I Can't...

If you have an idea for an “I Can’t,” either to attend or to facilitate, head to the Suggestion Box at bottom of page

‘Member summer camp? Where you learned, participated, and stretched yourself amongst an invigorating blend of familiar and new faces? Where you were led by welcoming, low-key counselors in a welcoming, low-key environment where the only item on your Packing List was a bag of “I’ll try”? In Mac & Cheese Productions’ I Can’t series, adults state they’re unable to do something, they try it with a bunch of other adults who also “can’t,” and everyone proves themselves wrong and not only does the thing, but enjoys it and says, “That wasn’t so bad. In fact, kinda fun. Good for me! What’s next?!” 

Through I Can’t, adults do the thing they’ve been wanting to do but haven’t done because [insert excuse here] —

  • “I’m too old”
  • “I’m out of shape”
  • “I missed my opportunity”
  • “Money”
  • “Time”
  • “Kids”
  • “I don’t have anyone to do it with”
  • “There’s nowhere I feel comfortable doing it”

As at camp, topics and structure are varied but the “be yourself amongst others being themselves and witness the magic that happens when you try with others trying” vibe is pervasive. 

Sample of Past Offerings

  • Yoga
  • Improv
  • Organize my home
  • Buy a home
  • Photograph
  • Draw
  • Have a dog
  • Figure out what I want to do in life
  • Land my dream job
  • Clean
  • Find love
  • Put on makeup
  • Travel
  • Ask for money
  • Wine
  • Bake
  • Camp — Workshop Edition
  • Camp — Summer Getaway Edition
  • Adult my money — Personal Finance & Budgeting Edition
  • Adult my money — Financial Planner edition

“I attended the I Can’t Find My Dream Job workshop and it really helped to boost my motivation in looking for a new opportunity. Before the workshop, I felt stuck and generally directionless. I really didn’t know what I was looking for in my “dream job” but I knew what I was doing at my current job did not match. Through the exercises, resources, and ideas of the workshop, I was able to put one foot in front of the other and not feel so overwhelmed by the concept of switching gears. The workshop provided specific steps that I could do that night or the next day to get myself on the train towards reaching my goal. I wrote them down and actually did those tasks! I also found the personal stories from Saya and L’Oreal Thompson to be incredibly motivating. There is something uniquely profound about being in a room full of people who are going through what you are going through AND people who have moved beyond that state to where you want to be. It is the extra push you need to dig yourself out of any ‘stuck’ situation. And that is really why I love going to these workshops and events, even outside of the I Can’t offerings. It’s truly an authentic community of people who can affirm and understand what is happening with you in the moment, and at the same time support you when you say “I can” to something. The support goes above and beyond. This workshop as well as other offerings from Mac & Cheese Productions has profoundly shifted my perspective about life in general, knowing there is a like-minded group of inclusive, diverse and positive people willing to support each other in making the absolute most out of life – in every aspect.”

Testimonials

"Saya, I just wanted to say thank you. I was really scared about taking (I Can't: Improv), but you and Pete did such a great job of making a space where there was no room for fear and insecurity. It was really helpful for me to be there."
"The workshop was so comprehensive and has really gotten me excited about cleaning. I am also thinking about how I can incorporate ideas into other areas of my life, so thank you again!"
"I attended the I Can't: Clean workshop because I knew there must be more strategic, efficient, and effective ways to clean than what I've always done, and Saya definitely showed me better ways! From general strategies like working from the top of the room down to specific product recommendations I came away with knowledge I could use (and I did use it--I gave my kitchen a thorough scrub a few days after the class!). It helped that the class was in a casual setting because it made it easier to ask questions (and to confess our personal cleaning shames). I wouldn't think to take a cleaning course anywhere else because I'd assume it would be very judgmental, but I knew from other Mac & Cheese events that the class would be low-pressure and practical."
"I Can't: Camp was an adventure worth the bug bites. We hiked, swam, built fires, told stories, created in-jokes, saw a bald eagle, and got comfortable being uncomfortable! I appreciated the balance of downtime and doing things, being able to connect with the group but also enjoy the peacefulness of nature. Learning new skills that I didn't know were "me" was exciting - at one point the group was cheering me on as I scraped and scraped a firestarting flint SO determined to get a blaze going (it worked!). I couldn't have asked for better leaders in Saya and Aaron: funny, low-key, positive people who inspire confidence and put people at ease. I came back to Chicago dirty, smelly, itchy, and craving a shower beer like no other, but with tons of positive memories and zero regrets."
"This workshop was great! Kristyn and Saya were awesome. I learned a lot on approaching home organization and have a better understanding as to why my strategies previously didn't work. Kristyn was passionate and very knowledgeable. The workshop was held in a comfortable setting that fostered great interaction and dialogue."
"I thought this class was great! I learned about yoga and got to try it in a super comfortable environment, the instructor was fun and explained things. The class overall was a great way to bring people together with similar interests and also things they’re each going through."

