Thursday, January 22, 2015

Getting Down to Business

The older you get, the more you realize that time is a precious and fleeting commodity. Hence, the universal appeal of Mark Manson’s viral “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.” (See also prior O.H.M. post titled: “Mark Manson and Not Giving a Fuck”). In the same vein, at a certain point you stop fucking around and decide it is time to just get down to business with things. Here are just five everyday examples:

1. Sleep: Everyone has a favorite sleep position: stomach; back; side; whatever. It’s only when you get into this exact position that your body knows: It’s time to quit lying around, and it’s time to get down to the business of sleep now.

2. Trail Mix and Ice Cream: The best part of all trail mix is the chocolate chips. The best part of all ice cream is the chunks. It’s not fun to buy candy and just eat it directly. You need the experience of excavating it out of some other less obvious form of candy. This is another example of getting down to business and cutting straight to the heart of the matter: mining all of the chocolate out of trail mix and ice cream so that the next person is left with a hollow shell of a treat they no longer want. To the victor go the spoils.

3. Bathrooms: No one likes to do their business in hostile territory, but sometimes you just have to hit the road and bring your away game. In these situations, you need to be strategic and get right to the best bathroom you know of. Locations will vary depending on where it is and where you are, but the metrics are always the same: private, discreet, clean, and most of all, rarely frequented. Don’t even bother asking. It will take a CIA rendition via "enhanced interrogation" to get me to give up that intel.

4. That Plastic Go-Fish Fishing Game: This is a child’s game consisting of a round plastic disc with little plastic fish in it and rods you use to hook into their mouths. It’s battery operated and goes around and around. The object is to snag as many plastic fish as possible. The game is only enjoyable when you get down to business (read: cheat) by holding the lower half of the rod close to the bottom and jamming it into the fishes’ plastic mouths with surgical precision. I’m too old to be embarrassed at the number of hours I’ve logged playing this game without my kids.

5. Email: Nothing is a bigger time-waster than email. That’s why you have to be very liberal with the “delete” key. I find it’s better to risk accidentally deleting something important than it is to spend forever culling through emails trying to figure out which ones matter. I tell myself that if it's really important, email will never be the only way I hear about it.

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