As I’ve gotten older, I realise that I’m slowly (or some days, quite quickly) running out of fucks to give. Pretty much like Hugo in this picture actually, although he looks like this pretty much all the time.
I read an article earlier this year (you can read it here), and I’m paraphrasing, about how we only have so many fucks to give in a lifetime. While we may start out giving them away to just everything, as we get older, and some might say wiser, we start to realise that they are limited, so we need to hold onto them. Giving them only to the things that are worthy.
What we deem is worthy, I’m guessing, changes person to person, and probably even day to day. And I’m not sure I can quantify exactly what measure a fuck is – is it a gram, a word, a minute, a look, a millilitre, a tonne, a hug, a whisper, a metre? Whatever it is, they are finite.
I have a theory that they are measured out to us on a weekly basis in the hope that there will be enough to see you from Monday to Friday and the weekend should be a time to replenish them in time for Monday to start the process all over again.
However, some weeks there just isn’t enough. Some weeks I’m out of fucks by Wednesday and one particularly awful week, I think my record was Tuesday. This makes getting through the rest of the week almost impossible; I drag my feet, I wade through the days, I find it hard to get excited about anything much.
I’m getting better at recognising these weeks and just like Poss when her cup has overflowed, I try and look for ways to replenish the balance before it’s too late. Early nights, cuddles on the couch, a gin, a few West Wing episodes and a vent sometimes do the trick. Other weeks I just have to suck it up and make it through.
The frequency of these weeks lately has prompted me to look at what I’m actually giving my fucks to. I think I’m letting too many, ultimately unimportant, things get under my skin. I need to get better at the ability to let things slide away without stealing a fuck or two on their way out.
If I don’t keep an eye on these sneaky ones escaping on the back of the other things, then before I know it, I won’t have enough fucks to give about the things that really do matter. And there are too many things that really do matter to me, that I have to save those fucks for.
Bit by bit I’m weeding out the things that don’t deserve my time, let alone my fucks. I’m learning to let things sweep by me, without having to dip my toe in the water every single time. To trust that things will work out for the best, that others are better placed to give their fucks, that it’s simply not important.
It’s a hard lesson to learn, but assuming our fucks to give really are finite, that we can only replenish them so many times before we lose them altogether, I need to prioritise better.