Serving You From: A Glass of Wine by the Fireplace (& yes it’s snowing).
So I’ve been reading this book… and I’ve been debating for a week whether this book is acceptable to be reading as I’m in the doctor’s office waiting room passing the 30 minutes of time needed for “check-in” for my 5 minute appointment. I hold the book as flat as possible so the elder lady across from me doesn’t think “huh, books young kids are reading these day” shaking her head no in her mind. Or that the receptionist whom already knows probably too much about me doesn’t find a way to turn my book reading into my today’s lunch hour hot topic. Okay, so there is a “bad word” in the title… But it doesn’t stop there… the publishers decided that the word choice + a vivid, hunter orange background would make the perfect combo for LOOK AT WHAT I AM READING. Well, to be fair, I’m sure the tactic was perfect for the bookshelves at Barnes and Noble, but its post-shelf life is causing me some turmoil! Similar to the feeling that one may be a little hesitant to show off their "guilty pleasure" in reading 50 Shades of Grey, I wonder what someone may assume my book's message is by simply judging the book by its cover (hah, get it?). However, this book I've been holding onto is a little less fantasy than Mr. Grey’s seductive red room, and actually is more like a lifestyle guide so c’mon I’ve got to be accepted for studying such intellectual literature in public! Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k offers a “Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life”. Manson, a blogger, shares life lessons through humor, personal experiences and well, a lot of references to F**ks. Without the profanity, which ladies let’s admit is necessary to the success of the book, he is saying we have only so many “cares” to give, we can’t care about everything and similarly we cannot care about nothing at all. So how do we determine if this is something we should care about? The short answer is all of those things you think you need to care about, you don’t. Now for the long answer….
Manson first establishes the normality of “always wanting more”, in that humans, as a species, have natural instincts to continually strive to be better and to live better (after all that is how our world has evolved into such developed societies). So, it’s okay to want more. You want the cheese from the good section, go get it girl! Work the couple of overtime hours at the job, maybe don’t get those pair of Steve Maddens you’ve been wanting… and go get that $15 block of cheese! Well, maybe this takes us to our next section in Manson’s book. Everything, whether it is an “upgrade” or not, takes a struggle. So I get the good cheese but now I have to work an extra couple of hours at work this week. But maybe I like work! So the “struggle” of working a couple of hours extra is nothing to me. However, maybe if the couple of extra hours meant I had to miss my daughter’s first soccer game then maybe I decide I can actually settle for the cheese that sits next to the hot dogs. Manson is proving to his readers that more or less what you want and what you do is really compromised by what are you willing to struggle for. We all want to have an Olympic Gold Medal but its apparent, by the amount of us that actually do, most of us aren’t interested in the struggle it takes to get one.
So, further, why does the world tell us what to care about if we all have very personalized opinions? You should support African orphanages, snow leopards, a veterans center in Texas. Okay so I do care about children without parents, I do care about animals that are struggling to thrive, I do care about vets and their physical and mental health, but if I don’t care enough to do something why care? I only have so many cares to give so maybe I should use my select cares on things that I will actually involve myself in, a doing something not just a thinking something.
The downsides to social media are probably already apparent to you and you have an idea of the negative impacts it has on its users. However, Manson is able to actually define these negative impacts noting that social media is a showcase for the bests of the bests. Those that are "Instagram famous" are the ones chosen to be showcased because they are the top of their category. So, our exposure to who we think are normal people are really the cream of the crop and if we do not understand this then we may be deceived into thinking that we can be what all of these people are. We can be really fit, eat really healthy, do our makeup like a professional, write a popular blog, and quit our boring office jobs to travel the world. We think we can do all of these things – why couldn’t we? I see everyone else doing them! But the reality is that for the fitness mogul, that is what they are really good at, that’s what they’ve dedicated their life to and the sacrifice to be that fit includes portioning meals, counting calories, no happy hours, scheduling their life around hours spent at the gym, suffering through physical pain induced by progress at the gym. But what happens is that the fitness mogul actually enjoys and prefers these struggles over other struggles they’ve encountered in their life. The couple that quit their job and are traveling the world actually prefer the struggle of having little money, not seeing their families, not investing in a career, home, etc., over the struggle of acting like they enjoy an office job, living in suburbia and pressures to have a family or to be domesticated. You’ve probably heard that anything in life that is worth it is not easy, and refraining from being this cheesy, that is actually what Manson is trying to get at. Everything we do is a struggle, we have to choose which set of struggles we want to endure.
That is a wrap for today! Stay tuned for another post following up on what the rest of the book has to offer (yes, those were take-aways from just the first few chapters!) or you can even follow along with me! Get your copy on Amazon.
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