Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Tag Archive: opinions

It’s my birthday and I’ll philosophize if I want to

I KNOW! A Monday post from me! But it’s my birthday and I do what I want. 

So, a few weeks ago, someone found my site by searching for “don’t give a fuck anymore”. I hope they meant it in a good way, like the Sarah Knight Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck way and not in a mental health depression way because that makes me concerned and I hope they’re okay, but either way, this is clearly a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. I know I’ve written about things I don’t care about before (you can read a couple of my favorites here and here and here) but in honor of my 40th birthday, here’s yet another incomplete list of things that I’ve learned are completely unimportant and a list of things that are and they’re in no particular order or even separate lists or because that’s how my mind works now. 

  • How much money you make. I’ve met rich people who are stingy assholes and poor people who would give you their last and only sandwich. It’s not about how much money you have. It’s about what you do with it and how you treat people. 
  • Speaking of money, if it’s not my budget, it’s not my business. I give zero fucks about how other people choose to spend their money and you will get zero judgment from me if you make a choice I wouldn’t. I might not understand your choice or make that one for myself but I don’t have to live with your wallet. 
  • Your religion. Okay, that sounds wrong. But what I mean is that I don’t care who or what you worship, or if you worship at all, because it genuinely doesn’t matter to me. We can be friends regardless as long as you’re not harming anyone or leading a cult. 
  • What you feed your kids (if you have them). Are they fed? Good. 
  • Speaking of kids, it’s unimportant to me how many you have or if you have them at all. I love my non-parent friends as much as my parent friends and I also believe that having kids doesn’t make you superior to anyone and that having 5 kids doesn’t make you superior to those with 1. It’s not a fucking contest. It does take a village so let’s all work together to raise a generation of caring, compassionate, driven, helpful, decent people. 
  • Comparing myself, my situation, my progress, my kid, my anything to anyone else. I do me. You do you. There’s room for all of us to succeed and be happy. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: success is not a finite resource. It’s not cake. 
  • Take risks. Or don’t. It’s up to you and what you feel comfortable with and I don’t care one way or the other. I just want you to be happy with your choices and if you want to do something that scares you, I’ll be there to support you. I will encourage but never pressure and if staying in your comfort bubble makes you happy, then I’ll support that, too. 
  • One more thing about kids and this one is preachy rather than an important vs. unimportant musing. If you choose to have them, remember that they are not there to fix your past mistakes or live your missed opportunities. They are their own people with their own minds and interests and gifts and talents. Your kids’ accomplishments are your kids’ accomplishments. They are not yours. Be proud of them, encourage them, and provide options and opportunities as time and money allow for it. But let them make their own choices. 
  • Social status, or perceived social status, is an absolute load of shit. We don’t live in a caste system, no one is better than anyone, and how you treat animals, service and retail workers, and the elderly will tell me more about you than anything else.  
  • Other’s opinions of you, at the end of the day, don’t matter. It means nothing to me if someone thinks I’m fat or lazy or the grammar police or a terrible mother or a good mother or funny or anything else. I have to look in the mirror at the end of the day and be okay with myself and how I lived that day. 

For more of what I believe, you can also read my 14 Commandments, life lessons from my grandfather, and 38 pearls of wisdom (I wrote that on my 38th birthday). 

Let me be clear that my beliefs, my thoughts, and my opinions are fluid and when I turn 50, they might change. Most likely not but I’m open minded and I’m willing to see what the next 10 years have in store. 

And now that my brain is exhausted from all this deep stuff, I will eat carrot cake and take a nap because that’s how you celebrate your birthday when you’re 40.

Half-baked Tuesday

I have many thoughts swirling around in my head but none complete enough to make a whole post so let’s just throw all of them together and see what comes out.

I’m working on redesigning my site. It’s old and it needs a makeover. Badly. Like, it’s WAY overdue. But I’m lacking in the funds department so it’s a DIY situation which is fine. I’m using the color palette from my old site, probably sticking with the same font or finding a similar retro one, and I want a simple, easy theme because that’s where my skills stop. I have the main topics we’ll be focusing on but I’m stuck on a tagline. Any suggestions? P.S. This is why I’m not a copywriter. 

