Apologies, if you’ve not read Sarah Knight’s The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck, the title of this post might seem a bit odd. Let me explain.
Following the success of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Sarah Knight wrote this book, subtitled ‘How to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like’. Pretty amazing, right?
The trick to this is similar to Kondo’s idea of discarding things that don’t bring you joy. Instead of giving a fuck about things which don’t bring you joy and cost you time, energy and/or money, you don’t. Simple.
The key issue here is to stop giving a fuck what other people think. I’ve been working on this for the best part of 30 years but, having read this book in one day, I think I can finally make some headway. Why do other people’s opinions matter? Why do I care what people think of me? Surely the only opinion that matters (or, rather, the opinion that matters the most) is mine? And I should be doing what makes me happy, right? And I should be doing this guilt-free. After all, I can’t control people’s opinions but I do have some degree of control over my own happiness.
According to Sarah, ‘…not giving a fuck means not spending time, energy, and/or money on things that neither make you happy nor improve your life (annoy), so that you have time, energy, and/or money to devote to things that do (bring happiness).
I call it the NotSorry Method. It has two steps:
1. Deciding what you don’t give a fuck about
2. Not giving a fuck about those things
And of course, “Not Sorry” is how you should feel when you’ve accomplished this.’
Of course, there is a fine line between not giving a fuck and being an asshole. I like to live by the phrase ‘don’t be a dick’, so I think I’ve got this covered. In fact, I can be overly polite and regularly apologise for things that aren’t my fault. Something else I need to work on.
Back to the fuck budget. It seems that we only have a finite number of fucks to give and we need to prioritise what we give a fuck about.
I’ve given it some thought and these are the things I vow to no longer give a fuck about, in no particular order:
Twitter drama – I’m all for voicing your opinion but when it becomes just plain bitchy, ain’t nobody got time for that!
Mum guilt – this is one of those fucks previously given because of other people’s opinions on how your child should be born, fed, raised, etc. Zero fucks given now, bitches.
The ‘need’ to produce video content – blogging trends tend to suggest that you need to adopt video content in order to stay current and relevant. Not me. I’m sticking with content I enjoy producing, regardless of the numbers.
Crap TV – i.e. the likes of the Kardashians, Made in Chelsea, The Only Way is Essex, Love Island, etc.
Having a tidy house – I gave up caring about that when I had a kid and have stopped trying to tidy before people come around – because who gives a fuck what they think, right?! As long as my kid is fed, clean and happy, that’s my job done most days. I’m not Wonder Woman!
What I look like in a swimming costume – I used to feel really self-conscious when I took Jenson swimming but now I just rock up and get in the water, no fucks given.
Which frees me up to give more fucks about the following:
Feminism – I have been so freaking inspired by the feminist non-fiction I’ve been reading lately. Girl power!
My child’s happiness – my kid comes first. Always.
Fresh air – I need to get out of the house every day or I feel really stifled and like I haven’t done anything.
Sleep – I’m a monster if I don’t get enough sleep. If I fall asleep at the same time as (if not before!) my kid, so be it. Even if it means not scheduling a blog post for the next day. Shock, horror! I’m a bit bummed if I’m late catching up on The Walking Dead though.
Self-improvement – I’m a nerd and I like learning new things. I like to keep bettering myself and look for opportunities to grow in terms of training and career. I’m working on self-confidence.
Grammar – this is a biggie for me, especially as a writer and marketer. I have to stop myself from getting the red pen out sometimes.
This actually feels pretty freeing!
What do you give a fuck about?