Thursday, January 12, 2012

embrace the suck

back yard path under ice
I was visiting Haiti a few years back with some dear friends and one of our team members was a man who spent a tour with the military in Iraq. He shared a saying that has stuck with me to this day. He told us that when his friends were having a particularly bad day (almost every day), one of them would say, "Embrace the suck." We said that a lot while we were with him in Haiti. Your attitude towards the suck is frequently the only thing you can control in a place like Haiti or Iraq (or Minnesota). It's actually a great way to live. Embrace the suck.

It's freezing cold and windy and dark today. I'm grateful that it's mid-January and we haven't really had very much of this kind of weather yet, but it looks like this will be the norm for a while. And I'm cool with that. I'm embracing the suck. When I start with this attitude, I find that I can breathe a little easier and I am more aware of the goodness buried under the ice and gliding on it's white surface. Today I'm noticing the warmth of my home and the company of my animals as they curl up in my lap. I'm noticing possibilities just beyond my sightline. I have projects that I've neglected for a while and I'm ready to dive back into them. What a perfect day to drink a lot of water and coffee and write in the quiet.

Today, I invite you to embrace the suck and everything else that comes with it. See if it doesn't provide the perfect surface for you to skate and play and love.


  1. oh my. you have a perfect opportunity to embrace the suck right now. and before you know it you'll be embracing something infinitely not sucky. love you.

  2. Hit me right where I am at today. So good to see you during Christmas break!

  3. i'm so glad you found this helpful terri. it was good to see you too!

  4. love it momma! embrace the suck!!! haha... i think i love that phrase. today is one sucky cold day... i'm gonna greet it with my arms wide open! thanks for the advice :)

  5. danny: that was sean ewaldt that told us about it. we say it all the time now. :) love you.

  6. This is interesting, Terri. Especially since I have two really UNHAPPY smileys on my blog because I have NO desire to go back to school this semester. As bad as you hate winter........well that is how I feel about school right now.

    I have actually not embraced it with any form of optimism. I detest and resent being I am not embracing the negative very well. I often think on that comment you made about Dave saying to you, "Suck it up cupcake." That made me laugh.

    That is sorta what I am saying to myself about this semester. Not to mention I have Nathan saying about the same thing to me that Dave tells you.....just not in those same words. It is more of an annoying (I know he is right sorta thing). My eyes start to glaze over and I just stick my fingers in my ears and start whistling. All I hear is blah blah blah blah...and Tammy...blah blah blah.

    I am not going to suck it up Terri. You can't make me. You can't see my face, but it is a frowny, pouting, grouchy smiley! Other than that, I am really not much of a pessimist.

  7. tammy: you crack me up. here's the thing: you don't have to like it and you don't have to be excited or thrilled or happy. but you do have to make a choice to show up or not to show up, to accept what is there or to fight reality. fighting reality hurts a lot because it's like banging your head against a brick wall. the wall always wins.

    i hope that grouchy face doesn't last too long. i like your smile.

  8. Terri
    what you say here is true. It makes me think of the song "I fought the law and the law won." Yeah. That is a tune I have sang more times than necessary. (Not that I have been arrested), but that I have a bit of a rebellious streak.

    But, I have good news. I love my new astronomy teacher. I was shocked. She is such a nice lady and so personable that she could probably give me an F and I would smile about it. I'm serious. She is a really good teacher.

    The real drag though is that she is gonna want us to learn something about Astronomy. The bozo last semester had the personality of a rock, but he did not care if we learned a thing and still gave us an A.

    This new teacher really made a strong impression on me. She really cares about us learning something and that makes me want to learn, even about a subject I hate.

    I am a bit more relaxed about it. So, my frown has been turned sorta upside down. Not completely though. My pessimistic mind cannot take too much optimism in one eye starts twitching and my brain thinks it is being invaded by foreign terrorists. I hear all these tiny neurons screaming "run for your life."

  9. PS I have been meaning to ask you how cowboy is doing?

  10. i'm glad you like your teacher. you might possibly emerge as a great astronomer. or not. but you really might learn a lot from someone you respect.

    and cowboy doesn't seem much different except he's kinda dopey from the seizure meds. but he always seems kinda dopey anyway.

  11. OMG Terri
    Don't put an astronomer curse on me! Go on with your gypsy ancestral crystal ball fortune telling magic. Don't you be seeing none of that mess in my future. It took a whole semester and I never even found the big dipper, unless you count Frankie's smart phone. One night we could not find the dang moon. True story! That was a Star Trek spooky moment. I was like WTH I could at least find the moon BEFORE astronomy.
    OR NOT! Terri. WAY OR NOT!