Bottling Happiness

Last month, my desk drawer broke.  The frickin’ thing was so packed full of crap that it just wouldn’t close, and that one last push did it in. Correction: last month, I broke my desk drawer.

The push forced the drawer straight through the back of the desk, spewing its contents all over the office floor.  I stood there, surveying the mess: scattered throughout the normalcy of paperclips, pens and other office paraphernalia was an eclectic mixture of mardi-gras beads, fish-shaped sunglasses, miniature stuffed bunnies, seashells, watches in need of batteries, pressed pennies from vacations past, ticket stubs, finger puppets, toy mazes and the like.

Things.  Gewgaws. Tchochkes.  Stuff.  Items we all have but don’t really need.  Objects that would make those professional (i.e., anal) organizers on TV run like mad for the nearest wastebasket. The types of belongings which, once extracted from their shopping bag, have but one ultimate destiny: a junk drawer.  And now without a drawer, my junk had no place left to go.

I marveled at all that crap, wondering why I was hanging on to it. Automatically, I reached for the wastebasket: after all, most of this stuff hadn’t seen the light of day since fish-shaped sunglasses were the thing (alright, maybe they were never the thing…). But wait: I can’t possibly toss those fishy sunglasses – just look at the way the lenses individually lift off each eye!  Those purple and silver beads can be worn again. That Star-Trek watch will work fine if I ever buy a battery. And I simply must hang onto my miniature Buddha, otherwise I could risk trashing all my good karma along with it!

Analyzing each item in the pile always concluded with a formidable reason for not offing it. I realized I still really liked all this stuff, even if it was junk.  None of it served any meaningful purpose, save for one: it made me happy – at least when it wasn’t impeding my drawer.  So I decided to keep my collection of crap, but only if I could find it a home that didn’t cause either clutter or congestion.

It was then that I hatched the idea: a Happy Jar.

I went online and ordered the perfect jar. The day it arrived, I artfully arranged my little medley along its glass walls, creating a lively display of flotsam… how pretty!  But the jar was not nearly as full as I wanted: I needed more crap.  I ran around the house, combing through every drawer and shelf to locate more stashes of stuff. Each trinket, when added to my treasure, made my Happy Jar more artful and lively.

My Happy Jar is still a work in progress, located on my desk in a place of honor. Where all those fun little fandangles were once blockading my drawers and collecting dust on my shelves, they are now serving the one purpose for which I purchased them in the first place: making me happy.

Who says you can’t bottle happiness!