Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

The Jar of Intent

I have a new idea for Personal Growth and Betterment of Self. And like most of my new ideas, it is revolutionary — good for at least a few weeks. Possibly longer.

I have created…

The Jar of Intent.


It is a sort of lidded vase thing that was in a box cluttering our garage, meaning it belonged to my mom or sister or some such relation, and I like it, but was reluctant to keep it around without a concrete purpose.

You know how they say it takes six weeks to create or destroy a habit? Well, I have a ton of habits I would like to form/break, and adding six weeks end to end for each one, well, that’s kind of a depressingly long time. But trying to do them all at once isn’t cutting it either.

Enter the Jar of Intent.

Inside are folded slips of cardstock. On each I have written a word or two. Each morning, I pull one out and it is my focus for the day.


The first day (Wed) I pulled out “pets.” So in addition to tending to the physical needs of our menagerie, we made a special effort to give them all extra love and attention. Each cat got snuggled, the kids played in the rabbit corral for awhile, and we all watched the fish frolic.

Yesterday I got “breathe.”

It helped. Of course it helped. It would have helped on any day, but as it was the second of two days in a row of solo parenting including a solo night only a week into night-weaning Platypup, well, let’s say it was the right card for the occasion. Even when I forgot, it still helped, because it highlighted in a way impossible to misinterpret the stark difference between mom-who-takes-deep-breaths and crazy dragon lady.

Today I got “family,” and so far we turned on Skype, talked to Granny, and left video messages for other far-flung family members. I’m going to start dinner now, during Platypup’s nap, so we can have a nice relaxed afternoon and evening.

The Jar of Intent also lends itself readily to newly minted phrases: “Put it in the jar,” meaning to add it to the pool of things needing improvement and then “It’s in the jar,” (so stop stressing over it), for example.

Owlet has been very keen on the whole process. It is my hope that as a consolation for not having a mother with all her ducks in a row my kids still benefit from having a front-row seat to my admirable attempts to at least pile said ducks into a laundry basket in hopes of one day finally coaxing them all into a scraggly formation. And maybe even go on to do a bit better than me when it’s their turn to duck-wrangle.


Snuggly guava-eating mother-daughter time in the hammock!


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