So we’re coming up to the end of the year, a time to reflect and look ahead to what’s next. I spend a huge amount of time looking ahead to what’s next. Too much time some might argue, so I tend not to enjoy the present. Maybe this is a symptom of my profession – being a self-employed playwright, I rarely know what’s coming up and there’s always the fear that this job will be the last job.
Every year around this time I resolve to try harder to appreciate my achievements. But I never do. I just plough on, worrying about all the things I didn’t do, opportunities I missed and jobs I didn’t get.
So this year I’m going to try something new. Out with the resolutions (I never keep them anyway, so they just become another black mark) and in with the Rememberulations Jar.
I read about it on Buzzfeed. Yeah, yeah, don’t judge me. We’ve all done it, you start off with a quiz about which Disney villain you are (Maleficent, btw), then you’re looking at the Top 34 Pictures Of Cats In Snoods, and before you know it you’re reading some ‘DIY lifestyle’ page.
But this one caught my attention. In a nutshell, you get an empty jar and throughout the year fill it with notes of your achievements. Then at the end of the twelve months you look through it, thus allowing yourself a moment to celebrate what you have done, not what you haven’t.
Buzzfeed staffers decorated theirs with googly eyes and grass skirts. Of course they did, their office probably has beanbags instead of chairs. I am going to wrap a ribbon round mine so I can’t see through the glass – that might be discouraging if it’s not looking very full. I am also going to add in a couple things from the back end of this year – like when you do a To-Do list and include things you have already To-Done for some all-important, morale-boosting ticks.
I shall also not be calling it a Rememberulations Jar. Cos I’m not a tit. It is The Good Stuff I’ve Done jar. And it’ll be big and small stuff going in there – from ‘got a nice haircut’ (cos my God, I need a haircut) or ‘took calming breaths, did not lose temper’, to ‘got X commission’, ‘met Y deadline’. I hope.
So there you go. I’m not advocating coming to a standstill basking in some smug, overblown sense of glory, but surely we can all allow ourselves a quick pat on the back once in a while.
Maybe it’s stupid. Maybe it won’t last past February. Maybe my TGSID jar will be soul-crushingly empty come this time next year, but then I’ll just smash it up and that’ll probably be quite satisfying in itself.