A Mason Jar and More for New Year’s Resolution


(Sarah Howard/The Observer)


(Sarah Howard/The Observer)
(Sarah Howard/The Observer)

I am comfortable with openly admitting that I am guilty of having been that person at more than one point in my life. By that person, I mean the kind of individual who makes New Year’s resolutions just for the sake of making them. For example, two years ago, I promised myself that I’d become more adventurous when it comes to fitness. I even went as far as signing up for a rock climbing class. Even though it was fun while it lasted, it wasn’t something that was gratifying for me after having done it a few times. As a result, this year, I have decided to pursue a resolution that would keep me satisfied for a longer period of time.

I used to be the kind of person who would block out memories that didn’t bring a smile to my face. I didn’t want to relive times when I embarrassed myself—trust me; it happens often enough that I’d rather not mentally store every single instance. But as 2014 arrived swiftly, I didn’t want to focus on past mistakes and instead felt that focusing on self-improvement in the future would be a better use of my time. I decided that the best way to do so was to remember all of the good memories I have made and write down new ones as they occur in order to encourage my fresh, positive attitude.

So, for my 2014 New Year’s resolution, I am writing down all of my favorite memories of the spring semester down as they happen on small scraps of paper and putting them into a Pinterest-inspired mason jar. As cliché as this idea sounds, I’m actually very excited about it. Generally, I’ll admit that I’m not an entirely sentimental person. It’s not that I’m emotionless but most of the time, I just don’t allow my emotions to get the best of me. However, I truly believe that reminiscing about fun times with my friends and family will have the power to turn a bad day, week or month into a better one. I still catch myself smiling whenever I browse through my phone and find pictures of the time I took my yorkie, Bella, on a walk through Central Park with my family at the beginning of January.

Although I knew what I wanted to get out of this endeavor, I don’t find that things turn out the way we want them to as often as we’d like. In the end, my project produced a number of positive results. Most of all, I enjoyed how it encouraged me to put more effort into what I do in my free time. I wanted to actually have things to turn to and read if I felt the need to. Thus, I accumulated some incredible memories with my family and friends by expanding my horizons and taking part in activities I otherwise wouldn’t have spent time on. These include more frequent museum visits, trying out new cuisines and the realization that even a movie night can result in five new pieces of paper in my jar—you’d be surprised by how hilarious a few college students baking chocolate chip cookies from scratch can be.

There comes a time in every person’s life when they experience emotions like happiness, sadness and laughter to the point of tears and heartbreak. True, these emotions will all ultimately fade, but their legacies live on through memories. I’ve now become the kind of person who savors all kinds of memories, good or bad. If they’re good, they can be fun to look back on and reminisce about. If they’re bad, they can be viewed as lessons to which I can refer to, if need be. Overall, I’d say my New Year’s resolution for 2014 has been successful thus far. Truthfully, who knows how much longer I’ll keep up with it. At this point though, I don’t think it really matters. What matters is that I’ve learned to relish  the good times, learn from the bad times and appreciate whatever’s in between.