Was 2013 Really That Bad?

It’s January 1,  2014. Yesterday, I ran 2013 through my head. It was depressing! I hadn’t accomplished what I’d wanted to, lost a case I’d put years of time into, hadn’t finished the book I’ve been writing and those 15 pounds I need to lose are still there. The negative stayed in the forefront of my thoughts. I was going to be happy to see 2013 go! Don’t let the door hit it in the metaphorical butt on the way out, I thought.

Then my family dumped out the gratitude jar. Last year,  I read about this idea on Facebook. Get a jar and put things you’re grateful for in it. It seemed like a quaint idea, but somehow appealed to me. Starting on January 1, 2013, we’d begun to throw slips of paper in a large, lidless jar. We included things that made us smile, cartoons, ticket stubs, titles of good books, daily things we were grateful for. Last night, as we sat around the kitchen table, unfolding and reading things, we came to realize 2013 had some great moments. We were grateful for the small things, like caffeine or persimmons and the big things like having my best friend recover from breast cancer. We laughed at the cartoon of San Diego mayor Bob Filner at Comic-Con dressed as “The Groper.” We remembered going to see movies and concerts or listening to my teenage daughter read the Confessions section in Cosmopolitan magazine with her own hilarious commentary.

This morning, I tucked all the things that filled the jar away into an envelope labeled “Gratitudes 2013.” Years from now, it will be part of the true memorial to that time.

So, was it a good year or a bad one? I guess it’s how you’re choosing to recall it.