Speaking of career options, you know my author coaching business that I started? Two thoughts: 1) I definitely need my Jerry Maguire moment when I get that one client who believes in me and wants to pay me and all that; 2) self-promotion is not my strong suit. I suffer HARD from imposter syndrome which does not lend itself to starting and growing a business. I’m definitely rethinking the coaching as a viable choice. help-me-help-you

The University of Washington posted an infographic to “help” the girls trying out for the school’s cheer team. I read it. It’s horrible. It’s WHY cheerleaders have the reputation that they do and while the team has since removed the infographic, damage has been done. If people want cheerleading to be taken seriously as a sport–which is it and it should–then teams need to stop doing shit like this. Just because a girl might not curl her hair or have a six pack or wear red lipstick does not mean she can’t tear up the mat. Also, body dos? A “toned physique”? Fuck you, University of Washington. Not only is that a vague and completely subjective statement, what are you doing to these girls? Way to promote completely unhealthy habits and rule out what I’m sure are some damn good athletes because they don’t look the way you want them to. So you can take your infographic and shove it up your perfectly toned asses. Cheerleading is about so much more than appearance and if you can’t recognize that, then maybe you should go fuck yourself. Because I’ll be damned if my 9 year old cheerleader catches wind of its existence. be wrong

On Friday night, the husband and I went to see Pearl Jam. It was surprisingly good, especially for me, a nonfan, and I do not regret going one bit. Glad we spent the money on the experience and congrats to the band on 10 sold out Philadelphia shows. They even have a banner in the rafters commemorating it. They only other artists with banners are Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen so they’re in good company. Which is cool. You know what’s not cool, though? Floors that are so damn sticky I actually lose a shoe to the stick. Like, my shoe stayed in place while I kept going. I’m seriously too old for that shit. Also, I’m too old to inhale secondhand weed smoke during a concert but maybe that’s another post.too old

So, one of the things I love about blogging is that bloggers love to help each other out. Which is why my friend Brynne from Femme Frugality and I have teamed up to help a blogger get to FinCon16. If you or someone you know wants to go but maybe needs a little help getting there, we’re giving away a free ticket. There’s an application process, though, so it’s not a lottery. You have to kind of work for it, and you can see all the details and access the contest page by visiting here. P.S. This is not an unfinished idea but rather a shameless plug for something I’m doing. #sorrynotsorry

What unfinished ideas are swirling around in your head?

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Things I’m too tired to do

And by “tired”, I really mean “too old to care, too indifferent to make the time, and too focused on other things to bother”:

  • Learn another social media. Snapchat, Anchor, Periscope…God knows what else is out there. I’m happy with my Twitter and IG and FB when I remember and honestly, even that’s too much most days.
  • Care what other people are doing with their free time. Do whatever makes you happy, I’ll do what makes me happy and we’ll all move along. 
  • Compare anything about me to anything about you. Especially our kids. Parenting should not be a competitive sport and if it is, count me out because I hate playing competitive sports. 
  • FOMO. Is that even still a thing? Because I don’t pay attention to slang. But I truly have no fear of missing out. If I miss it, I miss it. Except the Oscars the other night. I had to stay up to see if I lived in a world where Leonardo DiCaprio won an Academy Award.
  • How much you hustle, especially if you try to make me feel bad because I don’t do it enough. Hustling is exhausting. It requires a ton of energy and brain power and all that and I don’t care to spend my whole life doing it. So let me be.
  • If your kid took a shit on the toilet for the first time. #sorrynotsorry. I’m too worried about my own bathroom habits and have zero fucks left to give for your potty training toddler. I mean, I’m happy for you because diapers suck but that’s where my ability to care ends.
  • Trendy fashion. At this point in my life, I know what works for me and what doesn’t. No need to try anything new. 
  • Friend drama. If you’re causing me drama, we’re not going to be friends. 

You know what I’m not too tired or indifferent to care about? This presidential election. I’m not going to go off on a whole tangent about one particular candidate or candidates but I will say that it saddens me to see what our political system has become. That these options are the best the parties have to offer. That no one qualified and decent is stepping forward, that name recognition and money mean more than credentials, and that voters are willing to ignore major character flaws (and I mean MAJOR) and not demand better. That it’s become a student council election run on promises of less homework and more vacation time instead of who’s the most qualified and strongest person to run the most powerful country in the world. That a Supreme Court justice dies and it’s another platform plank or point of contention instead of showing respect for the highest fucking court we have (now, don’t get me wrong. Supreme Court nominations are always contentious between the parties but what’s going on with Scalia’s seat is a huge steaming pile of bullshit). That the candidates are so divisive and are driving a wedge even deeper into society rather than working to heal some very large, very open, very sore wounds. 

And then there’s this. 

