Message From My Core: Not Carpe Diem, but F*ck It

Somewhere there’s a group of psychologists researching babies’ brains in hopes of understanding what our littlest humans are thinking long before they can express themselves with language.  I can picture the team at Yale or the University of Wales devising protocols and running regression models to nail down ways we can learn about the actual thoughts that babies think.

I can tell you right now what my baby self was thinking 39.5-ish years ago.  There’s no question in my  mind that little me was thinking FUCK THAT.

In my deepest core, I know I am hardwired not for perseverance or scrambling over obstacles after expending genuine effort.  Nope. My protons and electrons were programmed for give-upped-ness, not stick-to-it-ness.

Sharp pointing bones stabbing out of my gums during teething? Little Christie was undoubtedly sobbing in hopes that someone would understand that my message to the universe was Fuck this; I don’t want teeth, I want a mouth that doesn’t feel like I’m being murdered from the inside.  Getting shots or being deprived of my desire for unlimited licorice and candy corn?  Fuck this, get me out of this world.

My drive to throw in the towel when things get tough is so automatic, so deeply engrained as my M.O., that it has to be something I was born with.  There’s not one single thing I’ve faced where my first and truest reaction wasn’t Fuck it.  Most of the time, my fuck it is more colorful.  Today’s was fuck it. hard. with a stick.  That was my refrain when I came face to face with my latest demon.  Carpool line.  It’s my Moby Dick.  Call me Fuck It Ishmael.

As I sat locked in a traffic jam comprised of parents doing what I was doing (except they were just driving to school and I was losing my everlasting shit), I felt that innate thing inside of me mushroom, that thing that wants to GIVE UP when things get stressful.  My temperature rises and my adrenaline surges and my mind offers one delicious, tantalizing option: FUCK IT.

This morning’s carpool line fuck it had me swearing I would move to the suburbs or to Wyoming where there is enough room for everyone to put their car somewhere while they walk their kids to school.  Rural Canada sounded like an ideal option.  Today was just like the time I was learning to ski–when my alpine skills failed to produce actual skiing after a few hours of lessons, I thought Fuck this, let’s go to the beach.  When calculus got hard, I said fuck this, let’s major in English.  One bad date and I was all fuck this, I’ma be a lesbian nun.  When attempting a VBAC became excruciating, believe me you could hear my fuck this, where’s the scalpel to cut out my baby! all the way across the border… of outer Mongolia.

It’s so deep inside of me that I can’t get it out. I think it is me.  It’s equal parts fear of struggle and fear I won’t make it to the other side. It also feels like I am going to die.  How someone thinks traffic jams, the quadratic equation, or shitty speed dating could end in the cessation of life is beyond me, but that’s how it feels.

And it’s not subject to logic.  Like this morning– I knew that some day soon we’ll figure out the whole carpool line, but in that frantic moment my truest self dominates and she says this will never get better and someone will probably die here, even though I couldn’t see how a fleet of family friendly cars going ZERO miles per hour could result in a fatality.

Honestly, I’m a little disappointed that my core isn’t more resilient or inspirational.  Why can’t the theme of my consciousness be I love a challenge or Watch me dominate this situation?   Why does folding my cards without a fight always have to be my go to?

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45 thoughts on “Message From My Core: Not Carpe Diem, but F*ck It

  1. I totally hear what you’re saying. My go-to give-up line is usually “I can’t do this.” But an idea from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has really helped me: when you’re in the middle of something hard and you say “I can’t do this” you have to stop and realize that yes, actually, you can because you are in fact, at that moment, DOING IT.

    You are absolutely strong and resilient. I mean, hell, you have two kids under four. And you’re DOING IT. You rock 🙂

    • It always occurs to me that letting that message dominate might make things harder for me. It’s awfully defeatist and the truth is that I do do things. I finish school and I get through carpool and I learned to ski, etc. But damn, it sure feels awful right before cresting.

      On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 10:08 PM, Outlaw Mama

    • Exactly. I Still get shizz done. It just feels like it might make it harder to be so damn Fuckity fuck it about it. For all I know that’s the phrase that initiates success and healing. What the fuck do I know? Nada.

