“Don’t yuck my yum!”
I told him this in the middle of our first Rummikub game. I had found an old set at a garage sale – the original kind from the 70’s like my grandparents used to have. I still love how the tiles feel in my hands, kind of like mah jong tiles but with numbers instead. It’s always been my favorite game.
“It’s stupid. Boring.” One of my children (who happened to not be winning at that point in the game) grumbled.
“Hey,” I said, “this game is meaningful to me. I loved it as a kid. I was excited to share it with you. It actually hurts my feelings when you say you hate it.”
“I like it!” the other one chimes in, trying to make the peace.
Maybe I shouldn’t have taken it so personally. He was tired. He likes to win (who doesn’t?) He’s just a kid after all. But it’s funny how when people yuck our yum it can hit us in an emotional place.
I had some fantasies about parenthood involving my kids painting, cooking and doing crafts with me. But alas, they would prefer to throw a football around, trade Pokemon cards or play video games. Not being a fan of any of these things, I probably yuck their yum too.
We want people to love what we love. Our joy is amplified when we share it. I think that’s why it feels so personal – like a rejection of some intimate part of ourselves.
But here’s the thing: The more we learn about something, the more curious we get about it. The more we know, the more we realize what we don’t know… and that’s where things get interesting.
This happened recently with the concept of Wabi Sabi. I thought I knew what it was – an honoring and celebration of the imperfect. You know, like the crack in the bowl and the gold filling in the cracks. But as I read Beth Kempton’s new book about wabi sabi (and interviewed her for the podcast) I started to understand how layered and complex it is. SO much more interesting and textured than I knew! In fact, it’s so complex (and woven into the fabric of Japanese culture) that even Japanese people have a hard time putting words to this concept.
There is a joy in discovering where our minds have been closed – shut down to things because we think we know… and dismissed out of hand. Football, for example. Honestly, I know very little about the game. I bet if I learned more about it, actually paid attention, (without glazing over) I might get more curious + even more interested.
Today, the invitation is to consider some of the things we’ve closed ourselves off to. Maybe something our partner loves that we scoff at? Karaoke, poker, jogging, that show on Netflix about desserts? It could be anything, really.
How would life be sweeter and more rich if we got curious?
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