My Give a Damn is Busted
There is an old country song by Joe Diffie titled My Give a Damn's Busted. Here lately, that's exactly how I feel.
I'm not sure what's to credit for this new attitude. Part of me wonders if it's a result of getting older, while another part of me thinks I'm just exhausted with all the online commentary, but either way I think I'm just done giving a damn.
I spent the first twenty years of my adult life trying to improve myself. I was goal setting, reading the latest research and self-help books, implementing experiments and buying crap that is supposed to enrich my life. I worked hard on becoming better than I was in some grandiose dream that one day I'd be the perfect version of myself. But while I was off chasing this insane fantasy, I gathered enough wisdom to realize there is no perfect version of myself. In fact, most of the time and effort I put into all of this "progression" didn't really make that much of a difference. I evolved the natural way, by experiencing the ups and downs of life firsthand, and then learning from them.
I think back to all the wasted time I spent fanboying or debating about television shows and movie franchises I didn't like. I think of how, at the core, I really didn't care, I just felt like that was the thing to do. Now, I see this discourse happening on the internet and I can't stop thinking, "Why? Who cares?"
Recently, the creator of Lower Decks mentioned that if folks liked the show, they needed to watch it as soon as it debuted because that’s the metric the streaming services go by. I've known this for a while, so usually when a show I like drops, I rush out to binge it (despite this not being my preferred method of television consumption) just to "show my support" or champion the show. Over the past year, I stopped doing this, and when I read the Lower Decks showrunner's comment, it made me realize that as much as I like Lower Decks and so many other TV shows, I truly have no power of keeping them from being cancelled and quite frankly, if its cancelled, I'll just find something else to watch. It's not the end of the world.
I guess, over the past few years, watching these big entertainment companies treat their franchises as the money-making endeavors they are, really allowed me to separate myself from them. That little bit of space gave me breathing room to know my role in the chain of entertainment, and it also gave me room to see that I truly don't care.
And I talked about this earlier this year, but Clerks III also made an impact on me when I watched it. Seeing Randal, fanboying into his middle-age, made me realize just how pathetic it can become.
The new question I ask myself whenever I read something or am about to do something is: do I care? And most of the time the answer is no.
One example happened two weeks ago when I attempted to shop at Trader Joe's. It was a weekday morning, but the parking lot was swamped. I circled it twice and couldn't find a spot, so I just left. I don't care. I can shop somewhere else.
Thoughts on AI? Politics? The latest scandal? I don't care.
Trying to keep up with blogging? Don't care.
Being a completionist? Don't care.
Keeping up with hobbies just so I can stay current in discussions with friends? Don't care.
I just want to chat and do things that are positive and pleasurable. I want the least amount of friction in my life, and I want to try and enjoy it.