I realized, the other day, that my philosophy for life and parenting can be likened to a game of Jenga.
You know, when you’re playing Jenga, how you run your index finger up the side of the tower of blocks, gently touching the ends of each one until you find one that gives a little? You know, then, when you feel that slackening of resistance, that that’s the block you’ll carefully, oh so gently, slide out of its place in the tower and place on top. As the tower builds, you might even find that some of the blocks that wouldn’t budge earlier on in the game suddenly give way, allowing you to continue building.
I feel like I spend the good majority of my time poking at things to see if it’s the right time to move them. It means that when I have a ton of energy to do something – whether it’s cleaning the house or writing a book – I follow that energy. If the drive isn’t there, I wait until it is. When I’m working with others (perhaps especially when I’m working with others), if they aren’t jumping out of their seats to do the work, I find another way to approach it that they can get enthusiastic about.
Save your strength to swim with the tide.
Words to live by.
I’ve actually found this method particularly helpful with my little toddler. If I’m trying to get her into her jacket to go to daycare, for example, and she’s resisting, rather than letting it turn into a complete meltdown/battle of wills/recipe for a terrible morning, I just drop it. I go on to do something else for a few minutes – because there’s always something else to do – and spend that time thinking of a different way to frame my approach. When I return to the issue at hand a few minutes later with a proposal to (put on your jacket) SO WE CAN GO SEE IF THERE ARE ANY SNOWMEN OUTSIDE, she complies almost without fail.
Watch, now that I’ve put that out into the world, it will stop working.
So: Jenga. You push where there’s already some give, and be patient when you meet resistance.
Just my thoughts for the day. On an unrelated but incredibly exciting note: this take on my classic power balls taste just like Ferrero Rocher but they’re healthy – gluten-free and refined sugar free (except for the chocolate chips. Doesn’t count).
- 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
- To toast the hazelnuts, preheat your oven to 350F. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Note: hazelnuts toast quickly and when they get too brown, they become quite bitter. Watch them carefully.
- Allow the hazelnuts to cool. Place them on a dry dishtowel and use the corners of the dishtowel to rub the hazelnuts. The skin should come right off.
- Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and process until they have turned into what you could describe as a hazelnut butter - relatively creamy and smooth, if a bit crumbly. This takes time, so be patient.
- In a small bowl, combine the hazelnut butter with the rest of the ingredients, using your hands, if you wish, to incorporate them fully.
- Form the mixture into small balls and place on a plate or baking sheet. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!