Last year was a difficult year in many ways. From the presidential election to people just struggling with day-to-day life, it was a year of overcoming. I am fortunate to admit that it was a year of growth and love for me. The years prior I experienced a lot of the things I heard people complaining about last year, but 2016 was a bit more gracious. On New Year’s day 2016, Darius (my love) and I started our “Best of…” jar. We bought a medium sized mason jar and for an entire year we added notes, ticket stubs, and other small memorabilia from our best moments together. We discussed places to go for NYE to review the contents of our jar, and we landed on Honolulu because I love beach sunrises and Darius had never experienced “Paradise”.
We arrived on New Years Eve and Honolulu did not disappoint. From the tropical weather to the gorgeous scenery, we were excited about what was to come. Our first stop was the beach, but the visit was short because there was so much more land we wanted to explore. We grabbed the camera, a bite to eat and set out to experience the gorgeous land of Honolulu. One of the highlights of the trip was Darius’ reaction when he saw a beautiful window on the edge of the Westin Moana Surfrider hotel that read “Vivienne Westwood”. I was excited too, but I don’t think anyone in all of Hawaii was as excited as he was. We got some great pieces and her amazing new book, “Vivienne Westwood”. It’s a must read. We also gazed at the Diamond Head volcano and enjoyed dinner overlooking the pacific ocean.
On New Year’s Day we woke up early and we each compiled two lists. The first was a list of all the things we wanted to leave behind. The second was a list of all the things we wanted to implement or improve upon in the coming year. When we were done we grabbed a cup of coffee, bought a lighter and headed to the beach to go through the lists and the contents of the jar as the sun rose over Hawaii. We read both lists aloud, burned the old stuff and buried the ashes. Once we finished going through our memories and laughing, we added our “good” lists to the empty jar [to begin our 2017 memories], and enjoyed our new day of a new year together in the Hawaiian sun. I couldn’t have prayed for a more perfect time in a more perfect place with a more perfect person. I am grateful for everything 2016 taught me, and I am looking forward to everything 2017 has for me. If you’ve never created a memory jar, I would highly recommend it. It’s a great way to remind yourself of how gracious God really is, and how life really isn’t as bad as you may think.