Nope. Not doing that...
My favorite coming of middle age moment has been owning the power of NOPE.
With age, comes an expanding list of shit-I-won't-do — carved in stone. I no longer have to pretend to like sports bars, shitty beer, or dancing naked in the desert to EDM — Are you HIGH?
The Fuck-it list
I highly recommend B /siders to write down an honest fuck-it list you can live by. It's a serious time-saver. I'm not suggesting you give up on everything — it's tempting once you get started, but you don't want to become a fuck-it-aholic. Start small and build from there. Here are some examples:
Online surveys. It's a thing now for a business to request customer feedback every step of the way. Nearly every company with your email does this. No Uber, I don't want to help you improve. You're already worth billions. Your survey takes 5-20 minutes out of my life. You can afford to pay for my opinion if it means that much to you. Sorry LinkedIn, Amazon, and Verizon. Why don't you hire a user experienced tester who needs the job? Or offer me something I might want in exchange, like a free massage. Otherwise, NOPE.
That unlistenable music in pilates class. I don't care if it's just me, but since 2009, I can't stand the work out music. I know I'm older than my millennial instructors, but does every song on every playlist need auto-tune? And what happened to following the beat? Rhythm is like truth in your body. Any wonky variation from the truth is confusing, like fake news. But don't mind me — I won't be coming to class anymore.
Jumpsuits. In the eighties, I wore cat suits with stirrup feet. I did my time and I'm not spending another decade in a romper. The end.
Unpaid work for promotion. Imagine if you asked your new dentist, "Could you just fill my filling for free? It'd be great promotion! Trust me, it'll pay off later..." You wouldn't dare, right? But this is exactly what happens to designers, writers, and musicians, even after we've established ourselves as professionals with a proven track record. I guess everyone thinks we're magic little elves with extra-curricular hobbies, and we don't have bills to pay because we live in the forrest. When I hear the words 'promotion', or 'on spec', I run for the... forrest of NOPE.
Balancing on elbows in yoga. You know the pose I'm talking about; limbs fly to the west, while you cantilever your cheeseburger-stuffed torso onto elbows that wobble south. This is will never feel good! You'll be fine in life if you skip it.
Lying about my age. If you like being mysterious— good luck with that in the information age. If you like pretending you know Justin Bieber songs, or that you tinder & snapchat without reading glasses, then go to town! Shave off 15 years — Why else are you donating so much to botox?
Explaining why to Trump supporters. 'Turns out real news is free too. I'm out.
Once you've mastered the power of NOPE, you'll have time to pursue meaningful interests. Use it wisely — Listen to the B / Side!
Rx B /side track
Here's one from The Monkees, For Pete's Sake.
If you're inspired, please share yours :