Book Reviews, inspiration, thoughts

I Couldn’t Give Two F**ks.

While I generally limit the amount of cursing and vulgarity on my blog, the use of the F word in this posting is purposeful. I am reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k” by Mark Manson and I am really enjoying it. I will admit it did take me about a chapter to adjust to his use of the F-word and other vulgarity, (because there is a bit), but I am trying to appreciate this in terms of his message. I choose to write about this today because where I am today, at this point in my life, it really is speaking to me.

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So, let’s paint the picture, I am sitting in Panera Bread working on my freelance assignment, stressing over my interview later today with a company that didn’t pick me the first time, happy I finally got a job, (a part-time retail), but knowing it isn’t enough to live on and has no benefits, worrying about finances, bombarded by emails from every retailer I shop at about sales, new fall styles, markdowns, and everything else, and just wanting to give into consumerism and go crazy but understanding that doing that will leave me in a worse financial situation and more stressed out! Oh it’s a cruel world we live in! So, as all of this (and more) is weighing me down, I am also trying to remember what I read from Manson last night.

To this point in the text, I have been faced to think about how I am always wishing I had something that I don’t have. for instance, more money, more work, more clothes, a certain car, a different dwelling somewhere nicer, etc. All of these wants and wishes subconsciously tell us that we are not good enough, we have not achieved enough, and that we are failing. We train our brains to think this way, we come to believe this and we are unhappy, overworked, stressed out, and we suffer, EVERY SINGLE DAY. Manson implores us to turn that on its head and only “give a f**k” about certain things. We are constantly bombarded with these trigger things and generally we simply react, but he says we decide whether or not to let it bother us. He talks about how when we are having a bad day, we go to social media and we see all these pictures from people who have f’ing perfect/amazing lives and we are pushed even further into our bad mood because we are convinced that we are having a worse off day than we actually are. Instead of just having a bad day and looking forward to tomorrow, we look at other people’s lives today and are convinced that we can never have a life like that and therefore, all of our days are bad days in comparison.

Damn, I don’t know about you, but that is a depressing concept to me. Lately I have been trying to remind myself how blessed I am despite all of the crap I am dealing with. In reality, I am not in danger of starving or being homeless. Worse case, I can break my lease and move back home or to my grandparent’s house. But I don’t have to do that because my parents are able to help and provide what I can’t come up with right now. I had the ability to go to an amazing university despite FAFSA not covering much. I have a car to get around, I can walk, talk and see. My family loves me and isn’t abusive. They are generally supportive. I have a great number of friends through Junior League, I am able to attend Junior League Southwest Conference next month, and I am in good health. There are many more things to be thankful for that I could list, but I think you get the point. So why do I still worry about what I don’t have?

Manson says that not giving a f**k, as he encourages us to do, is not actually being indifferent about everything, it is about being indifferent to the things that don’t matter. Those new fall arrivals at LOFT that I am not buying, they don’t matter. The new markdowns at Kendra Scott, those won’t help me be happy with myself. These are difficult concepts for me because shopping and buying makes me happy. But when you can’t do that, but you do anyways, remorse hits you hard. It’s a self-depreciating cycle.

My goal for today is to just give a f**k about what actually matters. I give a f**k about my freelance assignment, my interview this evening, and my safety on the road. Otherwise, I will ignore the emails that aren’t from a specific person, commercials that want me to buy something, and other’s actions that are infuriating, (like the a-hole who will inevitably cut me off sometime today :D). I encourage you to do something similar. Even if all you can do is choose two things today to ignore, to not give a f**k about. Life can be an amazing experience, so let’s focus on our own lives and figure out how we can be content so we can spread that contented feeling!

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When Your Best Sees Not Enough


You often hear the phrase, “We all do the best we can in life.” While this is true for many people, what about others? The criminals, the pedophiles, the cheaters, the abusers and other such people? Are they doing the best they can in life too? If you have read some of my other stories, (such as “Questioning Enough“), then you know that I don’t like this concept of “enough.” If you haven’t, the quote below will explain it for the sake of this article:

“Enough — the English dictionary defines it first as a determiner and pronoun with the definition, “as much or as many as required.” In my opinion, there are several issues with using this word as a self determiner with this definition. First, this definition implies that there are indeed “requirements.””

Questioning “Enough” – Jennifer Schmidt

However, for this conversation, I just want to address the phrase as it is without targeting the “enough” part of it.

This phrase came to mind when a friend of mine told me that he shared my blog with a friend of his and she found it frivolous and unrelatable. Which is great! This simply means the topics I discuss are not topics they find captivating. That is why there are so many different blogs and publications – each one is discussing certain topics from set perspectives. This is the beauty of print media!

The best part about blogging, in my opinion, is that nobody is a perfect blogger. Blogging is a self-publishing outlet for a reason. I know some companies and businesses are trying to utilize blogs to drive traffic and thus, make money, and that’s great! But ultimately, most of us are amateur writers, just writing about whatever we feel the greatest pull or passion towards. In theory, we are just doing the best we can.

The best I can do is to talk about the things in life that really get me, the things that I feel I can’t ignore. I talk to my friends about these things quite a bit and not all of the subjects make it here. And no, those things are not really nude shoes and t-shirts all the time, but the real things that keep me up at night. In the current climate we live in, we are constantly bombarded by social, political, racial, gender equality, overtly sexual, misogynistic, LBGQT issues, international issues, environmental… oh the list could go on and on into oblivion! These are the issues I hear and read about everyday that I seriously consider. These are the things I want to talk about in addition to “The Best Nude Shoe for Summer.” Because, we need a good mix of frivolous concerns to keep us on track with the serious concerns.

So, who else does the best they can do? The thing that I just realized about this, and what prompted me to write this down, is that the best we can do is not always what someone else feels should or could be done. We do the best we can based on our own thoughts, emotions, perspectives and ideals. For me, I overthink everything and I ask too many questions. I have a hard time letting things go that hurt me. I tend to hold onto those things, I carry that around with me and they may cloud my actions. But I realize, that’s alright. It’s okay to do that, it is okay that sometimes the best we can do isn’t the absolute best option. The hope is that we find others who can know our hearts, other people who can understand that while perhaps you didn’t make the best choice, the place that choice came from was pure and well-meaning.

I also realize that not everyone really does the best they can. They give into feelings of temptation or they do really heinous things, (such as murder, pedophilia, and abuse).  Again, to pass a judgement on someone’s actions, you have to know their heart. While some crimes can be understood, (such as shooting someone who has broken into your home and attacked your family), other crimes, (such as pedophilia), can never be understood. I caution that while we are busy judging other people and disagreeing with their menial actions, we should remember that they have a good heart, they are not malicious and they are not committing heinous crimes. Most of us are just doing the best we can, everyday.