On the 1st January 2016, the Great Big Jar family decided to do something a little different in terms of new year resolutions.

Memories over one year are now written in the hand of the bearer of good news and folded neatly among its paper pals in the Great Big Jar of Destiny.

Reading through them all has just confirmed that in amongst all the nonsense that life has thrown at me this past year, there is a glimpse of something special that only family, true friends and snotty kids can give me.

Hope. That we’re all OK. That we’ll get there.

We half-filled our jar. Perhaps we missed a few goodies along the way or maybe we just felt some of the things didn’t merit a place in it. But what we did keep is all there, written in a pencil/pen scribble, with dates and smiley faces.

A highlight for me was being selected to read my work out at the Story Shop event, held during the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It’s a day I will never forget. The sparkly speigletent will always mean that little bit more to me now and has encouraged me to believe in my writing when sometimes it seems I’m getting nowhere fast.

The best bits from our jar include a lot of 1sts – diving off the 3m board, starting a new school where none of your friends from primary are going, being asked to open a new library, finishing a first ever first draft, kick boxing gradings, being asked to speak at a major conference, swimming comp successes, co-chairing writers network for Scotland, surviving a trek across Scotland in a camper van, a new job… to name but a few. It’s amazing what we’ve achieved without even realising it.

Normally we discuss what goes in the jar but for me, an unexpected entry takes the number one slot.  ‘Having a great time at school’, dated very recently. He made the right choice for him. I can stop worrying so much about it (maybe).

We’ll be filling the jar again with the good things in life rather than focussing on the bad. Another year to discover what’s out there.

What’s for you won’t pass you by.


  1. How inspirational! particularly your closing line………. “what’s for you won’t pass you by”……at the beginning of a new year and the end of the old…… that is so encouraging! thank you so much!