{ First, I got the idea for this here: https://medium.com/life-tips/494224e0f983 }

This is my kind of list. I think New Year’s resolutions are often shit, especially the variety discussed on television morning shows aiming to eliminate bad habits. Superficial, mostly meaningless drivel! Striving for a life well-lived is worthwhile, but waiting until the end of a disappointing year to make positive change is the worst kind of misguided bullshit. Do it now as well as you can, otherwise don’t. Or don’t do it, and don’t do it with all you’ve got. No wavering!

There is amazing freedom in not giving a fuck about some things. Only after not giving a fuck about nonessential junk am I able to refocus on what’s necessary. Too many people too much of the time are giving way too many fucks about this and that while completely losing sight of what matters most in life. I don’t want to get stuck in the batshit crazy game of trying to give a fuck about everything. The fucks I give are finite, I must preserve them appropriately. Here are fourteen things I will try to not give a fuck about this year:

1) Swearing

This one should be self-evident by now, but anyway… Language is fascinating. Take a hard look at how language shapes our world view and you’ll understand the importance of an occasional swear word (or maybe you won’t, what-the-fuck-ever!). Yes, occasional. I don’t swear often in ordinary speech or around people I know aren’t comfortable with foul language. Nor do I swear around my daughter. If schmucks like me don’t  swear on occasion, prudes with little else to complain about would take up more absurd protestations. Maybe they’d try to reinstate prohibition (GASP!). Without curse words and people occasionally crossing the line, how would we know where the line rests? If not for the occasional f-bomb, would “shit” become the most terrible? Words have power and can be quite damaging, but sometimes we need all available verbal weaponry against the most heinous and frustrating aspects of our world. Don’t try to curb my fuck-yeilding! (Also, this: The Science of Swearing)

2) Weather & Whining

You know the always-changing phenomenon in our world that so many people whine about whenever it doesn’t meet their expectations? I’m growing less patient with pointless complaints about weather. I’m not talking about natural disasters, the kind that rips a family’s home apart or devastates entire communities. What gets me is taking issue with weather causing minor inconveniences and forcing people to change plans. Big whoop! Colder than average nights in winter, the unusual sweltering afternoon in summer, or a precipitation dump— so be it! Most people are entirely capable of dealing. Humans are incredibly adaptable beings, but besides our biology we’ve developed stuff like protective clothing, heat and air conditioning, and even climate-controlled vehicles. Many of us, especially those fortunate enough to have decent jobs and homes of our own, have little reason to get bent out of shape over an occasional cold snap or heat wave. When it’s cold, have a hot cup of tea and simmer the hell out, maybe put on a sweater. If it’s hot, have a cool glass of lemonade with a refreshing bowl of shut your face!

Here I am not giving a fuck about weather after a run at -20°F.

Not giving a fuck about weather after a run at -20°F on 1/6.

3) Offending Political, Religious or Social Sensibilities

Regardless of your political leanings or religious affiliation (or lack thereof), I respect you as a human being. I likely even love you on some level. It’s that simple. Yet, if you start spouting hateful intolerance or acting as if your ideology magically raises you above the human morass, then I’ll probably tune you out and cease communication on my end. If I care enough, I may try to explain in a straightforward manner how you’re coming across as a huge asshat. I’m not sorry if taking a stand causes turbulence in our relationship, because calling out abhorrent speech and behavior is sometimes necessary.  We’re all in this together, whether you act like it or not. Truth is not the exclusive domain of any one group. We can all share in truth, there’s enough to go around.

4) Doomsaying

If you’re frantically prepping for the impending apocalypse, fine, but go about your business without spreading fear. I really don’t want to hear very much about your extreme conspiracy theories on how and why society will surely crumble before long. You might be off track if arming yourself to the teeth and pitting yourself against all others because of doomsday paranoia. If an epic disaster strikes, take note: I am willing to share resources and help those in my vicinity. Guess what, if more of us take a helpful, caring approach to our neighbors in hard times while trying to be reasonably self-reliant, then we all have a much better chance of surviving whatever mess comes along. Don’t be a selfish tool and pretend you can somehow remain completely immune to the fate of your community. Your supply of food or ammo may eventually run out.

5) Manicuring My Lawn

There is so much I’d rather be doing than yard work. The grass and numerous ornamental gardens in my massive yard can go fuck themselves. In fact, they can have a huge orgy with a bunch of weeds and raise wild offspring. I’m all for letting some more of the wilderness return anyhow. If I’m going to put much effort into keeping plants alive, it will be for those that produce food. It’s time for permascaping and more vegetable gardening. Annual flower planting and grass maintenance is tired old nonsense, so 2013!

6) Marketing & Brand Loyalty

Marketing has gotten so damn pervasive there’s no escaping it. This is old news, but I’m getting more and more tired of the obnoxious hot mess. I’m past the key demographic marketers aim for anyway, but that shit is aggravating! I am going to purchase products I’ve found to be high quality or have a good reputation as such and if they fail in my experience I’ll move on to something else. I don’t care how entertaining your ads are, they’re not swaying me to buy anything. Old Spice, you make me laugh when I happen to pay attention to the occasional TV commercial, but I still do not want to smell like Old Spice. Also, stay the fuck away from my daughter, marketers!

7) Making a Spectacle of Running and Race Bling

Too many people are too damn proud of themselves, their times and miles accumulated. Excessive bling-flinging has gotten way out of hand in conjunction with increasingly high registration fees. I don’t want a medal for barely completing any event under the sun. Technical shirts are nice, but I don’t need those either. I want the organization and camaraderie of a good race, decent aid stations for a long one, maybe something light to eat and drink afterwards. All the extra— enough already!

8) Being a Fast Runner

I’m just glad to get out there these days, especially on trails through the wilderness. Maybe with friends, maybe solo, but running at all in the great outdoors is enough. I’m grateful for decent health and the ability to run even if for only a few miles. Let’s go ramble along and share adventures. There’ll be times where I give it hell and push limits, but I’m not holding myself to any standards or PR chasing these days.

9) Wallowing in Lethargy

This past year was tough, especially towards the end. For no particularly good reason I let time off from running in order to heal a couple injuries lead into a downward spiral landing me in a lethargic, miserable funk. I’ve known for a long time how my sense of well-being is closely tied to my activity level. If I’m not injured or sick, I should be getting out for an active release at least three times a week. Any less than that and I’m not really trying. Weather be damned, too (see #2 above)!

10) Preserving my Youth

Thirty-six is not particularly old, but it’s not filled with as much boundless energy and youthful optimism as previous years. Plenty has to do with the exhaustion inherent in being a parent of a toddler. I just don’t have time for much unnecessary drama. I’m full of grey hairs and I’m not particularly well-groomed anymore. Kids these days get on my nerves rather quickly and they need to stay the fuck off my yard! No worries, I’m still content with life most of the time. Besides, getting older isn’t half bad. I appreciate having less much more than when I was younger and seemingly surrounded by more (money/stuff).

11) Seeking Perfection

Pretty much in all areas, worrying about reaching perfection is a sham. Dietary, fitness, relational, institutional, educational, professional, parental… The human condition is such that our ideals are rarely completely achieved in terms of actual execution. We all make mistakes. Life is complex with many hindrances along the way. I don’t think we should settle for mediocrity or not set goals for what matters most, but we must accept ordinary life before striving for something supposedly better. In acknowledging and embracing reality as it is now can we most effectively move forward in positive directions. I’ll try, I may even work damn hard in some situations, but if I don’t reach lofty ideals (especially others’ unrealistic expectations), then to fuck all with that!

12) Anyone or Anything Distracting Me from Devotion to Family

I have a lovely wife, a wonderful two-year old daughter and a super cool dog. You think I’m going to let much get in the way of spending lots of time and energy on my family? Are career, artistic endeavors, plans for world domination, or recreational pursuits going to create much conflict? NOPE!

13) Taking Myself Very Seriously

I am the captain of this gravy boat happily sailing the seas of cheese! Laugh along or don’t, it doesn’t matter in the end. A little frivolity never hurts, that is, unless you throw out your back. I’ve got a long way to go before landing in Nowhereville.

14) Finishing What I Started

I like to try different things, take on new pastimes and methods occasionally. I rarely reach the pinnacle in any one area. Sometimes I see stuff through to completion, sometimes I drop it after awhile. Maybe dropping is the best ending in certain situations (Ultramarathoners, you get me?). Oh well, life goes on.

Happy New Year! May we all find peace throughout the year in not giving too many fucks.