1000 posts, 7 cranes

I learned about the story of 1000 cranes a few months ago, and it seems like an appropriate way to start the 1000th post on this website. Japanese legend has it that any person who folds 1000 origami cranes in a year will be granted one wish by a crane.

For Christmas, one of my cousins gifted me this necklace…


So, here’s a thing I don’t believe: That a magical bird is going to grant me a wish, no matter how many pieces of paper I fold in its likeness.

Here’s a thing I do believe: When you focus your thoughts and energy on a specific goal over a sustained period of time, you’ll find yourself much closer to it in the end. In fact, I think I could pick any general goal, and if I focused 1000 cranes worth of energy on it in a year– approximately 4700 minutes– I could probably get it done.

Napping, for example. I could do a lot of napping with 4700 minutes.

Turns out I have a lot of goals for the next year, but there isn’t a singular wish that would merit 1000 cranes. Still, I liked the idea enough to adapt it into something else. It seems like recently the theme of my life is “doing the hard thing,” so I decided to fold a crane for every time I wanted to ask for help, that I’d almost convinced myself I couldn’t do something, and then decided to power through…


I wrote a line about each of those moments on a small sheet of paper, and then folded them in to a small flock of cranes…

While I think it would get old to talk over and over again about doing the hard thing, these cranes are a subtle reminder for me that there are a lot of things I once thought I couldn’t do, and then did.


Some fishing line and white thumbtacks and my little flock of cranes took flight in the corner of my office.

They’ve only been up for a day, and they already make me smile every time I walk in here. Of all the rooms in this house, the office definitely reflects my personality best. It also has a lot of birds in it. (The blackbirds are hanging out on the Instagram wall art, for example.)

And it’s even more fun at night when the lights cast a bunch of crane shadows on the wall.


This wasn’t a big project, but it was a fun one. And I love the idea that by continuing to challenge myself this year, my little flock will grow.

There might not be 1000 cranes this year, but I bet it will still result in a lot of wishes come true.

20 Responses

  1. Oh man, this brought me back! I participated in a 1000 cranes project back in college, and we sent them to a garden in Japan. It was such an awesome time making those cranes! I love the little nook where yours are hanging too–so sweet 🙂

    BTW, I love reading your posts about the farm; I sit with my 4 year old and read an edited version to her (she loves our big garden and anything farm). Pretty sure she wants donkeys now.

  2. My wife and I folded 1001 cranes before our wedding. We then ended up using them for decorations at the reception. Had bird cages with cranes in them for center pieces on the tables, strings of the cranes wrapped around the staircase. It was really cool and everybody loved it. Of course they thought we bought them not folded cranes every day for a year!

  3. I like this idea. It’s a solid pretty way to remind yourself how far you’ve come. If your feeling crappy, look up; those guys are proof that you’ll be ok. I’m going to try to do this. It’s going to be a great busy year here and it’s going to get tough at times but those buggers will keep me focused.

  4. “When you focus your thoughts and energy on a specific goal over a sustained period of time, you’ll find yourself much closer to it in the end.”

    Love that! Very thoughtful post. And your cranes are very cute.

  5. I love this idea and also the way they look hanging. I’m embarking on a new adventure myself, divorce, and have so many house projects to do that I’m going to tackle alone after years of him telling me I can’t and I’m incapable. I can and I will, one step at a time.

  6. Such a cool idea. As the number of cranes grow so will the big confidence boost you get each time you look at them. I think I might need to find somewhere to do something like this.

  7. Love!! And I can’t believe 1. That you’ve written 1,000 posts, or 2. That I’ve read all 1,000 posts. You are magnificent!!

  8. Kit, you are so talented and inspiring. What a great way to honor your accomplishments and give yourself a boost of confidence when you are feeling challenged. And I can’t believe I’ve read all 1000 posts either – it’s been life changing for me to read through your blog from the beginning – thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  9. Congrats on 1,000 posts, Kit! That’s quite a milestone–I hope to reach it one day!

    I also appreciate your message about doing things you didn’t think you could. I’ve been challenging myself this way for the past five years, and sometimes I think I move boulders with sheer willpower alone.

    Hilariously, Rihanna’s “Only Girl in the World,” as part of a How to Dress Well remix, just came on my iPod while I was typing. How appropriate, just not in her intended romantic sense! Well, know that you’re not the only girl in the world, and even though we all can’t physically get on the other other end of a crowbar and Get Shit Done with you, you’re not alone.

  10. Cheers to 1000 posts! I love the sentiment behind your cranes. I full expect the flock to overtake that corner of your office in no time. Your 1000 posts have proven to me that there is nothing you can’t do once you put your mind to it.

  11. Hi, I think your site is broken. When I go to you homepage the site thinks it’s july 9th 2012 and won’t show me content newer than that. I can get the new stuff from feedburner though. Something wonky with the cookies? Anyway, I thought you should know.

    I’m using Firefox on an asus tablet btw.

  12. What a great way to remind yourself what you can do! This makes me want to come up with a similar take for the project. Like, the flip side to your idea could be Times I Asked For Help That I Needed even when I had to swallow my pride. I’m going to think about this. Also if you haven’t seen the origami crane gum wrapper commercial, you should because it is beautiful and sweet. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dxZu-6jewL4

    1. Well that made me a little teary… super cute commercial. Also, the whole “asking for help” thing is just as hard as figuring out how to do it yourself sometimes, that is absolutely true!

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