Kind of like “authenticity,” the term “intentionality” (or some variant) gets thrown around a lot. I tried to think of something more accurate and clever for my tag line–“simple pleasures. intentional life.”–but honestly (authentically?), I don’t think I can convey the idea any better. All the same, I think it will help if you know what I mean when I say it.
My pursuit of intentional living opposes the pursuit of happiness, which I think is an emotional state, and thus unreliable, and thus wrongly esteemed in our culture. When life unfolds hunky-dory, I learn nothing. By contrast, when I face challenges, disappointment, and yes, even failure, I can grow. Failures used to devastate me, even seemingly minor ones like breaking an omelet (yes, really). But over time I’ve learned to embrace my mess. I don’t mean that I resign myself to failure, only that I see it as a wild card that keeps the game of life interesting.
In practical terms, intentional living means filling my life with what I value and eliminating what I don’t value. Recently this has meant scheduling my social calendar full of casual meals and craft nights with friends. It has meant purging my closet of clothes that don’t fit right, and my cupboard of task-specific appliances that are used so rarely that they’re just clutter. It has meant reading books that do more than entertain me. I have nothing against reading for pure pleasure; I do my share of that. But I’m also trying to venture into less familiar territory, my own self-directed continuing education.
I won’t write a whole essay on the topic, lest you grow bored and wander away. I just figured you might like to know why I’m here, blogging about bits of this and that. Every piece of this crazy mosaic is finding its place in what I hope will be a well-crafted life–one that draws in others as they are, learns and grows alongside them, encourages and supports them as we share this limit-testing and ultimately meaningful journey.