When almost no one is happy with ANY of the nominees, there’s a problem. Usually you can find one and you’re like, you know what? I can live with this for the next 4 years. Republican, Democrat, Independent…doesn’t matter. It might not be the person you want (and, if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain) but you can deal with it. But that’s not happening this time. No, for this election, it’s more of a “well, this person gets my vote because they suck the least according to my own beliefs and let’s hope they don’t fuck it up” attitude. It’s not agreeing with a candidate’s views or policies. It’s disagreeing with them the least.

It’s fine to work for a boss like that. When it’s the person running your country, though, that’s something entirely different.

 

Linking up with Kristin

Stuff, Things, etc.

 

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Rants on parade

I had originally planned this post to be a rant about one specific topic but as I kept thinking (always a dangerous thing), I found more that I needed to rant about. So instead of one long rant, it’ll be some shorter rants about a few topics. 

#squadgoals, #relationshipgoals. I despise these hashtags, especially when they apply to celebrity ass kissing. It irks the shit out of me when we see a celebrity couple doing something that THE REST OF US ALREADY DO with our spouses/partners/friends/kids/general life and then we’re told by whatever trash website that that’s what we should aspire to be. And let’s not even discuss the guilt factor that comes into play that we don’t do those things. A) NO. They have access to privilege and resources that the rest of us don’t so OF COURSE it looks like they’re way more awesome than we are. B) Why do I want to be something that I’m not. I’m nothing like Taylor Swift and her friends or Judd Apatow and his friends so why do I need to model my friendships after what they do? Why isn’t being how I am good enough? I guess it’s not enough to have fucked up body images as a result of our obsessive celebrity culture. Now we have fucked up relationship images, too. 

squadgoals

Grain free chocolate chip cookies. I made these over the weekend. WHY YOU HAVE TO BE SO GOOD? No joke, my family ate like a full dozen (or more) in 2 days. Yes, we’re pigs. Yes, we’re fine with it. 

Calling books “The next Gone Girl“. Stop it. Stop it right now. No book will be the next Gone Girl because Gone Girl was its own book and I read it and I don’t want to read a book that’s the same. A book can be a thriller and mystery and fucked up without being labeled as “the next something”. Also, why can’t we just let the GG phenomenon be its own thing? Why can’t we just enjoy what it was without always looking for its successor?Because by doing that, you’re setting the next book up to fail. It’ll be measured against one singular standard rather than its own merits and that’s not fair to the book or author.

The idea of success as a limited resource. I have always been the type of person who supports friends, family, and coworkers. I try to connect people where I can, collaborate when possible, be a cheerleader for others’ aspirations, and provide help and assistance. I don’t feel that someone else’s success means that there’s none left for me. I believe that there’s room for everyone to be successful and meet their goals and I don’t necessarily view someone doing the same thing as me (like having a blog or podcast or acquiring books or whatever) as competition. Everyone relates and connects differently to others and maybe someone who isn’t a good fit for me is a good fit for you and vice versa. And if we help each other along, don’t we both become more successful? Isn’t that the point? Success isn’t like bread before a snowstorm, in limited quantity and available to the first buyers. There’s plenty to go around, it never runs out, and there’s more than enough for everyone to get a share regardless of when you show up.flower
10PM start times. I don’t watch much TV but I do watch some and I guess it has to do with the nature of what I like to watch but why must all the shows I like start at 10PM? It’s really fucking annoying. Even if I hate commercials, sometimes a girl just wants to watch a show live and not have to go to bed at midnight because of it, you know?

I’m 38 but close enough.

Kesha. What. The. Fuck. I had only been casually following what she’s been dealing with but then when I heard that the court supported Sony and that producer and have kept her legally bound to the man who (allegedly) abused her, I was appalled. Disgusted. Confused. How have we gotten to the point where the safety of women, and by extension, anyone, is less important than a contract? It reminds me too much of what the Duggars did to their children and now, it’s being supported and upheld by a court as okay. It’s not. It never will be. 

My dog, Barkley. No matter where I sit or lay down, that dog must be digging his paws into me. I love him, I really do, but good Lord, is it hard to sleep with 4 paws pressing on your spine.

The fact that I had to name this post after the Rage Against the Machine song “Bulls on Parade” Mostly because it’s been stuck in my head for days. #earworm #atleastitsnotpopmusic

I also wanted to rant about the girl who got fired from Yelp after posting a letter online to the Yelp CEO that she was too poor to afford groceries and rent but I feel like there’s more to that story than we’ve been told and something about the situation isn’t sitting right with me but this topic could be its own post and this one is long enough already. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that if you have some, though.

