Balancing My F*ck Budget (A Book Review)

Warning: The title of this post is the only time I’m going to censor that word. So proceed with caution if you don’t like expletives. 

I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up last year and I was intrigued. I took some bags of clothes to Goodwill. I even took a bag of books to Goodwill (which is no small feat for someone who works in publishing). But I never really committed myself to the KonMari method. I know I’m supposed to ask each of my possessions if it “sparks joy” and then only keep it if it does. But the truth is, my random, old t-shirts may not spark joy, but that’s EXACTLY why I wear them to the gym. Who wants to sweat in something they love? (I’m sure Marie Kondo has an answer to this question, but I’m not really interested.) What I AM interested in is this book:

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The cover calls it “A Practical Parody” and I am here to tell you that that it is 100% correct. I expected to just skim it and laugh. Instead, I found myself quoting it to friends for the last few days. They’d complain or worry about something and I’d be like “I think that’s something you need to cut out of your fuck budget!” Let me just give you a super quick rundown of the book so you know what I’m talking about.

Author Sarah Knight wants to help you rid your life of mental clutter. To take a look at all the things you give your fucks to and make you stop wasting time on things that annoy and start spending more time on the things that “spark joy.” It’s the NotSorry method. And it’s genius! It is self-care wrapped up in a hilarious little fuck bucket. I haven’t quite followed her advice to a T…yet. But here are five things I already don’t waste my fucks on:

  1. Wearing sneakers with tights on my commute. Yes, I do look like an unfashionable old lady. But you know what looks even worse with this dress? Crutches! I broke my foot once and I am here to tell you that NYC is NOT an accessible city. No cute shoes are worth doing that again!
  2. The dangers of eating bacon. It’s going to kill me. Eating meat is bad for the environment. I will never be a good person until I become a vegan (according to a few Facebook friends who don’t show up in my feed anymore). Guess what? Everything I do is slowly killing me. I am literally marching toward death (though hopefully I still have a long way to march) and I am planning to eat lots of bacon along the way. Because life is fucking short and bacon is fucking awesome.
  3. The fact that including my love of bacon on this list is SO #basic. 
  4. Commas. I don’t really understand them. I know I use them correctly sometimes and I know I use them incorrectly a lot of times. Is this a problem for someone whose job title includes the word “editor”? Not really. We have a whole copyediting department for that and I fucking love them for making commas “not my job.”
  5. The fact that there are only four things on this list. Unfortunately, I am a bit of an approval junkie* so re-allocating my fucks is going to be tough. But I do not give a fuck that I started writing this list with the idea that I would put five things on it and only managed to do four (though for the record…this one makes five!).

*Being an approval junkie is actually the first thing I’m supposed to fix with the NotSorry method. Because I can not control people’s opinions of me and thus it is not worth wasting my time caring about what they think. Sigh. This is going to be really fucking hard for me.

Here are five things I do give my fucks to:

  1. Meeting friends for lunch. I try to have fun lunch plans at least three times a week. And my calendar/inbox is constantly telling me I’m too busy to actually take a break and keep those plans. But you know what? I don’t want to eat at my desk. It makes a bad day suck even more than it already does. And you know what I should probably be eating more of on those lunch dates? BACON!
  2. Kate Middleton. I really love her. And I do give a fuck what she wore yesterday, what she packed in George’s lunchbox, what time she woke up this morning, etc. Please keep feeding me clickbait articles that are really just the long-winded way to say: “Kate wore a dress.” I will keep clicking on them.
  3. Kate Middleton’s privacy. Dear Media/Paparazzi, Please leave her alone and let her live a wonderful, safe, happy, private life with her perfect family.
  4. We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming of what I DO give a fuck about to add something I don’t: The fact that items 2 and 3 on this list directly contradict each other. I have complicated feelings about Kate and I’m not going to apologize for it.
  5. Holiday-themed dish towels. When I go to Target, all I ever want to do is buy all of the holiday crap. But I live in a small New York City apartment so it doesn’t really make sense to buy witch legs that I can put in the garden so it seems like my house landed on her. I don’t have a fucking garden. But what I do have is a little handle on my stove where I can hang holiday-themed towels and thus I need ALL of them.

We only have so much time, money, and energy and that means we only have so many fucks to give. I’m still working on balancing my own fuck budget. Today, for example, I started to feel guilty that I’ve spent most of the afternoon in my pjs watching TV and napping. But then I realized that I got a lot joy out of that and thus I don’t need to give a fuck about the workout I skipped, the errands I should have run, or the work I could have been doing. Those things didn’t fit into my fuck budget today…maybe I’ll have room for them tomorrow.


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