a jar full of memories


jarsWith mugs full of hot tea (and probably some cookies), arms overflowing with stickers, and all the pens we could scrounge up from the bottoms of our backpacks, we stomped into Hannah’s bedroom. Julia pulled four glass jars out of her bag as I spread out my stickers all over the floor.

We had decided a few weeks before to start a new tradition for 2015: rather than set resolutions that were bound to be forgotten, we wanted to collect memories and moments from the year. The plan: write down one thing from each day, be it something we are grateful for, a funny anecdote, or a series of events from the day. Save each of these notes in a glass jar and open it back up the following year to remember and appreciate. Our “rememberlutions”.

We finally made a date to meet at the 2€ store in Chambery a few weeks into January. We explored the shelves overflowing with odd 2€ goodies: mugs with pictures of hot dogs, bowls labelled “BOWL bowl bowl” (in English), a perplexing comic book about Obama, a delightful range of bedazzled lighters. “Here!” exclaimed Hannah, pulling a glass jar with a hinged lid from behind a row of candleholders. It was perfect. We bought four different colors: one for each of us plus one for Gabriel, Hannah’s soon-to-be fiancé.

Thanks to my exorbitant sticker collection, we decorated the jars and started scrawling post-it notes to add that night, a ritual that I kept up for about 7 more months, before my jar started to overflow. Skip ahead to February, 2016. I dumped out all the notes onto my bed and began the process of reopening them. It was such a thrill to remember and appreciate the small moments that had stuck out to me so many months ago, and hilarious to relive some of those memories that otherwise would be lost to time.

This March, I’m hoping to reuse some of these post it notes as inspiration for new posts, stories that I haven’t shared yet. This will be part of a March Writing Challenge run by Two Writing Teachers blog, which my mom introduced me to. The goal is to write a Slice of Life story every day during the month of March. Last November I did the NaBloPoMo/NanoPoblano challenge, and even though I wasn’t able to blog every day of the month, I’m looking forward to trying again. And I’m especially looking forward to revisiting my rememberlutions!

By the way, here’s what 7 months worth of memories looks like! How have you celebrated past memories? ❂




Slice of Life is a daily writing challenge during the month of March hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Visit their blog for more information about the challenge and for advice and ideas about how to participate.


21 thoughts on “a jar full of memories

  1. I’m doing a good things jar this year too! I don’t put things in everyday, but I try to a few times per week! I’m hoping to do a better job at it this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely skipped some days…or sometimes even did multiple days at once. But it was so fun to reread them! There’s no way I would have remembered some of the things I read if I hadn’t written them down!! It ended up being a great way to reflect on the whole experience 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome to the Slice of Life monthlong challenge! It sounds like your notes will give you plenty of writing ideas for the upcoming days! I thought I might start a jar, but got side-tracked. I look forward to reading more about your memories this month.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome!! You’re a Slicer!!! I can’t wait to read your responses to all those colorful post-it notes!! So many great stories that only you can tell!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Ann,
    I saw your name and wondered if you were Sally’s Ann! Great to meet you through your writing. I enjoyed your memory jar and the carpet of wrinkled sticky notes- it just seems to be a metaphor for a year, somehow. And I totally agree with you about the wonder of capturing a moment or feeling that is fleeting and would otherwise be quickly lost.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Slice of Life kick-off day! First, I love the look and name of your blog. Second, I love this idea of collecting your memories. Third, I’m going to add “rememberlution” to my Cool Words list. Fourth, what a great way to start the challenge. I loved reading this and am looking forward to what other ideas I might borrow from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I wish I could take credit for “rememberlutions” but I think we got it from a buzzfeed article or something like that. Still, thanks so much for your comment 🙂


  6. Wow, the photo of all of the scraps of paper brings so many good thoughts about writing in general. It reminds me of the teenager in Jandy Nelson’s “The Sky is Everywhere”…she writes poems on little bits and scraps of paper and totally just leaves them to the wind, skewers them of tree branches, shoves them in mulch, just leaves them everywhere…not so much for other people…but it is like a giving little bits of herself as she uses the writing to help her through a very emotional stretch…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow! I love this idea! I may just steal it and try it with my students and myself, even at this late time in the year. I can imagine how much fun it would be to open these up in June and look at what our year has been like. The more I think about it, the more excited I get by the prospect of doing this with my students. Keep blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh what a cool idea, Elisa! I bet it would be so fun reading them all at the end of the year and seeing how much you’ve learned. If you do end up doing something like this, I’d love to know how it turns out 🙂 Thank you!


  8. This is so cool! I try to keep a journal, but when I open it and have a full-size page in front of me I feel obliged to write something detailed and coherent, which often means I just don’t write anything until I have a big chunk of free time, and by then I’ve already forgotten those little moments. This looks like a great way to get around that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally know what you mean about that daunting blank page!! Post-it note sized is much more friendly. I’ve also been intrigued by 5-year-journals or similar things which are a bit like diaries or agendas, but with enough room to write 5 sentences for each day: one for every year you use the journal. It was so fun going through my one year of scraps, I can only imagine the treasures you’d find after 5 years!

      Liked by 1 person

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