I’m the type of person who loves to keep myself busy. From the moment I wake (anywhere between 4:30 and 5:45 depending on the day) to the time that I put myself to bed (at around midnight), I’m always doing SOMETHING. I tend to volunteer my idle time so that I’m constantly busy – currently, I’ve volunteered for next year’s PTA, am a board member and singer of a performance group, am on one of our town commissions, and am training and raising money for a half marathon. Between work, family, running, and my volunteer commitments, there is virtually zero downtime.
Every minute of my day is practically choreographed so that I can stay on task and get through my schedule without dropping a billion balls. I know that if the kids’ lunches are not made by 6:30AM, I’m screwed; if I’m not out of the shower by 6:45AM, I’m screwed…if the kids haven’t had their dinner by 6:15PM, I’m screwed. You get the picture. This also means that I have no time or patience for the incremental effort that it takes for me to look like I give a sh*t about what people think when it comes to things that don’t matter. It goes something like this:
Note: “Them” can be anyone. Sometimes it’s my mom, sometimes it’s my siblings, sometimes it’s random snarky judgmental people.
Them: You are too old to wear a ponytail and it’s looks ratty. / Me: I just don’t give a sh*t what you think. At least it’s shampooed and lice-free.
Them: Nice mini-van… (snicker) / Me: I don’t give a sh*t what you think. The sliding doors are awesome and I love throwing my crap in the back.
Them: You wore the same shirt 3 days ago. / Me: I don’t give a sh*t what you think. I just washed it, so it’s clean and non offensive.
Them: Are you really going to eat that? / Me: I don’t give a sh*t what you think. I just ran 12 miles…what’s your excuse? (OK, well this one I do give a sh*t, generally speaking, because I am having trouble losing weight and the extra weight is not ideal for my personal well-being…but I care because it’s important to ME and not to what other people think).
Them: Your house is a little dusty. / Me: I don’t give a sh*t what you think. Don’t come over if you can’t take it.
Them: Your kids don’t eat enough variety. / Me: I don’t give a sh*t what you think. They eat balanced meals and enjoy the occasional treat.
Them: Your kids are too young for screentime. / Me: I don’t give a sh*t what you think because it’s all about survival.
Them: Some makeup and lipstick might help brighten up your face. / Me: I don’t give a sh*t what you think. I don’t have the time to put on makeup. And seriously?? I have zero eye for makeup – I’d end up looking like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show.
At some point, I ran out of patience trying to please everyone or “keeping up” with what everyone expects. I set my personal priorities to focus on the things that mattered to me – health and happiness of my family, my personal fulfillment through activities that I feel are important and meaningful, building deep personal relationships. For everything else, flipping the virtual middle finger and deciding that I stopped giving a sh*t about things that didn’t matter has simplified my life significantly with some pleasant unexpected outcomes – my family (hubby especially) is happier because I don’t stress or nag about stupid stuff, my stress levels are lower because I’m not running around trying to please others, my day is much calmer because I can get through the daily choreography without tripping over obstacles, and I’ve made some really great friends who appreciate the fact that there is so much more under the surface than just appearances. This wasn’t something that I had PLANNED to do – it just kind of “happened” and it’s awesome.
So next time someone judges you for something that doesn’t matter, turn around, flip them the virtual bird and tell them that you have stopped giving a sh*t about what they think. You will thank me in the end.