It’s back – The Jar of Awesome!

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 24 December 2019

Christmas is almost here and the new year is coming. I like to take a step back during this busy time and really reflect on the year that has just gone by. I want to be grateful for what I have instead of getting sucked into the mass marketing machine of Christmas.

For me, the best way to do this came from my Jar of Awesome experiment.

What is the jar of awesome you ask? Well it’s a simple task that I first heard about listening to a podcast by Tim Ferriss. I think the reason I had that take home from that particular episode is because it really resonated with me.

We often fail to recognize or celebrate the really cool or smaller accomplishments in our lives.

Too often we focus on what is going wrong versus what is going right.

So to remind myself of the small, but great things that happened in a year, I write them down on a piece of paper and put them in my jar of awesome!

Then on New Year's day I will take them out one by one and read them...and sometimes get a little emotional.

Who am I kidding? I get emotional every year.

Well it's soon going to be another's soon going to be another give you an idea here is my list from 2018 in the random order that I pulled them:

  • Birthday card from my staff - “Here’s to the woman who knows who she is and where she is in life – a woman of confidence and experience, a woman who lives & loves with passion & is true to herself in all things. Here’s to you…a woman one year older, wiser, and more admired than ever. Happy birthday.” Thank-you Tracey, Jenn, Daralyn, Pat, Gretchen, & Tasha. This reminds me that people often see things in you that you don’t see yourself, and just because you don’t see them, it doesn’t mean they are not here.
  • Birthday card from Jenn – “Hope you have a wonderful birthday! Thank-you for being a great mentor and I hope you enjoy your gift.”
  • Thank-you card from Little Lambs daycare – “Dear Dr. Durkin, thank-you for being a guest speaker at our Annual Provider Self Care Day. The women thoroughly enjoyed your talk and I believe took away valuable information. You presented your topic “Living a healthy life as a modern woman” with honesty, humour, and relevance. We are lucky to have you as a naturopath serving our community.” Thank-you to Sara K. for recommending me as a speaker.
  • message regarding a blog post I wrote in the spring – “Thank-you for sharing that heartfelt experience. Very moving. Admire your strength. Just wanted to let you know how inspirational you are to me and many others.”
  • speaking publicly about a time of pain in my life; thank-you Pachamama's Wellness Centre for the Healing Arts - Shaman Tracey Kennedy for providing the perfect space & audience for this presentation
  • interview with Timothy Gauthier about the same
  • a personal note from customer service Mercedes Benz Financial Services – “Hello Michelle. It was very nice speaking with you. I would like to take the time to congratulate you on your new home. I hope your new home is filled with happiness & new memories. I wish you all the best. Sincerely Jenny Chen.” – Even though she got the details of our conversation wrong it’s a great illustration of how great customer service is all about the little things & personal connections. I can only hope that my patients feel as taken care of
  • Selling my house
  • Trillium Wood Wednesday night Ladies League – Flight A, average 48.3; 4th place; thanks to Laurie, Mary, Shani, Kelly, Francis, Janice, Maryann, and many others for all the games, chats, dinners, and laughs
  • 3rd birdie of the season, the most I’ve had in one season
  • house-sitting for Andrea – “Michelle, I hope you enjoy my house as much as I do”; I have to say it was the perfect place to figure out what I want for the next chapter of my life. 
  • Mont Blanc; physically & emotionally draining but so worth it; thank-you Amie, Foster, & Brandy; those will be memories that can never be re-created and never forgotten
  • hiking at Vanderwater Park
  • IV inspection PASS! This was long anticipated; thanks to all the staff that helped me make sure this happened
  • Christmas present from a patient – “Thank-you for listening, caring & supporting. I have a life back!”
  • lunch meeting with Sarah; thank-you for letting me pick your brain
  • my new car lease
  • hiking at Gooderich Loomis
  • banana bread French toast with Malisa; the carbs were definitely worth it
  • Canada weekend with Chris, Jill, & Millie; fireworks at the Spa Nordic
  • Christmas card from a patient – “Giving you all the blessings you desire, sparkling energies, and a New Year of magic & dreams.”
  • Hawaii Doc Talks with Malisa + a little time for vacay; Thanks Amie, Chad, Malisa, my favourite trip so far
  • 2 successful Inflammation Detoxes
  • a note for no reason on my desk – “Michelle, have a great day!”; thank-you Gretchen, you always know what to say when I need it
  • Over 200 Speil winners; thanks Jeff, Kim, & Brent for asking me to play
  • Tuesday night curling in Stirlin; thanks Jeff, Kim & Kevin for having me back on the team
  • Immunity to Change workshop in Boston; this was a game-changer for me personally and I am really excited to use this technique with patients so it can be a game-changer for them as well. Thank-you Robin, Hillary, Diana, Scott, Heather & Tom for being such great people to work with. I really feel like this was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Sometimes you end up somewhere because that is where you are supposed to be. Thank-you Robin for asking me to go. 
  • Getting over my fear of stepping back into the dating world; thank-you Robin & Katrina for giving me the push I needed
  • OAND seminar with Jennifer, Robin, Daralyn, Katie, Michael & Andrew; great to connect every year with friends & colleagues. Thanks for being my room mate & work-out buddy Jenn
  • Self-care: yin yoga, sweet flow restorative yoga, regular massage, energy healing, personal training, referrals from my GP for an MRI, fertility consultation, and surgery; thank-you Michelle, Eric, Scott, Michelle, & Tracey
  • presenting a full day seminar at Paths of Courage; 1st time I’ve had to be responsible for that large of a workshop
  • FB live events for QNC; thanks Shelagh, Jonathan & Susan for being great guests
  • dinner downtown and wine on the porch with Maya
  • Porchfest – this year I had a porch; thanks Amie, Chad, Foster, Steve & Cobra for all the laughs
  • Christmas baking party with Foster, Cobra, Amie, Brandy, Jenn, & Corey Hart
  • regular guest on the Lorne Brooker show
  • actually needing a hair cut; thanks Rebecca
  • professional head shots; thanks Stephanie Trattner Photography
  • walking to work
  • golf day @ Shelter Valley with the Myrtle Beach ladies; thanks Mary for organizing
  • inside jokes with the family – “Is it slushy???”

