Friday, February 17, 2012


" The road to hell is paved with good intentions." 

It's a popular variation of the original saying thought to have originated from St Bernard of Clairvaux who said "L'enfer est plein de bonnes volontés et désirs" (hell is full of good wishes and desires)

Intention can be best described as the specific action or actions that a goal or outcome is aimed at. For those that follow along and are also fans of Freakonomics you will also know about unintended consequences. 
That is - the outcomes that were unexpected or unforeseen.

It would be fair to say I'm the master of those !

I often compare intention to New Years resolutions, you start at the absolute hard line and then quietly adjust it as time and reality creeps in. So for example, when I was younger I would make lists of all the resolutions I had to achieve in that year. Come the end of the year and a variation of the original had been achieved (sort of). So I began to learn that you had to be careful with the original plan.

In our house it goes a little like this :

It was our intention that the new dog would sleep outside at night. The reality was after 90 seconds of howling at the door, The Beloved relocated up stairs for the night with the minions and left me to deal with the noise. The next day a re-design of the "sleep outside" plan was developed. So we will be installing a dog door, which I have to organise.

It was our intention the at the dog would not be allowed on the bed. The second morning he was home he whined quietly and The Organised one picked him up and he was on. Now he knows that if a sleep in is trying to be had he will get some time on the bed by making noise.

Which is what he does now

Image courtesy of

Every morning.

It was our intention that we would save money by shopping at the market. With two growing boys the bills were climbing up and the plan was to continue the healthy eating but at a reduced cost. The problem is that there are 2 supermarkets within 300 metres of the house. And you know I hate driving, parking and the rest of the rigmarole. Even with two grandma trolleys it still over flows both and we haven't been to the market yet.

It was my intention that I would teach the boys about bicycle maintenance by rebuilding a bike we found abandoned on the side of the road. I now have 3 incomplete bikes in the shed in various parts and stages.

None of them work.

Image courtesy of

It was my intention that I would get the beloved a Valentines day gift ( with thought in it and prior preparation) yet there I was - Feb 14th at 3pm scouring around for gifts trying to find something.

So you can see that in our family good intention is discussed , put in to practice even, but  along the way .....

I put it down to life getting in to the way. I try to be a realist, I want for the best to happen but I know that I'll probably end up with some of what I wanted and some compromise chucked in for good measure.

And in the end I think that's what matters. That at least some part of the plan getting achieved and the benefit for me this teaches the boys that you have to be flexible and adaptive - Right ?

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