Home > Health, Love, Personal, Reflections > Bullshit/not bullshit

Bullshit/not bullshit

I like to keep swearing to a minimum here, but there are times it’s warranted. Like now.

It’s come to my attention I take certain insignificant things and invest way too much energy in them. Realizing this, I’ve decided that I’m going to start playing a little game I’ll call “Bullshit/not bullshit” with myself. It’s like “He loves me/he loves me not,” but for adults. And more cathartic.

If it falls in the “bullshit” category, it gets none of my energy. None. Zero. Nada. It doesn’t mean I accept it. It means I’d rather invest my energy in thinking about House of Cards or watching Scrubs.

SAMPLE BULLSHIT: Stoplights that take twelve minutes to turn green. The existence of clowns. Telecom companies. Being cussed at.

That’s about enough of that. The list could go on, but I’d rather it not. ‘Cause every second I spend on that list is one I could have spent laughing and loving. Not-bullshit is where it’s at!

SAMPLE NOT-BULLSHIT: Baby laughter. The smell of coffee. Conversation with good friends. Scrubs. My husband’s happily finishing his first day assistant directing. My brother-in-law starting medical school the same day. Unicorn, who truly is as magical as her nickname would have you think. My sisters, including Darth. Sunshine. Visiting family. Knowing I am loved. Singing songs I used to sing with my mom.

The list could go on and on, and will in my mind, but I have two little ones I yearn to hug after a long day away.

So I’ll leave you with a final item, the one that gave me the perspective I needed today:

The memory of my mom finding comfort in my baby son


What not-bullshit lifts you from grim moods?

  1. August 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    beautiful reminder for us all to keep life in perspective – love this: “It’s come to my attention I take certain insignificant things and invest way too much energy in them.”

    On Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 8:36 PM, The Monster in Your Closet wrote:

    > Deborah the Closet Monster posted: “I like to keep swearing to a > minimum here, but there are times it’s warranted. Like now. It’s come to my > attention I take certain insignificant things and invest way too much > energy in them. Realizing this, I’ve decided that I’m going to start > playing a “

    • August 13, 2014 at 4:26 am

      Thanks! I used this check three or four times last night and it worked beautifully to get me moving right along from insignificant irritations (e.g., constantly yapping neighbor dogs) and onto significant blessings (e.g., the sound of my sons’ snoring).

  2. August 12, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Love it. And need to remember it. I invest waaaaay too much time in things I cannot change. A mistake.
    Most natural things fall into my non bullshit range – the skies, the birds, the garden.
    And most if not all of the bullshit is created by people. Often people in authority. Or who think they are.
    I think I need to step away from a LOT of people, and hug the ones who matter closer to me.

    • August 13, 2014 at 4:31 am

      YES to what you write about most of the bullshit being created by people! (Also the rest. I am just a fan of every word of your comments in general.) “Why does he keep talking twenty minutes after he’s run out of stuff to say?!” and “Why does she never listen?!” and so on and so forth. Worrying about other peoples’ whys can occasionally get me closer to understanding, but (a) that’s only thinking on it for 20-30 seconds, not hours,and (b) definitely doesn’t get me one inch closer toward change. Best to call it what it is and move on, as often as I can.

  3. August 12, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    My two pawns usually do the trick. Also pairing really good beer with really good food. And writing, obviously. I could probably go on with this too.

  4. August 12, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    This was ‘not bullshit’. This made me smile all the way across my face, exactly at a time I needed to smile all the way across my face. I absolutely love you.

    • August 13, 2014 at 4:35 am

      I am so glad to hear this, my friend. As fate would have it, the thought of you smiling makes me smile … lending further credence to the idea life will be better not just immediately but in ripples if I keep asking myself bullshit/not-bullshit and allotting appropriate emotional resources. FWIW, I am also smiling very wide knowing I’ll soon be seeing the guy whose use of the words “That’s bullshit!” got me thinking in those terms. (He uses it in a really high, silly pitch when talking about babies or critters are fussing. “Oh, no one’s snuggling you because your diaper is being changed? That’s bullshit!” It’s said so lovingly and ridiculously I just have to giggle.)

