What is a pebble jar and why you should make one

What is a pebble jar and why you should make one

Day 20 of the 21 Day Challenge required me to make a pebble jar.

What’s a pebble jar?

Literally–it’s a jar filled with pebbles. Or in my case, a jar filled with poker chips.

Figuratively–each pebble, or poker chip, represents a measure of time. A day, a week, a month, a year.

For example, you could estimate the age you will die ( …I know a bit of a downer), count up the months, and put one pebble in the jar for each month you have left to live. A stark reminded of your disappearing days.

I did things a little differently. I filled a jar with 60 poker chips, one for each month for the next 5 years. And why poker chips? I know it’s corny but for the next 5 years– I’m all in.

Writing, teaching, relationships, experiences I’m all in. Bring it on.

When I pull the last chip from the jar I’ll be 44. And I want to know that, for the last 5 years, I lived with verve and intention.

I know it’s hard to read but printed “5 Years” on the jar.

I choose 5 years because I’m bad at 5 year plans.

The first house Cindy and I bought was a two bedroom starter house. We were sure it we would move out in 5 years. Then the economy tumbled, 3 children arrived, I got sick, and our 5 year plan became a 9 year plan.

When you’re in your 20’s time is a bountiful cornucopia laid before you.

When you’re 39 time becomes a powerful force howling all about you. Time has pulp and edges. Time is something you count and watch closely and cherish– like poker chips.

My poker chip jar guards the corner of my writing desk–reminding me that I’m not that young anymore and now is a good time to have fun but to also take time seriously.

And plus, even if you’re holding 4 clean aces–you can’t win time back.

Why you should make a pebble jar

Have you ever you told yourself if you only had a little more time you would do or accomplish something special?

Have you ever fooled yourself into thinking “there will be time” to do the thing you really want to do?

Have you ever said to yourself, “I’ll have time to do that in 5 years or when I retire or when the kids move out ?”

A pebble jar is literal reminder that time is fleeting. And once a pebble is taken from the jar it will not be replaced. Just like the passing day.

Yes it’s easy to say, “a pebble jar is too morbid for me.” I totally get this.

But it also makes you accountable for each day.

I mean, we all have “throwaway day” stretched on the couch and packed with potato chips and Netflix.

But I believe if we want to discover our best self–we need to be “all in.”

Because if we are not “all in”, procrastination becomes a habit that distorts our senses and fools us into seeing time as something fixed and permanent and not like a poker chip that we must toss in the middle of the table and ante up.

Never seen or felt again.

Be well,


If you start a pebble jar I’d love to see a picture/hear about it. You can post in the comments or email me at writeonfighton@gmail.com.

PS– If you’re a Wofo subscriber, check your inbox on Sunday. You’ll be getting something new from me!


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