      On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 10:12 PM, Outlaw Mama

  2. Can I tell you something that will get me kicked off the Interwebs? I watched a psych study once in which they put boys and girls in a room with a task that was a bit harder than their age level. Boys worked and worked and worked at it. Girls tried once and cried. And refused to try again. I wish I could find a source (I searched for about 30 minutes just now before I said Fuck it!) because this is a horrible thing to just proclaim. And I hate that I saw it because there’s no way it’s true. And of course there were exceptions. But seriously, it might just be your second X chromosome. Which, naturally, you can’t change. So fuck it.

    [This line: “they were just driving to school and I was losing my everlasting shit” is why people will never understand us. And I mean you and me.

    • I have a very small sample size: Myself and my husband. He does not have the fuck it button. He does have the opposite which has its own torture. He never ever believes he can’t do something and do it well. It’s the flip side and the flip side of hell is still hell.

      On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 11:06 PM, Outlaw Mama

      • And now that you’ve read my comment, delete it. I will incur the wrath of the Interwebs for having written it. You can leave the bit about being awesome cuz we have two modes: shizz losing and almost shizz losing. 😉

      • And now that you’ve read my comment, delete it. I will incur the wrath of the Interwebs for having written it. You can leave the bit about being awesome cuz we have two modes: shizz losing and almost shizz losing. 😉

    • This makes sense because girls/women are resourceful and creative while men are idiots and bang their heads into walls to do something in the one way they see it, when that same task could be done another way. I bet after those girls got their cry out they completed the task faster and better. (I don’t really believe this (all the time), but I didn’t want you to get kicked off the interwebs alone, so I went bold with my claim).

      • No one’s getting kicked off. Do we really have to always tow this line of “we are all the same” and avoid any gender essentializing? I no more belive you hate women or aren’t a feminist becuase you are thinking about this and engaging in it. I am all about nuance here, people. Nuance.

      • You’re awesome. Thanks for having my back.

        I was genuinely expecting the boys to smash the thing and girls to puzzle it out.

        Since I can’t find the study I’m guessing *it* was the one pulled off the Interwebs.

      • Eh, my mother is a bang-head-into-wall type, actually, or, at least, she’s wicked stubborn. My younger sisters all tacitly agree that they carried on that bull-headed stubbornness (and my baby sister freely admits she’s especially zealous). That doesn’t mean there are no tears, but, y’know, you might hear screaming thoughts of “Run for your lives, she’s pissed off!” from the rest of us.

        My father and I, by contrast, developed humor as our weapon of choice. Then I found my wife and FIL especially shared *his* corny sense of humor. It worked out– and my sisters get it– but my mother doesn’t. At my son’s B-day party, one of my sisters cracked fun about interview questions, like “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” My wife quipped, “In a mirror.” My mother gave the deer in the headlights look, said “I don’t get it” and I lost it, hard. “I shouldn’t be laughing, but I am anyway– sorry!”

  3. Promise you are still in “that” stage where everything is on you and it is sooo stressful b/c it is so hard to get out the door. Pretty soon it will be on them and you will be the “guide” in either letting them choose to pick up the back pack that you have reminded them about 10 times or walk right over it and get in the car and letting them learn on their own. Of course it is tough love, but just saying sooo much of it changes and is back in your court. Of course, the weekly CBT is necessary b/c the thing is you can do it and you just get frustrated b/c you know there are better ways of doing things and it still frustrates you that you can’t accomplish what you used to be able to do in a day.

  4. This made me laugh so hard! I, too, have that inclination, and sometimes it wins. Your description of childbirth made me snort coffee. Outer Mongolia! I never got my much-asked-for epidural during delivery, and I asked a nurse to just knock me out or kill me. Fuck it.

  5. I have the “fuck it” button reaction at first too. Then after I quit crying, I’m all “Fuck if I’m going to let this get me!” and I go back at it and figure it out. I won’t give up, and I won’t let something best me. Just cause “fuck it” is the first reaction doesn’t mean it is who you are. I happen to think you have a ton of drive and a huge desire to succeed. And you totally fucking will, crying “fuck it” even as you keep going anyway.

