Tag Archives: jar of good things that happened in 2013

Our jar of “good things that happened in 2013”

“I hope that this year to come, you make mistakes…Make new mistakes. Make
glorious, amazing mistakes…Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, do it. Make
your mistakes, next year and forever.” ~Neil Gaiman

Happy new year! I wish you and your loved ones a year filled with happiness, love, friendship, kindness, caring, fun, and new experiences. I don’t really make new year’s resolutions anymore, but rather a list of projects I want to accomplish each year. I got a lot crossed off my list in 2013 but I have a few leftovers I’m shifting to 2014, and a lot more to add. I’m looking forward to making some things happen this year.

If you follow my blog, you may have heard me mention our jar of “good things that happened in 2013” a few times. As the year comes to an end, we tend to remember the bad but not always the good. For the first time in 2013, my boys and I used this jar to focus on the positive and help us remember all the good things that would happen to us throughout the year. As 2013 started, I was wondering how we’d get our jar full. After all, it’s quite a big jar.

Jar of good things that happened in 2013

Jar of good things that happened in 2013

But as we opened our jar yesterday, it was full to the top. And full of many great events we forgot about. So in no particular order, here are a few of our many favorite.

When it comes to nature, we were especially lucky this year. We saw baby bunnies playing from the window of our cabin while vacationing in the Southern California mountains. Apparently rabbits love to play leapfrog.

Bunnies playing in Idyllwild

Bunnies playing in Idyllwild

While hiking in a local park a few months ago, we spotted a mule deer down the trail, and a few hours later watched a teenage boy pull a huge wide mouth bass out of a pond.

We saw a painted turtle laying eggs while walking in our town’s park. Something we won’t forget for a long time.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park opened Lemur Walk, an exhibit with no fence between you and the animals, so we got to walk with the lemurs. Very cool!

Lemur walk at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Lemur walk at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Oh, and let’s not forget I freed a snake by myself that was tangled in our backyard!

We saw Dino Jaws, a great exhibit with lifesize animatronics at the San Diego Natural History Museum. We also enjoyed their Mammoth and Mastodons exhibit later in the year.

Dino Jaws at the San Diego Natural History Museum

Dino Jaws at the San Diego Natural History Museum

We visited our first lighthouse. We took a 90-minute train ride on a old train at the San Diego Southwest Pacific Railway Museum.

My kids has their first try at fishing with friends of mine. That same day, we went on our first pedal boat ride and had a blast.

More things we did together: not one, but two Easter egg hunts (one at a local park, one in a museum); a very fun mother/son laser tag event at school; a water balloon fight in our backyard; apple picking in the fall; pumpkin surface carving for Halloween.

Surface carved pumpkins

Surface carved pumpkins

My kids learned to swim. They have a lot more to go but it really clicked this year.

They crashed a birthday party and got to hit the piñata a few times and collect some candy!

My youngest lost his first tooth and is now quickly catching up to his brother.

My sister came to visit us, after we didn’t see each other for three years. Great highlight of 2013.

I learned how to make homemade yogurt and I haven’t gone back to store bought since.

I completed PiBoIdMo, coming up with 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. It got me motivated to write picture books again.

My kids got several awards at school for their efforts and good behavior. My youngest graduated preschool and got a big dinosaur book because he was the boy in his class who did the most book reports. Dinosaurs, roar!

We got our elf on the shelf, Wink. We said goodbye to him on Christmas Eve and we can’t wait to see him again sometime later this year.

We went to Legoland California and saw the lifesize X-wing starfighter. Apparently, this was a big deal because I put it in the jar not once but three times! We also went to enjoy some Christmas lights and concerts there. We spent the evening of New Year’s Eve there watching the Lego brick drop (on right of photo below) and the fireworks. What a great way to finish a great year!

Brick drop at Legoland on New Year's Eve

Brick drop at Legoland on New Year’s Eve

Overall, this was a great experience for us and we loved recollecting each event as we read our pieces of paper. We’re looking forward to putting more good things in our jar, which now states “good things that happened in 2014”.

