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Now then, I have sung the praises of my beloved Jade Yoga mats for well over a decade now and they remain my favorites yesterday, today, and forever. A few years ago when Jade Yoga developed their ultra-thin travel mats they sent out samples to their non-paid ambassadors for trial and feedback. Along with the mat came an additional round piece of the rubber mat material as a freebie. They called it a jar opener and although I have never used it once to open a jar, it became one of my favorite things. Yes, favorite. No kidding, I have treasured it. I must not have been the only one to love it so much because all these years later you can still buy them at Jade Yoga for about $3.00 a piece. My old-school original was black but they now come in four colors.
So what’s the big deal? Who gushes over a jar opener? I do. Given the chance, you probably would too. This super-thin and super-grippy floppy little rubber disk has claimed credit for a thousand different purposes over the years. Although never as a jar opener, it has served me as one thing and then another as I needed something secured, stabilized, cushioned, or honored by special placement. There are no lies or exaggerations on its resume. It has done it all and done it well. I used it exclusively around the house until I went to work in an office with ergonomic work stations. Then things got serious. With feelings.
My fancy desk featured an adjustable tilting keyboard surface. Cranked to the ideal ergo-angle, my wireless mouse perpetually slid off into the floor multiple times a day. Mousepads were too slick to stop the slippage and even if something gripped the desk it wouldn’t grip damn the mouse. A wired mouse always ended up dangling by the cord, which was somewhat manageable but still a pain in the ass and prevented me from using the standing desk option (short cord). One day in frustration I wished for my paper-thin yoga mat jar opener, known to be grippy on both sides. Would it work? Aha! It would! My little black buddy went to work with me, holding my mouse on deck at a steady ready angle. Happy clicking resumed.
Then COVID-19 swept across the globe and my employer sent me away to work at home. I packed up everything I thought I’d need, right down to my office chair, and bid my office space adieu until ordered to return. While setting up my home workspace I was dismayed to discover I’d forgotten to pack my little black buddy. I’d left it behind at the office, locked up with no admittance. Worse still, my desk at home has a glass work surface with which an optical mouse cannot deal, so a mousepad must be used. No biggie, just run out and pick up a mousepad, right?
Ahem. With a sizeable portion of the American workforce suddenly and unexpectedly sent home to work, guess what was selling out as fast as toilet paper in those early weeks? Yep, office supplies and computer equipment. Hell, I couldn’t even find a desk locally; I had to order one. You may remember that post from last Spring. I checked four stores and nary a mousepad could be found. Reasonably priced ones were sold out online or backordered indefinitely. I was forbidden to return to work to retrieve my little black buddy so I tried multiple substitutes: other jar openers, coarse paper, fabric, silicone baking pads, parchment paper, a hand towel, a hardback book. Nothing worked. It was all either too thick, too slippery on the glass, too cumbersome, or gummed up the mouse with lint and fibers.
Weeks turned into months and there was still no all-clear at work so I thought I’d try Jade Yoga. Maybe they would send me another little black buddy? On the website I was overjoyed to find the jar openers available for purchase as part of their regular inventory (amazing!) but alas, completely sold out (also sort of amazing). And of course, due to COVID delays they had no idea when the little buddies would be back in stock. I began begging for special permission to return to work on a weekend when essential staff would not be present. I promised to be gloved, masked, and lickety-split, to retrieve needed items from my space and get the hell out without touching anything or breathing. I did not disclose the only item I really needed was a jar opener.
After weeks of begging during Zoom meetings and conference calls, I was finally granted a one-time pass into the office to get what I needed. While I was there I made sure to take some other personal bits and office supplies as well, lest anyone suspect I drove 90 minutes round trip at great risk during a pandemic to retrieve a cherished jar opener (or even a mouse pad, for that matter). But what a joy to have him back at home mousing it up on the glass-topped desk, safe and sound. I say him because I named him Matt. Mini yoga mat, get it?
Sounds like a ridiculous amount of trouble for a jar opener but as luck/irony would have it, a few weeks after our blessed reunion (Me & Matt) I was told I would never return to that office again. My new COVID-safe office? Glass. table. for. a. desk. I kid you not. It’s true. Glass walls, concrete floors, no decorations of any kind; everything quick and easy to sanitize multiple times per day as per the new normal. Ridiculous amount of trouble is a relative term these days, no?
But I really wrote all of this to tell you that the jar openers are back in stock at Jade Yoga. I checked this morning. Three of the four colors are now available (none of them black). I know you couldn’t possibly realize how much you need one of these but I assure you, you’ll find eleventy million uses for it even if you don’t use it under an optical mouse. If you do, you’ll never need or want another pad, I’ll wager. Once again, I get nothing from Jade Yoga for this; I just really love (and I do mean love — adore, even) these things and if office equipment can be loved the work done upon it can only benefit. Sometimes occupational wellness comes in the form of a free jar opener that will change your life for years to come. Since it has happened to me you can truthfully say you’ve seen it happen.
And let’s not forget this is the Year of Honesty. I confess I ordered more Matts today. After this post hits the ‘net they will surely sell out again (giggle) and I don’t ever want to be without a Matt again. I’ll also probably gift a Matt or two as a form of seva. That’s Sanskrit for selfless service. Going forward my Matts will sound like pirates around the house/office. Black Matt, Red Matt, etc. Maybe that sounds more like Vikings than pirates but it could be argued that Vikings did plenty of pirating once upon a time. Anyway, if you decide to try one and hate your Matt, you hated it for the cost of three bucks, so in honesty I am not sorry in advance. Jade Yoga does enough good work in the world to offset any inconvenience my recommendation may cause you, but I’ll let you explore that on your own.
Be well, friends.