Current Offerings

Bring something to write on/with and if you’d like, food/drink for yourself. Held at Mac & Cheese Productions℠, in Wicker Park, near Ashland & Division unless otherwise indicated; exact address sent upon registration.


I Can’t: Clean

  • Does your home give you anxiety, shame, or stress due to its “dirtiness”?
  • Have you not had people over or fear the “drop in” because of the state of your home?
  • Are you overwhelmed when you think about cleaning and thus press the IGNORE button?
  • Do you not want to think about cleaning but still be able to clean your home?
  • Do you want someone to tell you “clean in this order” “clean this every month” or “use these products”?
  • Do you want insider tips from someone who both cleans for fun and for money?
  • Wanna learn how to make cleaning manageable, part of your routine, enjoyable even?
  • Most importantly, do you want to test drive a Dyson v10 and see what all the fuss is about/if it’s worth it?!

If you answered yes, I Can’t: Clean is for you and you aren’t the only one.

Workshop Details
 

Head Cheese-It Saya has cleaned for fun all of her adult life. Creating those win-win-win scenarios that brings her so much joy, she now “What is my life?!” also cleans for money and employs a cleaning crew. A lover of making life easy and easier, she has taken all of her cleaning knowledge and passion, and her affinity for systems and spreadsheets, and created a realistic, simple, empathetic blueprint for how to bring non-tortuous sparkle & shine to your life.

Mac & Cheese is a safe space where you can be a 43 year old who doesn’t know how often to clean the shower or what products to use on the stove.

If you are looking to get your Marie Kondo, KonMari, Spark Joy on, this isn’t that. This is not about organizing your home and getting rid of stuff. Looking for support in that area? Check out Chicago’s 1st certified KonMari consultant and Cheese-It herself, Kristyn. She’s on the Mac & Cheese Service Provider Referral List on the FAQ page. You can also come to our I Can’t: Organize My Home event!

 

Register

There are no refunds so please make sure you can join before registering. If you’d like to share, invite, keep track of this event on Facebook, click here.

 

Suggestion Box

"I Can't" Idea

Suggest an "I Can't" topic, either as an attendee or as a facilitator. If you have a facilitator in mind whom isn't you, tell them to fill this out. Note that this is a very popular series both on the attendee side and on the facilitator side, so if you're suggesting yourself for the latter, no promises. Additionally, Mac & Cheese is much more likely to collaborate with people already in the M&C world, people whom we already know are fabulous; meaning if you don't already come to events and/or interact online, you should start doing that! The whole "friends helping friends" thing...
  • Please make sure you type this correctly. If you're just suggesting a topic, Mac & Cheese probably won't reach out; this is is more for folks who want to facilitate a session. But, just in case...
  • If you'd like to share further info on the topic.
  • The rest of the form is for people interested in facilitating

    You're all done if you're just submitting a topic idea — skip down to SUBMIT.
  • Mac & Cheese is usually where I Can'ts take place, but sometimes it makes more sense to hold a session elsewhere, e.g. a glass blowing studio, a gym, or an animal rescue.
  • If you're open/it doesn't matter, state that. Mac & Cheese can hold 30ish. Keep in mind: how many attendees will make it worth your while, venue size, venue capability (number of tables and chairs, etc), materials you provide, desired participation level (individual, small group, whole group), desired "feel" (is intimate preferred?), desired potential revenue (the more people, the more revenue potential).
  • If yes, when and why then? If you're open and timeframe doesn't matter, state that.
    Do you XYZ without having to be reminded? If you're given instructions, do you read and follow all of them? Are you punctual? Do you pull your weight? Are you proactive? Can you manage life without a lot of hand-holding? Do you offer something fabulous? Are you low-maintenance? Do you think you can work with a Type A only child who has a lot of opinions, systems, and preferred ways of existence yet whom is also collaborative and open to your you'ness? Are you someone who aligns with Mac & Cheese Productions℠ and is someone Mac & Cheese would be proud to be affiliated with? Are you a good person who believes in equality for all? Are you nice?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.