Deep thoughts with Quitter…I (Quitter) am going to get all philosophical-like here so hold on to your yoga mats. (And no Bossy I haven’t been into the fizzy wine that makes me all chatty and think too much. It’s 11:03am on a weekday for goodness sake.) But I’ve been having a bit of a wonder these days and I keep circling back to the same question.
What if none of it matters?
And by that I mean – Us. How we fill our days. The choices we make. The people we spend our time with. Our mistakes. What if none of it really matters?
Now before you start calling the distress helpline on my behalf, I encourage you to hear me out first. I don’t pose this question in the hopes that it will give me permission to give up on life and act like an irresponsible asshole. I ask it wondering if it might liberate me and take some of the pressure off. I’m toying with this notion more and more and realizing it might finally get me out of my own way and release me from my imagined self-importance.
I freely, but not proudly, admit to being a product of the neuroticism of Western culture. For better or worse I am consumed by thoughts of being productive, making good financial decisions, being a good parent and partner, contributing enough to society, making healthy choices, and just generally trying not to make a fool of myself.
And it’s exhausting. I mean really fucking tiring. And. Also. Not fun. At all.
So after over forty-six years of behaving this way, I am conducting a little experiment. Whenever I feel myself getting overwhelmed by trying to be a good person or parent or earthling, I stop myself and say, “what if none of it matters?” And it’s changing me. I think for the better.
My most recent experience using this question led me to having a wild night of dancing to reggae music on a beach with complete strangers. Something I never imagined myself doing in a million years. The old me would have thought things like, “you’ve had enough to drink, sit down,” and “don’t make an ass of yourself,” or “you’re too old to behave like this, what if someone you know sees you.” But then I asked myself, “what if none of it matters?” And the answer was clear. If none of it matters then there is nothing stopping me from getting up by myself and wiggling around in the sand like a maniac and having a good time. And that’s exactly what I did. Sure my feet hurt like hell the next day and my partner likened my dancing to a horrible tap dance routine he had seen on Youtube, but none of that mattered. For the first time in a long time I had gotten out of my own way and had fun.
For the record, I don’t actually think that nothing matters. But what I am slowly allowing myself to accept is that not everything matters, and almost nothing matters as much as I seem to think it does. So perhaps my new mantra should be slightly amended to “nothing matters as much as I think it does.”
Yup, that statement really rings true for me and it’s only taken me close to half a decade to figure it out. And my sincere hope for all of you is that you come to this conclusion a hell of a lot sooner then I did because life is way to short to overthink things and not have fun.