A Worry Jar Unearthed

Ever go looking for something and find something else of interest? I’ve written about losing things and finding things before because it is such a part of my daily life.

Yesterday I came upon an old Worry Jar in a drawer full of photos — a Mason jar with a metal hasp, missing its glass lid.

You probably know the drill: you put notes or symbols about the things that worry you into the jar. The simple ritual is not meant to be a fix so much as temporarily freeing.

Here Jar, you take these thoughts for a while!

There were coins, a rock, a smooth bit of glass, a roll of cloth, and many notes. Almost all of the notes were about my sister, so let’s just admit that the jar was also a repository of despair.

There was a teeny pouch with a five dollar bill in it. I don’t remember making it or filling it, but I do remember being worried about money.

There was a pencil, likely representing writing, a miniature plastic scuba diver, probably referring to my husband who is a master diver, and a beautiful miniature clay mother and child, there no doubt to stand for a whole world of Mother Worries. I’m surprised the clay didn’t melt or shatter.

I rather unceremoniously threw all the paper out. Another letting go? I’ll pocket the coins, although I don’t know why since they’re not even needed for parking meters anymore (do NOT ask me how I feel about the Passport Parking app). Mother and Child went on my bookcase-altar. They look content — perhaps singing praise songs? — sitting there near the pretty spring gentians and the glass owl.

The owl was a gift to my sister and makes for a happier sibling reference. She was obsessed with them after a recurring dream about “Owl Mountain” during her nearly two-month medically-induced coma in 2009. In case you’re wondering, I like elephants.

The jar is empty now. I am not free of worry, of course, but that particular chapter is quite over. After reading the Brene Brown quotes I had collected in August 2021 and posted here yesterday, I wonder: can I apply curiosity to the things that eat at me?

Hello there! Who are you and what do you want with me?

15 thoughts on “A Worry Jar Unearthed

  1. Tina

    Those lost and found memories .. we all have them. They always bring back mixed emotions across the spectrum. Love to you!!

    1. deemallon Post author

      Yes, and love back. I didn’t look at many of the pictures that I came across. That’s a rabbit hole of goes on quite a bit longer.

  2. Hazel

    You’ve reminded me of a pouch full of worries on papers… I wonder where it is? Assuming the worries have worn away by now. Also, appreciation for the last couple of posts- I was copying down a Brene quote this morning in my morning pages (I’m trying to get back to writing, too), “The key is owning the story. As long as you deny the story, the story owns you.”

    1. deemallon Post author

      That is such a powerful notion. Jung talked about honoring our own shadows because if we don’t, they present as external adversaries. Same idea.

  3. Nancy

    Dee~ What a moment in time captured here! That mother/child piece is amazing, just as art…minus baggage! I once made a clay pinch pot worry jar, back in 2000 while taking a class. It was meant to hold the worries related to a close family member…however the small lid blew up in the kiln and I never put more than a thought into the jar. Years later, I accidently broke the leg off of the clay “Accidental self-portrait” I had made. That leg has been kept in the jar…each one broken and connected to one another. Didn’t realize how powerful this is until just now typing that!! I had honestly just put the leg in there as a place to keep it and not loose it! wow.
    One of my aunts collected/loved owls from way back in the 1970’s…as long as I knew her really. When she passed, I picked out one for my sone & one for my daughter. Hers had a see-through mother with a child owl inside, since she had her son by then.
    Strange times.

    1. deemallon Post author

      I had to look up demijohn! Turns out we have a very big one that we put out in the garden every year. It would hold a LOT of worries!

  4. Saskia van Herwaarden

    had not heard of worry jar, or if so have forgotten, maybe good idea for self when I get too het up!
    finding things that I wasn’t looking for, ha, sounds familiar
    losing stuff is a recurring theme these days, age and whatnot……
    it’s always a pleasure to see what you share, intimate glimpses of someone else’s life is strangely comforting, I feel I have gotten to know you a little through the years Dee

    1. deemallon Post author

      I also feel that I have gotten to know you. It’s one of the most abiding pleasures of blogging — this window into other’s lives over a period of many years.


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