Friday, November 20, 2009

The Art of Creative Problem-Solving

Been trying to instill in my little Miss Myla that there isn't a need (at least not always) to break down, cry, and panic whenever something doesn't go quite as planned. This has been the incessant trend for a while now. Aside from my need for the repetitive whining and crying to cease, I also feel it would benefit her greatly if she could, even (if not especially) when frustrated, stop and give it another thought. Come at it from another perspective, and tell herself, "Hey. I'm smarter than this... I can figure this out. Let me see here..." 
If someone were to 'measure' my intellect (at least in the way of "book-smarts") - I'm actually not so sure what the numbers would come out looking like. (And I shudder to think about it, actually!) I have been so far away from school over the past decade-plus, that even watching "Are You Smarter than a Fifth-Grader" was beginning to make me feel down right uneducated! The way I have always seen it, I'd rather be learning about life... Sure, some of what was taught formally in school was beneficial... But for me, most of it was - memorize what I need to for this test, and then - quite frankly - it was forgotten again.
Common-Sense... now there's something that cannot be 'taught' to an individual. You either have it, or you don't. We all get a little flighty or forgetful in moments and at times... but there is a difference between blanking-out, and really lacking common sense. (Too bad it isn't more common than it is!!) Myla surely is loaded with it, and now I want her to make appropriate use of it! She doesn't yet realize how blessed she is to encompass such a trait. (I worked in an incoming-call-center for 5 years in my early 20's - and that was my first realization at just how blessed I was as well!) 
I used to be very worrisome, and really tried to be in 'control' at all times... (Or at least feel like it! I now recognize that this isn't possible, and how healthy it is to just let go. You can't predict or prevent everything that might go 'wrong' in your lifetime. You have limited control - yes - and you do what you can with those limits. The rest requires faith.) I think that's where she's struggling. She has a set vision for how things should go... and when she expects something to go a certain way and it doesn't pan-out, it's melt-down time. So, seeing as I can empathize, I also hope to help her see the benefits of choosing her battles accordingly at an earlier age than I figured that out. 
We each have varied strengths, and when we work together, we can combine those and make just about anything happen! So... I'm trying to teach her this: A) First consider whether there is some other approach that might make this work... And then B) If you can't get it on your own, [calmly] ask for some assistance. 
I actually enjoy an occasional challenge to overcome. We encounter little ones every day. I have a prime example that occurred just recently. We were completely out of milk. We were short on food too - due to grocery shop that very evening. I was starving. I decided to go ahead and boil some water for the gluten-free mac-n-cheese we had remaining. I have to precede the rest of this tale by informing you that this wasn't the best mac-n-cheese I'd ever tasted. It's not bad, but not so good either. It's kind of just plain/ bland/ blah, really. It's soupier than I'd like, and not quite the consistency or flavor-punch I was so used to, pre-gluten-intolerance. It's still a comfort-food, and I was already having a bit of a stressful day. I forgot that we were out of milk, which you normally would utilize to reconstitute the cheese sauce. I remember thinking - as I realized this - "Great. It's already pretty darn bland with milk in there... Can only imagine how much more bland it can become by mixing with water instead..." But then it occurred to me. Let's get creative about this! What other dairy might be on hand to give this a little kick? Not much. But lets just see what it comes out like... So. I added JUST enough water to create a thicker cheese-sauce. Then, I added about a tablespoon of butter, and some remaining crumbled feta. I mixed it all together with the piping hot noodles.... And, would you believe this turned into the absolute BEST macaroni & cheese I'd ever laid taste-buds upon?!? I literally CRAVE that stuff now! It was exactly what I needed. Had we not been out of milk that day, I bet I wouldn't have thought to experiment with this during my already-busy schedule. NOW - I have a new favorite lunch! It's such a great lesson to remember to just think outside of the macaroni-box, and try something a little risky and creative more regularly! 
Now, if we can just get Myla past this need for full 'control' (BEFORE she's a teenager?!) 

TIP! Already included today - wouldn't you say?
A QUOTE (my new fave!): "Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything."   ~George Lois
WHIDFML: Tried some new frozen, gf, entrees at TJ's that came in recently. Great for quick lunches when needed, and actually healthy (real food) too! Fun to try something new.  :)

No comments:

Post a Comment