Hello hello! How’s everyone? Thanks so much for the lovely messages on Friday. Who knew that turning down a major opportunity would be such a popular move?! But really, thank you. I had a little cry when I read some of the comments, they were very kind.
But I do seem to be very emotional these days. I cried during a re-run of Sex and the City over the weekend. It was that episode where Carrie realises she’s spent all her money on shoes. It made me feel crap cos I don’t even have shoes to show for what I’ve spent my money on. Just hangovers and a frightening coffee habit. Then Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin in the Wind’ came on the radio yesterday and I cried at that too. Not sure why. It was just pretty and the sun was shining.
I seem to be leaking in the wake of my F**K it week. An emotional incontinent. Oh well, who needs eye make up?
But the tears from your messages were happy tears. So thank you, thank you, thank you. You make my day every day. (I nicked that line from my friend Grainne, who says it about her little boy, Flynn. It’s a good one, isn’t it?)
And in return for your kindness I’m going to pass on some of the best nuggets of the F**K It therapy book for those who haven’t bought it yet (but if you haven’t, you really should). A bit of F**K it inspiration for a Tuesday evening. In his book John has different chapters on the stuff we should say F**K it to. This is the first one…
SAY F**K IT TO THE DIET
John points out, quite rightly, that we’re nuts when it comes to food. Half the world is starving and the other half is buying books telling us how to starve ourselves of carbs/sugar/meat/additives etc. We try with the 5-2 diet, the raw food diet, the blood type diet etc. then hate ourselves when we fall off the wagon, which we inevitably do.
John reckons that when we stop being so crazy about food we find that quite often we actually fancy eating a salad and that actually one slice of cake is enough. You don’t need to eat the whole thing. John also recommends noticing why you eat and when you eat. Do you eat out of boredom? Loneliness? Anger? And when you notice this, don’t beat yourself up, just laugh at how stupid it all is and say… ‘F**K IT.’
SAY F**K IT TO THE GYM
The same goes for the gym. As kids we all love to run around and move but as we get older we make it something we ‘should do’ – a source of stress, guilt and tension. Enough. John says: ‘Any attempt you make to control yourself… to impose discipline on yourself can create some tension. So just say F**K it to it all. Do what the hell you want…The remarkable thing is that when you give in to the natural flow or life, you will probably exercise more than you were doing when you were a member of a gym and you will probably eat healthier food overall than when you were seeing that nutritionist.’
SAY F**K IT TO OBSESSING ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS
Ah, relationships. Romance. Love. If we’re single we want love. If we’re in love we worry it’s going to vanish. When we lose love we worry it will never come back again. In short we place a shed load of pressure on ourselves to find and maintain the perfect relationship. Being this attached to anything causes tension, which is anti-F**K it. John’s not saying that we should give up on love, not at all, just that we lighten up about the whole thing and that actually this is when love can really ‘flow.’
Here’s an exercise, John suggests in the book. ‘Whatever your issues and tightness in your relationships, see what it’s like to say F**K It to them.’
- ‘I’m always single and worry I’m going to die alone surrounded by cats… oh well, F**K it, I’ll give my cats cool names’ (not at all a personal example, that one)
- ‘I have no idea if the guy I’m with is The One… oh well, F**K it, I’ll figure it out.’
- ‘I don’t think she/he finds me as attractive as he/she used to… oh well, F**k It…they’re not exactly George Clooney/Beyonce.’
John says that when we try this ‘a new life enters your existing relationship and you move to a different level’ or ‘you realise that this relationship is wrong and you leave it.’ Not sure what he thinks it does for singletons but I’m guessing that we chill the F**K out, which can only be a good thing.
SAY F**K IT TO MONEY
Oh bloody money. I’ve been doing so well keeping a F**K it mentality apart from in this one area. On Saturday I went to a baby shower and got drunk. (I had no idea these things were so boozy, if I’d known I might have said yes to more of them). Anyway, I woke up on Sunday hungover and hating myself and choose that time to check up on my bank accounts (Kate Northrup says I should be doing that every day in Money A Love story. But I haven’t been. Obvs.) I then spent the afternoon in a state of self-loathing and despair. Anyway John reckons we all worry about money, no matter how much of it we have.
- ‘If we don’t have much, we wish we had some and that all our money worries would go away’
- ‘If we have a moderate amount of money, enough not to worry about bills and paying for holidays, we dream of having more, being able to drive a better car or live in a bigger house.’
- ‘If we are wealthy, we still tend to want more, to be financially independent, or to have a holiday home in a foreign land.’
- ‘If we are stinking rich we tend to worry that we could lose it in the next crash.’
I’m really worried about losing it in the next crash. Ha!
He says that a lot of our stress about money is the fear of having none (yup) so we should face that fear head on. ‘Imagine if you lost all the money and the possessions that you have. What would you do? In a society like ours you may have to go on benefit while you look for a job. But then you find a job of some sort, find enough money to rent your own flat, etc etc. And then you’re off. If you lost everything you wouldn’t die.’
Finally, he says that if we relax about the whole thing money will flow our way. ‘If you have none, say F**K it and enjoy life as it is. If you have some, say F**K it and start enjoying people valuing you. If you have oodles, say F**K It and start basking in the fruits of the world thinking you’re such an amazing person that it throws so much at you.’
I really need to spend a whole year fixing the money stuff. Maybe next year.
F**K IT TO WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK ABOUT US
This is such a good one. We’re hard wired to want people’s approval – as kids we do songs and dances and lap our parents praise. If we don’t get that praise we spend our lives looking for it elsewhere.
John writes: ‘We care what other people think of us because we want their approval: more so when we lack approval for ourselves.’ John points out that ‘This is how gay people end up in straight marriages, this is how comedians end up as barristers.’
Anyway – conclusion: stop caring what other people may or may not think. Half the time when people don’t seem to like us it’s not personal. ‘They’re usually venting their own negative emotional. They may be jealous of you. It may be that they’re in a bad mood. But the fact is that practically every time someone gets personal with you, it’s always more about them than it is you,’ writes John, who concludes: ‘If you believe you won’t be happy until every last citizen of this planet is worshipping you, then you’re in for a hard time.’
He gives this challenge: Do something in public you wouldn’t normally do (don’t get arrested for God’s sake), tell someone the truth instead of trying to keep them happy, enjoy being rude to someone who annoys you.
I really like this one. I used to care desperately what people thought of me but I find myself caring less and less. It’s great. It’s a massive relief and a freedom. It’s also, I think, a sign that I’m starting to like myself. And if you like yourself who else really matters?! Well, friends and family do but you know what I mean…
FINAL F**K IT POST TOMORROW – BOO HOO! – THEN ANGELS – WOO WOO! XX