“But if he is in the apartment then we have to walk him before we go to bed every night, ” my step-dad said while we were sitting in my family’s living room.
“If we don’t move to an apartment then we have to drive 3 hours to work every day” lamented my mother as she pets the dog they were complaining about.
My parents were arguing about whether or not they wanted to move to an apartment closer to work or keep living in their suburban house. The dog was currently a point of contention. He’s about 60 lbs. and as cute as can be, but he needs space and attention. At the house he has a nice doggy door that he can use to go outside when he pleases, in a city apartment he won’t have this luxury. My parents would have to walk him every few hours so that he can get his exercise and do his business, send faxes write memos and catch up on emails etc. The house is about an hour and a half from where my mother works and she has been doing that drive for 20 something years, yes it’s ridiculous we all know.
I chimed in, “the way I see it is you’re going to have to put up with some sort of bullshit either way. Here you have the luxury of not needing to walk the dog but the price you pay is spending 3 hours every day driving to work. You just have to figure out which bullshit you want to put up with.” They could get rid of the dog, but that would mean facing the wrath of my sister, another form of bullshit that they would need to deal with.
Bullshit, in my mind, is anything that you don’t want to do but you have to anyway. Traffic is bullshit, tipping wait staff is bullshit, and airport security is bullshit. Bullshit is not something that should necessarily be eliminated since I don’t really want to live in a world where there is absolutely no airport security. Some could argue, myself included, bullshit adds a bit of spice to life.
Everyone’s life has bullshit, you and I both have bullshit in our lives, Bill Gates has to deal with bullshit, and your biggest rival has to put up with it too. It’s the price of living in this world. My approach to bullshit is to only put bullshit in my life that I want, and if unavoidable bullshit is in my life I just see it as inevitable and don’t waste my time complaining about it.
What if bullshit was enjoyable? Well then it wouldn’t be bullshit, would it? There are some things that I would consider bullshit that I do enjoy putting up with. I just got back from a trip to China and man that’s a country that’s up to its nose in bullshit, for every one or two things they do right they do 3 or 4 things back asswards. Don’t get me wrong I love the place! I even want to live there in the near future, but drop most Americans in the middle of that place they would probably get fed up with chopsticks, trash burning, traffic lights, pollution, being served hot water with your meal instead of ice water, the list goes on.
Despite this I rather enjoyed the experience, I got to wake up every morning knowing that I was going to discover some fresh inconvenience in my life and I would get to maneuver that difficulty. Maybe I’m a masochist, most likely I just like being difficult, but it was fun! Yet when I made it back to Texas I was utterly annoyed by classic Texas bullshit that I’ve grown up with, big trucks cutting me off, having to drive to get anywhere I want to go, having to park next to an ass that took up one and a half parking spaces, seeing people with revolvers on their hip because we think open carry is a good idea, one day it’s hot outside the next it’s freezing. These things don’t excite me because I’ve been fucking with them for years and I know how to maneuver them.
I have a feeling if you put an adventurous Chinese traveler in this position they would be awestruck and excited to see some of the Jeeps out here, along with finding other interest in the bullshit I am sick of dealing with.
China is a bullshit I am excited to deal with, Texas is a bullshit I am tired of. My friends and family are amazed that I want to go back to China asking “Why would you want to do that to yourself?” I call this bullshit I enjoy. You have bullshit in your life that you enjoy, just think of the last time your friends said, “I can’t see how you put up with ______!”
You also probably have bullshit in your life that annoys you. Think of the last time you said to your friend “I don’t know why I deal with ______.” Instead of bitching and moaning about how your life is inconvenient I suggest that you look at it from two different angles.
The first option is asking can I replace this bullshit with something else? For example instead of having to deal with the bullshit of health problems you could replace that bullshit with eating healthy and working out. Yeah, you won’t get to eat as much as you want but at least you don’t have to worry about taking heart attack medication. Arguably you’re never going to be happy with every aspect of your life, I get that, just work to choose which kind of bullshit you’re going to be putting up with.
The second angle is to look at the bullshit as a bullshit you chose to deal with. If someone hates working out and eating their green beans that’s fine. However, they should be willing to accept that whatever health effects are suffered as bullshit they chose.
Whatever you do there will be bullshit, stop trying to eliminate all bullshit from your life and start cherry picking it. If you’re not a sharecropper you probably have enough freedom in your life to exchange whatever current bullshit is in your life out for a new model of bullshit, ideally the new and shiny bullshit will be something you’re better at dealing with, but you know what they say about polishing a turd.