It’s that time of year again, folks. A New Year; a fresh start. Now’s the time we all vow to do a boatload of things most of us will never follow through on come 2014.
I’ve had it with resolutions. My diet of cookies, coffee and chocolate suits me just fine, thank-you-very-much. Spend less, save more? Please; I live in Vancouver.
So keep your resolutions. Enjoy your salads and electronic cigarettes, your busy gyms and caffeine withdrawals. As lovely as that sounds, I won’t be joining you this year. Instead, I’ll be sticking to a new framework.
Welcome to my Fuck It list. Fourteen things I’m going to stop giving a fuck about in 2014. Because, as important as it is to push yourself to be a healthier, more compassionate person, that can be downright impossible. Refusing to give a fuck, however, isn’t just easy — it’s kind of awesome.
So fuck it. Here are the 14 things I’m going to stop worrying about come 2014.
1. Becoming a Morning Person
I’ve always hated mornings. I hate getting out of bed, hate getting out of the shower, hate finishing my coffee. I pretty much just hate everything and everyone who crosses my path prior to 10 am. I’ve tried to ‘fix’ this issue multiple times, trying to schedule in an hour of exercise or writing prior to embarking on my day. Fuck that. The only thing worse that getting out of bed in the morning is getting out of bed to torture yourself on a treadmill or stare at a screen. So keep all your “10 Things Successful People Do Before 5 am” motivational posts to yourself come 2014. I’ll be successfully asleep.
2. Making the Moment Count
Are you living in the moment? Right now, right this very instance? Are you making the most of this super-important, never-going-to-happen-ever-again stitch in time? Of course not; you’re reading this post, ignoring your kids, your boss, your dog, your girlfriend. In fact, I’d hazard to say you’re doing everything you can to avoid the moment. Amen to that. Moments don’t last; I’d actually say they’re pretty irrelevant by themselves. But string 50 of them together and then you’ve got a reason to pay attention. That being said, 2014 is the year I stop trying to make moments matter. No more searching for hidden significance in a small gesture or assigning importance to a particular event. And please, could everyone just stop telling me that everything I’ve done in my life has led me to this moment. Considering it’s 3 pm, I’m still in my pajamas, and I haven’t showered in two days… that doesn’t really mean much.
3. Fitting In
I suck at social situations. I’m awkward, withdrawn, quiet and quick to drop a sarcastic remark. I also sport a handful of tattoos, have an award-winning bitchy resting face, and have been told I give off a not-so-subtle fuck off vibe whenever I walk into a room. By no means am I trying to be standoffish, this is just who I am. So when it comes to fitting in at conferences, networking events, house parties, the supermarket — you know, anywhere there are other people — I tend to struggle. For years I’ve tried to fix this; forced myself to be more outgoing, more present, less me. It’s exhausting and annoying. So fuck fitting in. Despite my icy demeanor and lack of seemingly standard social skills, I’ve managed to surround myself with an accepting, loyal group of friends; people that understand my oddities and love me for them. Bitchy resting face and all.
4. Forcing a Smile
I’ve been told I’m very pretty when I smile. I’ve also been told I don’t smile very often. That, if I forced myself to smile more, I’d actually feel better, happier, simply by faking this joyous facial express. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t really care. I smile when there’s something worth smiling about. This doesn’t mean I’m drowning in despair the rest of the time. Normally I’m quite content. So fuck forcing happiness or faking jubilation. You want me to flash a smile, you’re going to have to work for it.
5. Quitting Vices
Why are New Year’s resolutions always about ending bad habits? Personally, I quite enjoy my vices. Beer = delicious. Pie for breakfast? Completely acceptable. Hoarding all of the blankets on the coldest night of the year? Not my fault you were too slow to steal them first. Everything in moderation, right? My bad habits have shaped me as much as my good ones. But at the end of the day, they aren’t really hurting anyone. I drink socially and with restraint, pie only finds its way into my fridge two or three times a year, and my boyfriend is more than welcome to yank the covers back over to his side… provided he’s ready to accept the consequences.
