Stop It! (stop it right now)



It seems like every few days, a post comes through the feed with a list of things I’m supposed to stop doing: “Ten Words Mothers Need to Stop Using Right Now,” or “12 Things Writers Need to Stop Writing Right Now,” or “100 Thoughts Homo Sapiens Need to Stop Thinking Right Now,”  Bossy life hacks, who presume to know better than the rest of us, have taken over the blogosphere. It’s like a zombie apocalypse. And the emphasis is always on the “right now.”  Well, in response to this obnoxious trend, I’ve come up with my own damn list. It’s random but it’s all true. And it’s for anyone. Here are ten things to stop doing (right now):

  1. Driving with your dog on your lap. It’s not cute. One sudden slam on the brakes and pooch is smashed on the steering column or out the windshield. That’s no way to treat a friend.
  2. Keeping dried out pens around. They’re never going to “undry” or write again. Toss those irritating suckers.
  3. If you are Caucasian, stop arguing with people of color on Facebook (or anywhere else) about the existence of racism. Would you debate a cardiologist about the actuality of artery-clogging cholesterol? I don’t think so. Shut up and listen.
  4. Clenching your buttocks and pursing your lips. Lighten up. Take an Ex-Lax. Perpetual annoyance causes premature aging, wrinkles and other problems. When your fellow travelers are playful with you, it’s a gift. Try gratitude.
  5. Being an asshole, not working on your shit and sending the rest of us into therapy to deal with the fallout of you.
  6. Depriving yourself of ice cream. It doesn’t have to be a head-first, full-on Chunky Monkey orgy. It doesn’t have to get messy. You don’t have to be a freak about it. But for the love of God, have a scoop now and then and enjoy without guilt. Let your taste buds party and your eyes roll back in your head. We’re here to have fun.
  7. Not letting people ahead of you in the checkout line if you have a bazillion items and they have just one. There is a special section in the karma department for grocery store offenders.
  8. Worrying about everything and ruminating on worst case scenarios. Stop chewing yourself up and spitting out an anxious wad of misery. Have a little faith. A lot of people love you. Shit will get figured out. You will be OK.
  9. Staring at your phone when loved ones are trying to talk to you. Your presence is more important than anything that is happening on that gadget. That fucking cell phone will not keep you warm at night, or comfort your weary soul or hold your delicate hand as you take your last precious breaths.
  10. Writing and/or reading “X (number of) things you need to stop doing right now” posts.