Best intentions

Intent: purpose; aim

intentional: done by intention or design; intended

intention: a determination to act in a certain way; purpose, aim (synonyms: intent, design, objective, Goal)

The past few weeks this word seems to be following me, showing up in various places, blogs, conversations, even a PDF file for getting in shape. For a sports-crazed person like myself, the word intention is just short for intentional, as in intentional foul: a foul deliberately committed by a defensive player to stop play, usually seen toward the end of a game to stop the clock.

The only other time I thought of the word intent was in reference to the saying, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Then my friend Joni posted this…”living intentionally.”  And I began to think about this word, a word familiar but so unfamiliar. And I came to the conclusion the reason for my unfamiliarity was because I’d omitted it from my own life, being okay to see it utilized by others, watching others intentions. Intentional had been deleted from my life vocabulary. How do I know this? Because I spent most of 2010 undisciplined and minus intent. I leaned on the crutch of being burned out from seven years of school and a strict regimen of classes, work, family, homework, writing, etc. My life penciled-in and strategically mapped out all with one goal, or two, in mind. Graduate. Finish book.

So when it was said and done, my intentions took a vacation.

A few days after reading Joni’s blog,  I was sipping coffee, procrastinating my work day when I decided to catch up on Tony’s blog when I read this, “Intentional heart.”

I know successful writer’s are successful because they are disciplined, passionate, but most of all they are writer’s of intention, they have purpose, and a goal. I started three blogs, yet only post to each of them, if I’m lucky, at one to two-week intervals. I had the best of intentions, but that isn’t good enough.

I started the year with promises, many promises, yet they fall unfulfilled or only half-heartedly attempted this first of February. And why? Because I’m lacking intent. My state of mind is not where it needs to be, instead it is disconcerted, unimaginative, and irritated.

So on this wonderful snow day, one I enjoyed for the most part by cocooning myself on the couch, Bach on the stereo, coffee within reach and a Conroy book. Then I watched Citizen Kane for the first time, my husband and I enjoying the black and white along with the smoky fire and mugs of Mexican hot chocolate. But when the movie ended and we discussed the implications of Rosebud and a life not fully lived, a life of always searching,  I became again haunted by living with intent.

Now at my desk, the north wind rattling the window screen, tiny flakes twirling in the yard, Pavarotti in the background, I type about one simple word. Intent. When Joni and I discussed her post and how this word was peeping at me from all sides, I described living with intent as a double-dog dare. It’s not something to be taken lightly. You could just end up with your tongue frozen to a pole. But again, you might not. If we don’t live with intent, how can we say we are truly living. And as I think further on the matter, what I thought was missing from my life is not discipline. I have the training, I have the control, I know my system of rules and conduct. The discipline is there. What’s missing is the intent to be disciplined.

Much to think on. Much to write. All I know is this one word may put me back on track, may just open the proverbial flood gates. Or it could send me packing. As George Byron once said, “I am sure of nothing so little as my own intentions.”

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