Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The Great Green Slime Disaster

(Dear Reader, I lost control of the spacing on this post and can't get it back, I'm sorry.)

Conversation this weekend:
Ruby: Our slime didn't work!
Sadie: Yeah, we must have done something wrong.
Me: What do you mean it didn't work?
Both: We just have green sticky stuff, not slime.
Me: You thought we were making slime!?!
Both: Yeah.
Me: We weren't making slime!
Ruby: Yes we were.
Sadie: Yeah, it was supposed to be slime.
Me: No we were making fun.
Both: What?
Me: Did you have fun?
Girls: Yeah.
Me: Did we laugh?
Girls: Yeah
Me: Then the recipe worked.
Girls: (pause to think) No, it didn't work.

They thought I lost the argument. I thought I'd won it. But we left it lie there. I stand by my convictions though. We had a blast. We were noisy and messy and a little outrageous. That was the point. At least I thought that's what we'd set out to do.

It mattered to me that the girls realized that the process was as important as the product. I want them to value fun, from now, at this young age, throughout their life.

I thought about this on the way home from work. Joe was talking about going out once we got home to go do something that we needed to do. It was an important task to do, and it was time that we did it. But I was uninspired and tired from work and just generally uninspired.

Then I thought about another task on the "to do" list. It's a task I'm looking forward to doing. It's one that I'm a bit excited about. It's a little bit fun. It's not as important as the other task. But, let me say again, it's a little bit fun.

Just as we pulled in and before Joe got out to get out the wheelchair, I said, "I've got another idea." I told him that I was tired and didn't feel like doing what we needed to do but that I'd really like to go and do something that was a little bit fun and would make me feel a little less tired. He agreed that it needed doing too so why not.

We went and did something that was a bit fun.

I purposely chose to do something that would make me smile.

When I got home, I wasn't as tired and I wasn't as stressed.

Maybe that's an outcome too.

Maybe that matters too.

Maybe I've got to learn the 'Great Green Slime Disaster Rule" - sometimes it's important to choose to see fun as a legitimate goal, an important outcome, to aim for.

Go have a Green Slime kind of day.


Elizabeth said...

I love this! I'm determined to find a way to make some fun out of the monotonous routine of this grey February day.

Anonymous said...

Fun is definitely an important outcome.

Most of my early education was focused on product -- learning the facts, developing the skills, getting the A's -- and not on process. Even skill-development (certainly a 'process') was emphasized as a product: not 'are you able to swim and have fun in the water?' but 'can you pass the swim test so you can get into this group?'.

A while back I started painting, in a very small way. Some of the people in the studio let their perfectionism run riot, criticizing their own work and even other people's. But we have much more fun when we focus on process -- not "did this painting come out right?" or even "do I like this painting?" but "how does it work if I mix these colors? what happens if I put a bit more red right here?"

Process is clearly the important part. I wish I'd seen that decades ago.

Unknown said...

spent the past weekend at a process painting workshop...which is all about the experiences of letting your eyes and your hand choose a paint color, dip the brush, and move the brush on the paper....to see what arises...it's definitely a process experience not a product experience...the facilitators guide you past the blocks that the thinking brain puts up....and it is all about what you experience or notice during the process of painting but NOT what it looks like....very intuitive and revealing..

the whole process vs product idea is an important one...did you have fun? is a hard question.
it's hard to have fun, for me, instead of doing stuff that needs to be done. but when i can stop working and have the pleasure of play, i am happier.....

hoping for some green slime moments in the day, today.