  5. 18mitzvot
    August 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Excellent idea. Thanks for sharing.

  6. August 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    What a great way to VENT and RELISH in the same breath. I’ll add cheese and bread, more cheese, more bread, and sharing a glass of wine with hubby after babies are asleep. I suddenly feel less glib about things.

    • August 13, 2014 at 4:42 am

      I love how you sum this up! Those are the perfect words: venting and relishing. I felt so wound up as I was driving that none of my usual tricks were working to wind me down. I finally opted to loudly sing a couple of my mom’s old favorites (“The Gambler,” “The Boxer”). It didn’t work immediately, but about four songs in, I felt my heart lightening. I remembered my mom in a few favorite moments, with a little additional lightening–like, hey! This is where your heart should be, Deb! Then I pictured this one picture and, bam! It felt like the best of life, or the exact opposite of bullshit. The last burden of stress was eased and I pulled over the car to write this post, and capture the insight I wanted to expand well beyond that moment. Big, big hugs, and hurrah for all your not-bullshit joys. ♥

  7. August 12, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    not bullshit: my dog’s unbridled enthusiasm. baby laughter. chocolate. stretching.

    • August 13, 2014 at 4:43 am

      Hear, hear! Stretching is something I try and do more these days after seeing how often Littler J does it. I never, ever feel worse after stretching than before.

  8. August 12, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    This is a reminder I desperately needed right about now. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed of late with the baby and housework and family expectations to the extent that at times I feel like I’m drowning. I need to pull myself out of this bullsh*t and focus on the not-bullsh*t

    • August 13, 2014 at 4:45 am

      It sounds like you and I are very much on the same page. In my case, I wasn’t catching the life jacket even when my husband was saying “You are free to do [X]!” I wasn’t feeling it yet. Yesterday’s reflections in light of my weekend post felt so, so freeing. I hope you can find a little of that, too. (And that I can keep it also!)

      • August 13, 2014 at 8:29 am

        I hope so too!

  9. August 13, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Great idea. Your blog is definitely not bullshit as are writing, hummingbirds, good friend, summer rain, star trek movies, corn on the cob, yada yada (and the show that came from).

    • August 13, 2014 at 4:47 am

      Your blog is definitely not bullshit as are writing

      I love your list. I love being able to see the things that light someone else up. I also love summer rain–all kinds of rain, really, being a displaced PNWer–as well as the song “English Summer Rain,” which makes me thinking I ought rummage up my Placebo CDs before starting today’s commute. 🙂

  10. August 13, 2014 at 5:10 am

    Beautiful. This is a good reminder for me. Recently, I was thinking about how since I have no major disasters occurring in my personal life (thank G-d), I’ve been “making” trouble for myself by focusing on problems that are non-problems. And yeah, all the things I’ve gotten worked up about totally fall into the first category. And haha about the clowns.

  11. August 13, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Excellent idea – great list! This week I’ve been trying to let go of the BS, it’s the last week I get to drive my son to and from school (for cheer practice) as he gets his license next week. I’m thinking about all of the times that I didn’t want to drive him and feeling grateful that I had the opportunity to feel so inconvenienced! LOL. It’s not the list you asked for – but it’s my no BS this week 😉

  12. August 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Great idea! But I can’t promise not to get bogged down in bullshit – there’s just too much of it around.

  13. August 14, 2014 at 4:24 am

    not bullshit: kicking a soccer ball around with my kids, giggling like mad with my kids, a hot cup of coffee, eating the last bit of ice cream in the freezer, taking long walks by the river to work off that ice cream…

  14. August 15, 2014 at 5:30 am

    I need to get my husband to read this. He constantly concentrates on the little things. I have a similar approach to you but haven’t been able to sway him yet. Well written!

  1. August 13, 2014 at 7:20 pm

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