Alright, this is going to be short and not sweet. I would like to say that I read Sarah Knight’s The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck from cover to cover and that I gained some insight on how not to give a fuck about things that aren’t worth it. But if I said those things I would be lying. So my following thoughts are on the introduction, and nothing more. Oh, and if it wasn’t already clear, this post contains “explicit” language.
I know that as a reader, I often feel obligated to finish a book even when I don’t like it (whether I actually finish it is besides the point; it’s about that obligatory feeling). That obligatory urge especially surges when I make a book part of my official Reading Challenge, like I did with Sarah Knight’s book. But this time around, I’m brushing aside what little obligation I feel towards reading this parody? adaptation? and leaving it quite unread.
Maybe it’s because of the high I’m on after reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, maybe it’s because it’s the end of the year and I’m crazy busy, and maybe it’s because 2017 has made me more bitter about almost everything, but I can’t bring myself to finish The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck. In the introduction, Sarah Knight talks about letting go of petty annoyances, about not creating more hassle for yourself by letting go of social restraints and expectations that make you unhappy, which theoretically sounds great. But unlike Marie Kondo, whose method is to hold each item you possess individually to determine whether or not it sparks joy, keep those items and let go of those that don’t spark joy, thus surrounding and supporting yourself with positivity and self-assurance, Sarah Knight shares this suggestion for deciding whether or not you should continue giving a fuck:
I was becoming my true self, able to focus more on people and things that actually, as Marie Kondo might say, sparked joy.
Soon, I realized I had my own insights to share with regard to life-changing magic.
Brings you joy? Then by all means, keep giving a fuck.
But perhaps the more pertinent question is:
Does it annoy?
What I love so much about Marie Kondo’s method is that it focuses on keeping things and mementos that bring happiness to your life, that envelope you with bliss. Sarah Knight’s method seems to focus on the negatives, on the troublesome things, people, and mementos, and I’m just having trouble seeing how that could spark joy further down the line. Dwelling on annoyances and discomforts has never worked positively for me; I just become more unhappy because I waste so much time dwelling rather than letting go and moving on. There will always be things that annoy me, but if I’m sure of myself because I have the comfort and support of objects and people I love, those things will be easier to deal with.
I want to mention again that I did not read past the Introduction. I am disappointed, but I am also pleased with myself for not continuing in discontent. If you have read Sarah Knight’s book, and think I was misguided by the Introduction, let me know! If your argument is persuasive enough I may consider giving it another try. Otherwise, I’ll keep weeding out things that don’t spark joy, and basking in the loveliness of those that do.