The Let It Go Jar


Finn is both my curly haired sage and the biggest gossip ever known to mankind. The other morning we were driving along and as is his wont, he was reporting the latest in primary school drama with all the moral outrage of a politician in the run up to an election.

I listened carefully, worked out the source of the problem and then asked him what he was going to do about it. He hummed. And he hahhed. And then as we sat at the traffic lights he turned to me and said, Mum, life is too short, so I’m going to stick it in the Let It Go Jar.

The Let It Go Jar I said? And he said yes, Miss Copplestone invented it. When there is something too silly, or too hopeless to worry your head about, you write it on a piece of paper, post it in a jar and let it go. And woosh, it doesn’t matter at all.

Readers, if, in that moment I could have stole just a pinch of his youthful optimism, I swear I would have done. Because it is time to let go of so much of what has gone before. To write a goodbye letter to someone who over the course of five years, took my trust and abused it to such a degree it almost broke me in two. To someone who from Monday evening, found himself paying for his blatant disregard of other peoples feelings in the most serious way our society is capable of inflicting. Though my natural instinct is to care. Too worry. Or even to sympathise, I know deep down inside that I have to let all this flippertjibbit emotion go. That this is a goodbye letter I have to file in Miss Coppelstone’s Let It Go Jar.

I need to let all his junk in the loft go so that my entire house is no longer stifled by the weight of his lies. I need to let little Alice the cat go, because it isn’t fair to keep her in the laundry room for so much of the day, as she is too scared to do permanent battle with Alfie the naughty puppy. I need to let go of my biggest fears: the fear of any kind of success. The fear of being truly loved again. Or of allowing myself to love again without this constant self-sabotage.

I need to let it all go and stop living so very, very scared. I need to let go and more than that I need to learn to let other people in…

Today I took Finley to the hospital and then went and watched him devour his very first gluten free hot-dog on a bun in Ed’s Diner with Helen and her gloriously silly babba, Clarry. Tomorrow Helen is begging to dye my hair a warmer shade of mahogany and I do believe I am going to let her because life is too short to worry about a very temporary matter like a wash-out hair colour! Over the weekend the entire family is coming over to help me sort out the incredible chaos that is Finley’s bedroom (ultimate makeover/done in a day style!) and on Monday I will sit down with both Helen and Dad to brainstorm a way forward for BrocanteHome…

You see I can’t carry on believing I can do everything myself. I have to let it go. 

Dear Miss Copplestone, is it ok if I borrow your Let It Go jar? I do believe I could stuff it full of all my yesterdays.

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21 comments on “The Let It Go Jar

  1. Suzanne Harris on said:

    I love it! Knowing that letting go is easier said than done, I believe I’ll make my own “letting go” jar to remind me that it can be done. Thanks so much…

  2. The Let it Go Jar is a marvelous idea! I think everyone should have one.

  3. Sarah on said:

    Pretty certain I have never commented but God I have cried and laughed with you, you have some hard, no, bloody awful years and I don’t know how you have made it through but you have with that wonderful writing and family and Finn and fun. I re read your book quite regularly and I only re read the best, Doris Lessing, Barbara Pym, Nancy Mitford and you.

  4. A wonderful idea.

  5. M J Dick on said:

    so sad Alice has to go, she was there first……..

  6. Sherri on said:

    What are the chances of you adding an archives button on your site? I am so far behind in my reading and paging through each individual one and finding where I left off is tedious. Pretty please?

  7. I need to put a mistake my husband made into my let it go jar. if i know this why is it so hard to actually do. Alison so much of what you write applies to me too …….. i can only thanks you from deep in my heart.

  8. Delores Mcdonald on said:

    Thank you , thank you both , the ” let go jar ” is now on my wish list as you can imagine I have a little pile of stuff to put in this jar ,and Miss Copplestone you are enlightened !!!

  9. Miss Copplestone sounds like some kind of wonderful! I do believe I need to make a ‘let it go’ jar!

  10. This is awesome. I’m invigorated simply by reading!

  11. Is there a “let it go” barrel. Great post for my day today…

  12. Helen on said:

    Being so much more base minded than other people I have the ‘f##k it’ switch…when it all gets too much and I am being driven demented by something or other I hit the switch, shake it out and move on…P.S. there is an incredible amount of wonderfulness in your family…a picture tells a thousand words.x

  13. Carol-Anne on said:

    What a great idea!

    (I know I have no right, but I may be a bigger gossip than Finn & I’m dying to fully know the story of that man who did you wrong!)

  14. Lynn on said:

    Bravo! Loved this post!

  15. Let It Go or Shake It Off… they’re incredibly useful songs when it comes to teaching children (and adults) resilience. Go write your lists and put them in that jar, honey, make your favourite tisane and rest up for the weekend!

  16. Helen on said:

    As someone else said I would love to see the archive bar back. I do remember it being there before. Made it much easier to navigate the site. I would also love more pics of your day to day life. I have never been to the UK and I always love getting a peek into how people live. Other than that your writing keeps me coming back. I love your wit and honesty. I have read that you some times feel like you are boring us readers with your mundane but you are not! It’s so nice to come here and read about your bouts with the washer or your son etc…I love it all. I do hope you keep this little vintage space on the web alive 🙂

  17. Lynn Dirk on said:

    I hope your hair turned out scrumptious!

  18. Alison C on said:

    Poor little Alice. So sad you are thinking of letting her go. Sometimes if you put the cat and dog in the same room for a while (and perhaps watch from a window) they will find their own level. But I don’t know they are getting on, or not, at the moment. All the best. Alison

  19. Lynn Dirk on said:

    Good Morning Alison,
    Just thinking of you as I start my day way over here across the pond. Sending you a hug and a hello.

  20. I have an antique half gallon jar. You know, I have too many let it goes for a jelly jar, pint, or quart… But a gallon seems self serving, now. Doesn’t it. I’m so sorry about your trust betrayed. It goes without saying you cannot always both know and love a person. … At the same time. Hugs…. Gayla

  21. I hope you are able to let those things go.

    Coincidentally, I had a teacher called Miss Copplestone when I was 5/6.