Week 16 – Embrace The Suck

 

I’m sorry.

I know it’s off-color sounding, that quote.

But it’s perfect.

It’s going to stick with me forever and I’m going to use it regularly.

Much like the phrase, “Good like chicken!”

The latter comes from one of my Bff’s little boys.

He was a chicken nugget lover.

The phrase means “There’s nothing to complain about”, “Things couldn’t be better”, “No need to ask – obviously, things are stellar“.

Good like chicken.

Use it, and love it.

Now, on to: “Embrace the suck”.

This is some high quality verbage – loaded with good for you, turn your life around, mind molding sort of health… like a vitamin for your psyche – packed with powerful mental and emotional nutrients that are going to help us grow.

Plus it’s got a nice ring to it.

Embrace the suck. . . . We’re not forgetting this one.

In his article, “Can You Get More Creative?” in the May 2012 issue of Real Simple Magazine, author A.J. Jacobs outlines a handful of ways to jump-start creativity. His article is both engaging and humorous. He has me itching to set out on a mission to boost my puttering creative mind.

But most of all, he has me wanting to “embrace the suck” on my journey.

Jacobs uses the phrase in the context of accepting and utilizing our own bad ideas as starting points and building blocks. He encourages us to welcome “failures” as stepping stones in a thought process that will eventually get us to a good idea. Quality creative ideas come from accepting and building upon the sucky ideas that came before them.

OK.

Sounds good to me.

I can do that.

The “suck” is a tool.

I made the bold statement to my children this week that we are re-vamping our screen-time schedule.

“Revamping” as in: one hour a day – for any and all electronic devices.

That’s it.

Lord, help me.

That means my creativity needs to be on overdrive, because if screen time is used up by dinner-prep time, Mommy’s in deep doo-doo.

Day one went surprisingly well. Good like chicken.

And when I reminded them on day two, the little guy actually responded with, “Yay! I like that rule!”

Huh. Not what I expected, but I was pleasantly surprised.

No suckage so far.

I was feeling revitalized too. I was focusing on them and keeping their interests in other activities – and enjoying it.

Then day three hit.

I was trying to get dinner ready and help the little guy with homework and the toddler wanted me to carry her.

Disaster was impending. Definitely NOT good like chicken.

Suck.

Think fast, Mama. What was I going to do? I desperately wanted to turn on the TV and have them just veg out while I cooked dinner.

But that would be breaking my own rule – they were saving up their last half hour for some video games after they finished their meal.

Argh! Sucky rule!!

So I thought fast. Creativity kicked in. (Actually, I just remembered a game my husband had been playing with the Babes over the weekend).

I handed the middle guy a handful of pennies and told him to hide them quickly around the house, then hunt for them with the Babes.

One at a time.

And walk slowly.

They found them, she picked them up, and they made trips back and forth to her piggy bank – for each individual penny.

Thank you, Middle Guy. You’re such a helper. . . .

Golden!

I re-focused the little guy on his homework, and got started on dinner.

Calm reigned in the house.

And happy-calm to boot.

Golden.

Other great things have come from those sucky readjusting minutes after all screens are powered down too.

The kids are pairing up to help me out.

Puzzles we haven’t seen in months have emerged.

Lego creations are overtaking all flat surfaces.

MORE books are being read.

I got a seriously soft and warm snuggle from the toddler while we delved into SIX looooong reads in one sitting.

We were graced at dinner last night by Darth Vader in his boxer shorts and a little pirate girl in an eye patch. (The costume box had resurfaced after a months-long hiatus.)

Maybe, just maybe, that dusty guitar will get a tuning and some jam time.

Maybe.

We’re moving along and growing.

Suck happens.

Welcome it. Embrace it. Learn from it. Make it work for you.

And there is a little tickle in the back of my brain that tells me that embracing the suck is really a life lesson – not just a creativity tool.

_________________________  *  *  *  *  *  *  ________________________

I love to hear what you’re thinking! Do you have any sucky-turned-golden experiences to share? Or favorite quotes?

 

4 thoughts on “Week 16 – Embrace The Suck

  1. Awesome blog! Actually, it’s good like chicken…..
    See, I TOLD you that you’re the best mom in the universe!!!!
    Now I feel compelled to cut down on MY kids’ screen time…Can you come over and help me think of ways to entertain them?!?!?!?! I’m bad like roast beef in this department……Love you!

  2. HA! Bad like roast beef. Gotta love that one too! I’d love to come over and hang out around dinner time. You can feed me and I’ll divert the kids. Good plan?

  3. Love your blog! My sister (YOUR sister’s BFF, Amber) shared your site with me for the recipes…but I must say I find your writing style and stories incredibly entertaining. I see a lot of Jill in you; or you in Jill. Something like that.

    Write on & march forth!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *