What we do here:

Work on our stuff. Dissolve stuck. Play. Experiment. Rewrite patterns. We take sometimes-heavy things* and we make them more fun, playful, manageable.

I also write about my conversations with walls and monsters, and what it's like to work on a pirate ship. Good times.

* Sometimes-heavy things include: mindfulness and presence, pain and trauma, business-growing, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity

 

The Herbert Hoover Button.

In the home I grew up in, wordplay (emphasis on punnery) was the primary form of communication.

At some point, at the age of oh, maybe fifteen, it suddenly dawned on me that other people, ones who are not related to me, have conversations over dinner. Weird, right?

Why would you… what is it exactly… talk to each other when you could be playing the best and only game?

When you could be engaged in zippy exchanges, delightedly outdoing each other with hilarious and preposterous playing-with-words. Interspersed, of course, with long periods of silence during which everyone is trying to think of A REALLY GOOD ONE.

Anyway, that kind of explains a lot about a lot.

Aside: I do actually understand now about conversations and why people have them!

But the reason I’m bringing this up is: Herbert Hoover.

Herbert ****ing Hoover, people.

Herbert Hoover is how we would call an end to the wordplay.

Maybe because otherwise no one can ever go to bed because oh god you want so badly to think up just one more good one.

Or maybe there are no more good ones. You’ve already deteriorated into the most awful of the awful puns, the ones that don’t even work. But you still can’t stop.

Or you’re not in the mood, you’re running out of gas. So you Herbert Hoover it.

You could just say it: HERBERT HOOVER! Or you’d work a reference — something-something, the 31st President of the United States… into the game itself.

To Herbert Hoover something was to end the game. Boom. I just Herbert Hoovered this.

My brother and I still do this all time. We Herbert Hoover whatever needs to end.

This is what is missing from my life right now.

Not the puns. I make puns all the time. With the First Mate and at Rally and with my playmate and inside my head.

But the Herbert-Hoovering. The quick way to end something that is dragging on.

For example…

Okay. One thing I know (from experience and because the Book of Me has endless notes about this) is that spending more than about three minutes on facebook/twitter/instagram/whatever will drive me mad.

And even then I can only look at very specific things.

Or: I know to NEVER read any comments written anywhere on the internet, except for here because people here are amazing, and also because I have gotten way better over the years at clearly stating what I want.

But I forget these things.

I want a Herbert Hoover button.

Not a pin! A button.

I want a Herbert Hoover button at the end of everything I read on the internet.

That is only visible to me, I guess? I don’t know. Just a little reminder:

Hey sweetie. Guess what, my love? You read this thing and now you can be done. You do not have to read the responses or the next thing or the rest of the things. The internet will always be there. And you will feel better if you stop now.

A reminder in secret agent code. Herbert Hoover = hidden permission slip to just stop.

And I want a Herbert Hoover button at the end of every New Yorker article so that I remember that I don’t actually have to read the whole thing.

I want a Herbert Hoover button for other things too. For skype conversations. For regrets. For old sick relationships. For projections and narratives about things that are not true.

I want to Herbert Hoover everything that is long-done, and to be able to let the act of ending — at least sometimes — be that simple:

Herbert Hoover. I said it. It’s done.

What would that be like?

Ending all the endings.

So now I am breaking my own rule about not writing conclusions. Because I just realized something important about Herbert Hoover that will not surprise you at all. Namely that this wish, for me, is — like everything else here — about play.

It’s about the intersection between play and mindfulness. About creativity, permission, sweetness, amnesty, exploration, trust, sovereignty, freedom spaciousness, and peacefulness.

About using words (or anything you want!) to transform space, to change experience.

That’s what I’m playing with.

Invocation. Incantation. Truth. Herbert Hoover.

Play with me? The collective commenting blanket fort.

Today I am going to pretend that there are actual Herbert Hoover buttons everywhere and I will say Herbert Hoover all day, to ritualize endings and transitions.

I am receptive to: other people playing with me and going around Herbert Hoovering things by saying Herbert Hoover! Ending endings and closing doors. Let us joyfully and gleefully declare Herbert Hoover just because.

Obviously, because we respect other people’s space and their experience as sovereign beings, we can’t end things for other people. We are Herbert Hoovering things for ourselves.

And, you might find that some things might not want to be Herbert Hoovered. Possibly because they aren’t ready to be done — maybe something is still processing or percolating. But you can try saying Herbert Hoover anyway, just to see what it sparks for you.

As always, we practice. We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff. It’s a process.

The end. I mean: HERBERT HOOVER!

p.s. If you are getting ready to Herbert Hoover 2012, as I am, I will point you to the hidden-delights-filled 2013 Playground calendar from the new Gwish Kit. Ohmygod ohmygod. I wonder if I can get my designer to put a tiny Herbert-Hoover reference in December. What do you think?

16 Responses to The Herbert Hoover Button.

  1. Creaky_girl
    Twitter: creaky_girl
    says:

    Ah! Herbert Hoover is like the 8 o’Clock rule!

    We have a thing in my family (and it is spreading to the families we’ve married into, and our friends) where we can call 8′o Clock.

    When we were little, my mum always wished that her mum would go home at 8pm. She had had a lovely day but there was a point when it all got too much, and she wanted it to end, but it dragged on waaaaay over that. So she promised us that she would always leave by 8pm.

    As we got older 8pm has become a state of mind. Any of us can call 8 o’Clock at any time, when it has all got too much, and no one feels offended – it is shorthand for this has been lovely but go now please/I need to go home. Whenever someone says that it’s 8 o’Clock – or quarter to eight (as warning) that’s it – we all just fold up to go. Works a treat, and no one is upset – we’re just tired/need to do other things etc. :o)

    I like the idea of an 8 o’Clock button for other things though….

  2. Eurobubba
    Twitter: MiGrant
    says:

    That’s a great idea, and no way would I ask you to change *your* secret agent code, but if I’m going to use it it’s going to have to be Hoobert Heever.

  3. Beth
    Twitter: fantheember
    says:

    I wish that Hubert H. Humphrey (H is for Horatio!) had been vice president to Herbert Hoover.

    HH! HHH!

    (a way, internet comments, away – http://stevenf.com/shutup-css/ )

    Herbert Hoover! Out. <3

  4. KimBoo York
    Twitter: kimboo_york
    says:

    I actually just Herbert Hoovered 2012 myself with a huge personal “mission statement” I made to all my friends. It’s time to move on, leave behind the things that aren’t working anymore and find a new path. Glad I’m not the only one in the midst of this kind of change. <3

    I will be going around all day saying "Herbert Hoover" to everything around me, as reminder and incentive!

  5. Jesse
    Twitter: persnicket
    says:

    Oh my goodness, @Creaky_girl, I love the eight o’clock rule! I especially especially love the quarter-to-eight warning, this is so dang perfect. I love Herbert Hoover and I love eight o’clock, this is sheer brilliance.

    And, because I have no more to say, I now declare Herbert Hoover on this comment!

  6. Do Mi Stauber
    Twitter: dmstauber
    says:

    Love love love!!!! Herbert Hoover! Amazing how a phrase can change its meaning so quickly just by repetition. Herbert Hoover!
    Do Mi Stauber recently posted… The Judges and the Storyteller

  7. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat
    says:

    Oh, yes. Today is an excellent day for this.

    An old, unwanted, unneeded story about the past handful of years, the one that begins, “Ever since you moved to West Virginia…” the one that at least one person I love and trust still believes, the one that I have been actively releasing as a huge part of my work over the past year, the one that threatens to undermine my very soul (yes, melodrama! because I feel strongly about this!) — I am done with this story. HERBERT HOOVER!

    Doesn’t matter if there are people in my life who are still using this story. I am through with it. Enough. HERBERT HOOVER!

    All my energy returns to me. Everyone else’s energy returns to them. I suspect that when I completely release this old story and cease to believe it, stop giving it any of my energy, it will fall away from the stories and beliefs of others as well — but even if that doesn’t happen, it doesn’t matter. I am done. HERBERT HOOVER!

    May it be so.
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… Clarity at the crossroads.

  8. Rhiannon
    Twitter: rhiannonlaurie
    says:

    Oh my lord! That’s like my mom’s family!! Not puns, but incredibly witty “zingers.” We *so* needed a Herbert Hoover because mostly people just stayed up until 3a.m. and then got up at 6 to keep going. Several moments of bing about that.

    Herbert Hoover is amazing. Doubly so because I’ve discovered I can’t pronounce his name. Symbolic.

    Today I will Herbert Hoover everything!
    Rhiannon recently posted… Me-of-Nine-Months-Ago was a Genius

  9. Cherilyn
    Twitter: Bikeblisschick
    says:

    Hmmm . . . playing with this and having fun holding the contradictions, which is my other new games. Not having, to solve, fix, or change the nutty opposites that emerge.

    So one reaction that Herbert Hoover says IT. Yes. Over. Boom. Once I say it, I don’t wanna go back to him, to that, whatever.

    Another is that if this is going to be a useful tool, then do I want it named after a lousy President? But then I’m back to the first reaction.

    Genius.

    Now I need a power-up word to call a start to the fun stuff I’m afraid to face. Delicious thinking. Thanks so much–

  10. Megan Peterson
    Twitter: meganjopeterson
    says:

    I love this. Herbert Hoover. Now that’s an easy, off-the-wall thing to remember that will trigger a reminder to NOT read things on the internet that I shouldn’t (comments sections on some sites being a big, big one – ye gods, the trolls!), or stopping those things in life that do just drag on and on (checking email, searching Facebook and Twitter, etc.) and keep you from getting back to what matters. Excellent phrase. Thank you!
    Megan Peterson recently posted… Going Indie

  11. Karensu
    Twitter: light_of_summer
    says:

    Havi, for the internet, I’d like to borrow your idea of having Herbert Hoover end-it buttons everywhere, but customize them into Herbert Hoover pop-ups–persistent ones! Ones that would say things like: “Is it *really* important to you to finish reading this particular thing? Right now? Click Herbert Hoover to close this browser window and take a step toward becoming who you *really* want to be!”

    Also, I wonder how I’d do with Herbert-Hoovering junk mail and other pieces of paper that I ordinarily find challenging to throw out. Hmmmm–I may try that! “Herbert Hoover: I am done with this piece of paper!” Into the recycling bin it goes!

    Thanks for the new experiment to try!

    Creaky_girl, I like your family’s 8 o’clock rule with quarter-to-eight warnings–thanks for sharing it. :D

    Cherilyn, I like your idea of a power-up word for starting fun stuff we’re afraid to face!

    Hmmmm. The following two ideas spring to mind, for a power-up word for myself.

    Lavender! (A color of power!)

    Piglets! (Piglet from the Winnie-the-Pooh books is a small animal who sometimes feels quite frightened but who can still do things bravely–things that no one else can do!)

    I’d love to read about others’ power-up word ideas, too. Please and thanks-in-advance-if-you-feel-so-inspired!
    Karensu recently posted… Your experiences or ideas re circles of frustration?

  12. Sara
    Twitter: mommasherrell
    says:

    So glad I came to read this! I tend to Herbert Hoover the endless reading of blog posts in my bloglovin feed, but OMG, I need to come here more often. Live the humor. Keep it up.
    Sara recently posted… Good Dads are Hot (Wordless Wednesday)

  13. Inge
    Twitter: _i_n_g_e_
    says:

    I love this! Great addition to consciously exiting things that end because time goes by – weeks, months, years.

    This, in my interpretation, is more like consciously ending activities. Mainly the ones that would otherwise mindlessly suck me into a time vortex (hello procrastination) or are known to cause some kind of stress. But also to make room / attention for new activities. Give everything the undivided attention it deserves and lovingly, but surely end the attention when it’s overdue.

    Going to play with Herbert Hoover now!

    (Also: hi! I’m still here, just in lurker mode.)

  14. Rachel
    Twitter: RChristilles
    says:

    Herbert Hoover-ing clothes I no longer love, situational agony, not writing, being an eager beaver, and thinking things are wrong when they’re merely non-linear.

    Hugs to all the Herberts!

  15. Simone
    Twitter: simonethinks
    says:

    I’m Herbert Hoover-ing so many things right now it’s not even funny!

    Yay for permission and creativity and spaciousness and self-directed-sweetness!

  16. Carole says:

    Herbert Hoovering…Love it! Has a special meaning for me right now. I have Hoovered a lot of things lately and am better off for it!! Like a Hoover vacumn cleaner, I am cleaning up stuff and Hoovering what no longer serves me.It’s wonderful..Herbert Hoover LOL

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