9/09 — The Key to Happiness: Stop Caring
(Okay, this could be ‘stop sweating the small stuff’. But seriously that is SO DONE. So: Stop Caring.)
But caring is important!
I hear you. You’re sitting there going, wait, what? Stop caring? But if we didn’t care, didn’t have our passion, our lives would be meaningless!
And I hear you. When it comes to what’s important to you, your passion, you have to care. You’re going to care no matter what else you try to bury yourself in. So telling you to stop caring about that would be foolish and useless.
I ain’t telling you to stop having your passion. Stop Caring is a tool like any other. You don’t use it on your passion, any more than you use your rechargeable drill to drive nails (and if you do, come over here a minute and let me smack you one).
…right, so what’s it for, then?
Stop Caring is a pretty useful tool when you use it in the right place, though. Want an example? Last winter I bought shoes. They’re comfortable as crap. They’re pretty. They weren’t terribly expensive. And they’re purple.
And as soon as I got them home, I got upset, because I realized that I had one (1) pair of socks that didn’t clash HORRIBLY with purple.
And I whinged and I grutched and I was cranky about my beautiful new shoes. For two days. And then I realized, okay, I could take them back, or I could be whiny and let them sit in my closet except for when that one (1) pair of socks is clean, or I could Stop Caring, and wear them with whatever the hell pair of socks I like, and be happy.
…after that the choice was pretty easy.
So there’s your tool. Use it wisely.
Use it wisely?
Oh, you wanted some examples? Have a few:
Out of basil for dinner? Don’t get upset. Stop Caring, and chuck in some parsley instead. (Yes, you can even make parsley pesto if that’s your kink. It’s pretty tasty.)
Walking the dog, and he just doesn’t want to go the way you meant to? Stop Caring. Follow him. He might just take you somewhere awesome you hadn’t known was there. (This is a lesson I’ve learned very well, having a cat on a leash.)
Dressing up for a wedding, and that top that was going to be perfect is in the wash? Stop Caring. There’s something else in your closet that’ll work just as well. And in the end, what you’re wearing isn’t that important. The important thing is that you’re there.
So what is important, then?
Here’s the meat of it: You’ve got your passion. That’s what’s important. Everything else? Is gravy.
So take what’s important and look at whatever it is that’s bothering you through that filter.
Is it about your passion? Does it have anything at all to do with your passion? Is it five miles away from your passion, down a side road that you don’t want to drive on for fear of your entire suspension coming out in a great ugly mass? Then honey, it ain’t what’s important. Stop Caring.
But what if I don’t know?
Don’t know what your passion is, yet? Still defining it? Still have not the slightest damn clue? Stop Caring about things. Random things that annoy you. Things that stress you and bother you. If you Stop Caring about them and they slide away, that wasn’t your passion.
But if you Stop Caring about a thing and it’s still a problem? If it itches at your skin and drives you buggy that whatever it is isn’t Just So? There’s your clue. It might not be pointing right to your passion, but it’s a sign pointing you towards what it is.
But my (Mom/best friend/boss) says…
Yeah, you should hear what my Mom says. (Hi Mom!) To heck with them. They don’t know what your passion is. They don’t know you like you do. You say they mean well? Of course they do! That’s what makes them hard to ignore. But it’s your you, and you should do what you want with you.
Am I saying it’s easy to take what Society (in the person of your Mom/best friend/boss) says and chuck it? HAHAHAHAHAHA no. It’s hard as crap.
It takes practice. You need to think about it. You need to work at it. Sometimes, you’ll just need to go and do something (or not do something) in a way that you think you kinda won’t like, but will find out in the end that it didn’t matter so much, so you can Stop Caring about it.
Do it anyway. It gets easier with time. And the less energy you spend carrying around what others want you to be, the easier it’ll be to Stop Caring about what doesn’t matter, to put all of you towards what’s really important to you.