Happiness In A Jar

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Hi Scottsdale Moms!  We’d love to introduce you to SMB’ s newest contributor, Rudri Patel! Rudri is a wife, mother of an 8 -year-old daughter, and former attorney turned freelance writer. You can learn more about Rudri on our “Meet the Contributors” page or on her personal blog: www.beingrudri.com Enjoy her first post for SMB!  

As a young girl, Sunday mornings were never complete without donuts.

My sister and I piled in the backseat of my father’s Toyota Camry and drove to one particular donut shop on the other side of town. We brought an assortment of our favorites: glazed, sprinkled, and chocolate covered donuts. As we walked in the door, my mom placed hot tea in the middle of the table while we opened the box and grabbed our favorite fried goodness. My father searched the newspaper to read the business section, while my sister and I fought over the comic pages. This Sunday morning tradition was one of my favorite memories as a child.

This glimpse of the past is what I hold on to when missing my childhood, my father, and all those countless mornings of family time we shared together for so many years. The moments we cling to are the ones that keep repeating themselves; they provide the sustenance for our lives. Even though we may not know it as they are happening, years later they surface unexpectedly, like an old friend that calls out of the blue. Time may have passed between conversations, but as soon as you hear her voice you are transported to a place of nostalgia and comfort.

My hope is to institute the same kind of traditions in my own home. This year I intersected with an idea by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the recent book, The Signature Of All Things.

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She suggested that individuals create their own happiness jars by writing down a sentence that describes their best moment of the day.

This idea really resonated and offered an opportunity for me to start a tradition that could  have a lasting impact on my 8-year-old daughter, as well as my husband and me.

Every night since the beginning of the year, after dinner, we ponder our best moment and write it on a small sheet of brown paper.

I learn how my daughter defines happiness and what made an impression on my husband for that day. We plan to continue this tradition everyday for the entire year. I hope it is a pathway to teach my daughter that the ordinary moments that she memorializes are the ones that will mean the most to her as an adult. Although the year is still young, we’ve shared many smiles exchanging our moments with one another.

Years from now, I hope, that as she pushes her grocery cart down the aisle,  she looks at a mason jar and thinks of those days in her childhood kitchen where her family revealed their moments of happiness.

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Rudri Bhatt Patel is a former attorney turned freelancer writer. Prior to attending law school, she graduated with an M.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing. She is the managing editor for The First Day and her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Brain, Child, The Huffington Post, The Review, Review Role, Reboot, The Mid and elsewhere. She writes her personal musings on her blog, Being Rudri, and is currently working on a memoir that explores Hindu culture, grief and appreciating life’s ordinary graces. She enjoys reading, writing and running. Rudri has lived in the Valley since 2009 with her husband and daughter (9). You can find Rudri on Twitter, Facebook and Being Rudri.

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