#25 – Keep a swear jar for two weeks

by Elizabeth on April 6, 2009 · 1 comment

in 101 in 1001, Life

Part of my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge.

I arrived at work two Mondays to find that the phone was already ringing off the hook. I had six million emails and a to-do list that stretched over multiple pages. It was just a couple of days before my boss was to head off for three weeks personal leave, pretty much tripling my workload.

It’s safe to say that I let a few blue words slip that morning. (And lets face it, most other mornings too – that’s how this challenge was born!)

I mentioned the idea of the two-week swear jar to one of my colleagues that day, and she suggested that we both begin it immediately. With a little help from my label-maker my coffee mug was converted into a swear jar, and it’s slowly been filling ever since.

It’s hard to know exactly how much I have contributed to the jar, but as it lived on my desk I’m sure I was the most honest participant. Each morning I would throw in a few dollars for the misdemeanors of the night before, and if I knew I was about to have a particularly bad meeting I made sure to raid petty cash and change a five dollar note into 50c pieces.

It’s been a funny experiment. Some of the bigwigs at work have started visiting more often, emptying their coin pockets into the jar as they tell me their latest drama. People have been leaving my office feeling as though they’ve truly unloaded and atoned for their sins. For some of us it has been like therapy!

My aim was never to cure my swearing completely, as I still maintain that a well-placed bleepable can make or break a story. Besides, there’s a set of words that I have actively decided aren’t right for me. Instead, my aim was simply to reduce the amount of swearing that was done subconsciously or habitually. I’m happy to report that it only took me couple of days to feel the sting to my wallet and think harder before speaking.

I recommend that everybody try this – even if you love your swear words. It’s pretty funny when you find yourself lost for words, because your usual way of communicating a message is too expensive!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Holly April 6, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Hahaha! Have you decided what you’re going to do with the money in the swear jar once the two weeks are up?

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