When I think about all of these entries, and the year gone by, there is a quote I read that summarizes it perfectly so I will share it with all of you:

“An artist in Japan repairs broken pottery with gold. It’s significance is that nothing is ever truly broken and it’s damage is essential in it’s history. When we injure ourselves, lose a loved one, end a relationship or chapter in our lives, it is an opportunity to repair the damage with gold.”

I hope all of you found your own gold for anything that needed repairing in 2019.

Have a great Christmas everyone!

Now I would love to hear from you! What is one thing that you would put in your jar of awesome for 2019? Leave a comment below and I'll be back in the new year with a brand new edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

4 Replies to “It’s back – The Jar of Awesome!”

Sandra L. Hazlett

What a wonderful quote and list! It appears that your game is certainly better than what you suggested in our discussion. I think it’s time for me to start a jar!
Merry Christmas to you and your staff!

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Merry Christmas Sandra!

Mary Anne Chapman

I started my Jar this year. What a transformation in my ‘view of things’. I adapted it slightly for myself in that I also use the idea of Holy Moments. Part of my journey has been learning to paint. So, I cut up a whole bunch of my practise paintings and write my awesome them. It feels like it all fits together and my jar is colourful! Can’t wait for the New Year reading.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Sounds lovely Mary Anne!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Do you like these posts? Sign up for Dr. Durkin's Apple a Day ....

Apple A Day is where you can find small, digestible, practical action steps to help you feel your best, one apple at a time.

Apple a Day

Quinte Naturopathic Centre

173 Church Street

Belleville, ON K8N 3C1


Hours of Operation:

Monday 10am - 7pm

Tuesday 9am - 6pm

Wednesday 9am - 6pm

Thursday 9am - 6pm

Friday 9am - 2pm


NOTE: Our building is not wheelchair accessible