What are you ranting about?

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Content creation vs. content consumption

Over the last few days, the idea of content creation versus content consumption has popped up all over my Facebook feed. From people wondering how to balance the two to people espousing the benefits of one over the other, it seems to be a popular topic of conversation for some reason. And as both of creator and consumer of content, I have thoughts. 

Which I’m going to share with you. 

You’re welcome. 

First, let’s talk about the thought that creating content is better than consuming it. It’s more satisfying, more fulfilling…whatever word you want to use to imply that it’s better to make your own stuff than to purchase, watch, read, listen to someone else’s. And on some level, I agree. There is something extremely gratifying about writing a blog post or short story or song and pushing it out into the world. The whole “I did it!” element fills you with confidence and pride and amazement that something creative can come from your brain and hands. And if other people like it, that’s even better! 

That’s where the problem comes in. What if other people don’t like it? What if no one reads or listens? What if it just falls into the void? And how much effort should you put in to making sure it gets to an audience? If no one consumes it, should you keep creating it just for personal satisfaction?

That’s a lot of stress, especially for something that you might just be doing for fun. And if you’re doing it for fun, then by all means, give zero fucks about what people think and keep on keepin’ on. But if you’re doing it for another purpose–to build a business or platform or get noticed or whatever–and no one cares about it or notices it, is the effort and time you’re spending truly worth it just for that fleeting moment of pride? And if it’s not, do you quit or keep doing it just for fun (I say keep doing it for fun but it’s definitely a debatable opinion)? 

See? There’s lots of questions to consider that make the whole “it’s better to create than consume” mantra not so straightforward. 

And, underlying all of that is the assumption that consuming content is inherently bad. It’s not. Yes, if you start using social media as an actual barometer for your life or you spend all your time on Pinterest or Lifehacker, trying to replicate every single idea, recipe, or life hack you come across, it’s a problem but reading books or blogs? Watching movies or TV shows or documentaries? Listening to music? NONE OF THAT IS BAD. There’s a reason people are fighting to keep arts and music in school and that is because it makes our world beautiful. We need it in our lives–and not just what we produce, but what others produce because no matter what you can do, there’s someone who can do something different or better or groundbreaking and to shut yourself out from exposure to that can be damaging to you not only as a person but as a content creator. Haven’t you ever felt inspired by a painting or piece of music or photo or book to do something of your own? I have. So why refrain from consuming it?

Not only that, sometimes it’s just satisfying to sit back and watch what someone else has done and simply appreciate the talent and time and effort that went in to making it. For example, I know when I walked out of a Broadway showing of “American Idiot” a few years ago, I was in awe of the entire production, songs and sets and singing and orchestra and costumes and lighting…all of it. I felt satisfied as a consumer of that art.

I think it’s totally fine to consume content and be content with what you’ve seen (or read or listened to) without having to feel an obligation to create. 

It’s about balance. 

Which leads to my next point. 

How much should you be creating versus consuming? There’s no right answer to this, unfortunately. It’s about making time for all of it in your life if that’s what you want. I know plenty of people who are simply consumers. There’s nothing wrong with that, just like there’s nothing wrong with what you like to watch or listen to (despite all the people telling you that reality shows or awards show or talk shows are shit and trash and ruining your brain. While it might have some element of truth, if mindless nonsense is what you enjoy, DO NOT LET ANYONE MAKE YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT IT). Some people do not feel compelled to put their talents into the world. And we have no business telling them that they’re wrong for making that choice 

But for those of us who do like to create as well as consume, the best suggestion I can give you is to simply figure out whatever kind of schedule you can. Pick and choose what you watch or use your DVR to catch up on the weekends and use weeknights after work to work on your project. Or work on them while you’re watching TV. That’s okay, too. If you don’t like to work at night, see what you can do on your lunch break or in the morning or while dinner is in the oven. Set aside a block of time on Saturday or Tuesday nights and put all your focus on your creation into those hours. 

The same goes for what you’re creating. Maybe only work on one project at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with projects. If you have too many ideas, keep a list. Check them off one at a time. Find a collaborator to help if need be. 

I could go on but for your sake I’ll stop with my summary point. Which is that it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation. You can create, you can consume. There’s time for it all, if you make the time, and both are equally, if differently, satisfying.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

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P.S. There are dozens of posts and articles debating this topic. One of the ones that resonated the most for me was this one from Medium, which explores how to mindfully consume content. It’s an important point.