This is my new favorite expression. When I guiltily watch episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” the bridal consultant tells his associate to “jack up” the bride to close the sale. This consists of putting on jewelry, a veil and giving her hair an upsweep. Suddenly, the bride is transformed and the dress seems perfect. Cha ching. Sale. Jack it up.
Life is too long and would be way too boring without jacking it up. When I am hopelessly trapped in routine: commuting to work, paying bills with not enough money, housework, homework, I feel the need to step out of my comfort zone and push myself a bit. I always dreamed of teaching a writing class, but never seemed to have the time, energy, or will to research where I would teach, put a proposal together, and see if anyone would even want me. After all, I am no Nora Roberts. One day, in the middle of doing a million other things, I decided to go for it. I put all other tasks aside and began researching where a class like this would fit and what I could bring to the students. I found a contact and sent an introductory email. She liked the idea. I then developed a biography and outline of the class, and will begin teaching in the Spring for six weeks. I am nervous but excited, and since it isn’t for college credit, some of the pressure is off regarding learning outcomes and assessment. Sometimes, we have an idea or something we always wanted to do, but it gets lost in the day to day life.
I believe this is the time we need to stop and simply take a chance. Follow through. Who cares what happens? So, we get another rejection? So, we are a bit disappointed or upset for a bit? At least we tried. At least we can say we are in this life and committed to it, without one foot out the door, ready to jump if things get too hard. Jack it up.
This is a must for motherhood. I am a leader for my children, but if I am too serious and don’t have any fun, I’m teaching them to do the same. This morning, I was racing to get Jake ready to meet the bus and my little one came marching out with a white t-shirt, shorts, fireman boots, a hook, eyepatch and pirate hat. He insisted on leaving the house so he can meet Jake’s bus. Now, let me explain. I am on a busy road, with cars and people in full view at all times when I stand out in my driveway. I took one look at this kid and hesitated. Just for a moment. Then I opened the door. He marched out, humming “A Pirate’s Life for Me” and snarled at the bus driver when greeted. I heard giggles from the other kids, saw people pointing, but we stayed in character. I clasped my son’s hook hand and led him happily back into the house. Having children is a wonderful time to get in touch with your creative and silly side. Now, as my chaotic day erupts around me, the image of my little pirate makes me smile, and there is no way I can be in a bad mood. So, jack it up and let go a bit.
Writing? This is key. As I finished my first round of “The Tantric Principle” I noticed the book really took hold in the middle rather than the beginning. This was when my characters began to evolve and I knew who they really were and what they wanted. I noticed on my first read through I needed to add intensity to each page. Sharper description, tighter dialogue, sketch in some setting. I needed to research a bit to round out some details and make it believable. And I needed to notch up the heat in the first love scene. I now use this term in my head for working on my books. Bring the manuscript to the next level before the editor takes a look. Do this for essays, short stories, even blogs. Take one last view with one term in mind: Jack it Up.
Let me know if it works for you as well as it does for me.