What good things happened to you in 2013 you’d like to share?

Making changes to my 101 in 1001 list – my new goals for 2013

Last week, I updated my list of 101 tasks in 1001 days and shared a few of my accomplishments. This week, I’ve decided to make changes to my list so it aligns better with my goals for 2013, since my 101 in 1001 challenge happens to end in January 2014. Several times last year I found myself in limbo and suffered from inertia, as I was waiting for things here and there to happen before making my move. This year, I have a clearer idea of where I want my life to head. Will I get there? I have no clue but I won’t know until I work at it.

I realized that among all the negative, I have a hard time remembering all the good things that happened to us in 2012. So this year, we’re trying something new. I’m not putting this on my 101 in 1001 list but I’m still doing with my boys. We’re using a jar to keep track of the “good things that happened in 2013”. Look, there are already a few things in there!

Jar of good things that happened in 2013

Jar of good things that happened in 2013

I believe this will be a great way to focus on the positive and help us recall at the end of the year all the good things that happened to us but we may have forgotten along the way.

Here are the big changes to my 101 in 1001 list…

98) Get one or more massages
I’m deleting this because I don’t care about getting massages and honestly, I don’t want someone to touch my ultra sensitive back and mess something up. So I’m replacing it with something I’ve been thinking of doing for a long time. I want 2013 to be the year of happy and nice and so I’m choosing this BIG challenge:
98) Perform 52 intentional / random acts of kindness (3/52)
I added “intentional” because I might need a little reinforcement and reminder. These can be very simple acts of kindness, or more elaborate. I’ll figure it out as the opportunity arises and I’ll keep tract of them and share my list at the end of the year. Believe it or not, I already have 3 acts of kindness completed. Who knew? By the way, if you’d like to join me on this challenge but you’re not sure what you could do, there are a lot of ideas on the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website.

52 random acts of kindness

52 random acts of kindness

86) Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night
I’m changing this to:
86) Go to sleep by 11pm every night.
It doesn’t seem like a drastic change but I need to force myself to be in bed by a specific time rather than focus on the hours of sleep I may be getting.

48) Learn 3 to 5 new words every week and keep a log of them (20/143)
I’ve been working on this goal but not keeping track of it, and I need a task number for something else so I’m deleting it and replacing it with:
48) Post book reviews on both Goodreads and Amazon (0/1)
I’m not sure how to measure this but I’ll mark it complete once it has become a habit for me, at least for the Amazon part since I write review on Goodreads more regularly.

37) Post once a week to my new freelance writing website’s blog (0/143)
I didn’t create this writing site and instead created my photography website, so I’m changing my challenge to dedicate room for it on my weekly schedule:
37) Post three times a week to my new nature photography website (3/168)

35) Send 100 article queries to magazines and publications (0/100)
At this point, I’m more interested in promoting my photos than my writing (I still plan to write this year), so I’m changing this goal to something that will increase exposure to my photos:
35) Participate in the Project 365 – 2013 by posting new photos two to four times a week on my photography Facebook page and the Project 365 – 2013 Facebook page (2/156)

36) Post once a week to my Perfecting Motherhood blog (73/143)
I originally created this task because I wasn’t writing on a regular basis. I found my new groove about a year ago so I’ve decided to replace this task with something else I’m not doing but should be:
36) Post new photos on my Pinterest page 3 times a week (0/168)

39) Post photographs and other art for sale on Zazzle.com and a few other similar websites (0/1)
I’ve realized this goal is too vague and not getting done (I’ve got a lot of those!). I’m replacing it with these 2 goals:
39) Create new products for sale on my Zazzle store twice a week (0/112)

40) Attend a writers’ meeting several times a year (0/10)
For the same reason, I’m replacing it with:
40) Identify up to two other websites to post my photos for sale and post new photos once a week (0/56)

This should be it. Wish me luck! To view my list as it stands now and how much I’ve accomplished so far, go to my 101 in 1001 page. Remember, it’s never too late to join!