of the accidents I narrowly avoided happened. Grateful for my reflexes and a reliable car. And a parking space by my door. It’s not too late to begin a Blessing Jar for 2022. Find the gifts you might have overlooked and allow gratitude to guide you through this year.