  6. I think it’s wrong how much I love this post. I love it, not for your suffering, but for your description of it, with gems like: “even though I couldn’t see how a fleet of family friendly cars going ZERO miles per hour could result in a fatality.” And my all time fucking favorite: “How someone thinks traffic jams, the quadratic equation, or shitty speed dating could end in the cessation of life is beyond me, but that’s how it feels.”

    You know very well what my recent strategy has been: fuck it and accept death. See where it goes from there…(and I highly recommend it. Turns out things can only go up from dead!)

  7. Carpool line sounds like a medieval torture device. When we were younger, my mom absolutely refused to deal with it. We walked to and from school from the time we were in 2nd grade, and when it was raining she would drop us off and pick us up a couple blocks from school so she didn’t have to get in line.

    • Your mother is a genius, which makes sense because YOU!!!!!!!!!! We did that this morning. Our nanny dropped me and Sadie off and then I walked her two blocks in and then took train to work. Take that fucking carpool line. My next trick: walking on water.

  8. LOL! I love it. Carpool line makes me CRAZY too. I spend most of it, every day, fussing at and gesturing to the ding dongs who 1. haven’t read/don’t understand the procedure, 2. are lingering as long as possible to watch their perfectly capable little darlings get all the way into the building, 3. have their kids’ backpacks and stuff in the FREAKING TRUNK, and/or 4. aren’t pulling up all the way to the front. AUUUUUGH. I need a beer now. Thanks a lot, Outlaw Mama. Eff it all for sure now. 🙂

  9. And don’t even get me started on the ones whose kids are too delicate to walk a few extra feet. They won’t let their kids out unless they’re 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in line. (I am thinking I have carpool rage issues. Can I have the number of your therapist?)

  10. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-success/201101/the-trouble-bright-girls This may be what Naptimewriting was looking for.

    AND, you’re completely justified. The carpool line is the 7th circle of hell. Even in Lake Forest we had that (and, in fact, there was also NO SIDEWALK to the pick-up spot, not to mention no parking allowed anywhere, especially if your car cost less than $50,000, so there was no way around it), so don’t think that moving to the suburbs makes it better.

  11. Sorry to laugh at you but this killed me: Carpool line. It’s my Moby Dick. Call me Fuck It Ishmael.
    Not a big fan of carpool line either but for me, its more about the fact that I have to stop working and go get my kid. We live just that right distance where its too close for the bus and too far for him to walk. Doesn’t matter where you live, you can’t get away from it.

  12. I hate the friggin’ pickup line at school! It’s quite possibly the one place on Earth where I believe homicide should be utterly justifiable. Everyone, except me of course, has their head up their ass. If they’d simply dig it out, bammo!, the line would move faster and I could move on to something else that makes me want to say ‘Fuck it’…like getting my kids to do homework.

  13. My core doesn’t do this naturally, but it’s finding its way to this slowly and surely. Fuck everything is starting to be the go-to thing. I can’t immediately see the benefit of standing in line behind someone with 40 items in the 15 items or fewer line, when I have 4. Fuck it, didn’t really want this avocado anyway.

  14. Not laughing at you. Laughing with you. And my god, do I love the saying Fuck It. Hard. With a Stick. and Ishmael… I snorted.

    Me? I blame my stubborn manner – I may get frustrated for a minute and raise a wrath of holy hell like you’ve never seen, but then I get pissed and by God, nothing can stop me. What horoscope sign are you, if you would share?

  15. We live a block and a half from the school, so we walk every day. There are people fighting for spots almost as far away as my house because the carpool line is so insane.

    I tend to be all “fuck it” all the time, but I have my little meltdown (often internal) and then I just go get it done. Doesn’t matter what it is. Like when my kitchen sink broke. I was yelling, “Fuck EVERYthing!!” And then I went out and bought a new sink and it turns out I don’t need a plumber, just a handy friend. I figure it’s only a matter of time before my almost-seven-year-old utters the phrase, “Everything can go fuck itself.”

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