My ex used to hate it when I would swear. And I get that — believe it or not, I’m not a huge fan of constant vulgarities either. That being said, some situations simply call for foul language. Come on, no one is going to stick to a Screw It list or an Eff It list. What’s more, studies have shown that people who swear are actually more trustworthy and honest. Which, by my count, means I’m kind of exceptional. Fuck it? Don’t mind if I do…
Earlier this year I was told that guilt is the fear of future punishment. That we feel bad for past transgressions not just because we regret them, but because we’re worried that we’ll make the same mistakes again. I’m not entirely sure of the legitimacy of this statement, but it certainly resonated with me. I regret a lot in my life; I’ve made some foolish mistakes and have hurt a lot of people, not to mention myself. But it’s the fear of making these same mistakes again that weighs on me the most. And yet, the mistakes I made in the past were the result of dozens of different variables — age, health, circumstance — repeating them is pretty much impossible. So why bother dwelling on it? Fuck the guilt; I can’t undo the past, but I can certainly look forward to the future.
8. Being on Time
If you know me, you know that, try as I might; I am never, ever going to show up on time. I’ll show up — I always show up — but nine times out of ten I’m going to be roughly an hour late. It’s a fatal flaw. It’s best to just lie to me about the designated meeting time. Trust me.
9. Lying to Myself
We all lie to ourselves. Some of these lies are inconsequential. Others send us down a slippery slope of denial straight onto a soft cushion of false security. I’ve lied to myself a lot over the last year. I’ve told myself things are fine when they’re falling apart, convinced myself that a bad decision was a blessing in disguise. Thing is, it’s easy to tell the lie. Believing it is a whole other story. So fuck the fabrications and flimsy fronts. How can you possibly trust someone else when you can’t even trust yourself?
10. Planning for the Future
I have very sensible parents; parents that sacrificed to provide my sister and me with the best life possible. For that, I’m thankful. That being said, now that I’m an adult myself (or at least I pretend to be), I think a lot of it was unnecessary. They wasted a lot of good years of their lives putting us first. As irrational as it might sound, I feel responsible for this. Granted, I don’t have kids, so I don’t really understand the type of devotion and selfless love that a parent feels, but even so, I don’t really know if sacrificing yourself for the sake of your children makes sense. I sometimes wonder if my parents lost more than they gained by having children. That, in the process of planning for our futures, they forgot about their own lives. There’s so much they could have done — should have done — when they were younger. Now, it’s too late. It’s like they went to bed at 30 only to wake up at 60 determined to make up for lost time. Except now the hourglass is nearly empty and the world has lost most of its luster. Selfish as it may sound, I could never travel that same road. I could never give my life to my kids; and please, save your “but you can have it both ways” spiel for someone less cynical. You don’t win the Mommy of the Year award sitting in a boardroom, and you don’t get a promotion for catching every Christmas concert. In one scenario, you resent your kids. In the other, you resent yourself. I haven’t yet decided which is worse, and to be quite frank, I don’t think I ever want to.
11. Growing Up
And give up my love of dinosaurs and LEGO? Fuck that.
12. Saving Relationships
Romantic, platonic, familial — I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to nurture destructive relationships. Compromising in order to avoid confrontation, pretending problems weren’t as pronounced as they were. The fastest way to lose yourself? Focus all of your energy on something or someone that was never really there. Eventually you’ll wake up alone. Worse, you’ll wake up a stranger.
13. Forgetting Failures
I failed at being a wife. A lot of the time, I fail at being a daughter. I’m not a very good sister, and I have a pretty good feeling the odds will be against me if I ever decide to become a mother. I’ve failed at business, failed to relax while on vacation. I’ve failed to let insecurities go, failed to speak up when I had the chance. Fuck, I’ve failed myself more times than I’d care to admit. I’ve forgiven a lot of them. But forgetting them is useless. I made those mistakes for a reason. The least I can do is learn from them.
14. Falling in Love
If I learned anything in 2013, it’s that love — the overwhelming, this-is-the-one kind, the love that makes you weak in the knees, if not slightly duller in the head — isn’t real. It exists outside of reality, in a world devoid of calories and Kardashians. The fall is fun, for a while. But big love is just that… oversized and oversold. Overstated and filled with impossible expectations. I don’t want to fall into that kind of love again. It lacks substance. I prefer the little loves. My best friend’s daughter running around the kitchen chanting, “It’s all rainbows,” over and over again. The wag of a dog’s tail when you scratch the sweet spot behind her ear. Neglected nuances, subtle sincerity — that’s where love lives. Lost in a pile of unmatched socks, it sits and waits for you, overlooked and underappreciated. Flawed but sturdy; frustrating but frank. A beautiful mess of sadness and hope. Fuck engagement rings and moonlit walks on the beach. Love hurts because that’s the only way to tell that it’s real.
Happy New Year.
May you give as few a fucks as I do in 2014.