Book review: The life changing magic of not giving a fuck

As adults we all inevitably feel overwhelmed now and again. We have bills to pay, forms to fill, a home to clean, chores to do, people to see, places to go, reunions and family events attend and a sense of obligation that makes saying “no” hard.

… With this in mind, a title like ‘The life changing magic of not giving a fuck’ certainly raised both an eyebrow and my curiosity while perusing contenders for my next audible purchase.


Sarah Knight, the author of said book, seems to really understand how frustrating the paradox of having a finite amount of free time and none of it ever being yours can be. Providing pointers on ‘how to stop spending time you don’t have with people you don’t like doing things you don’t want to do.’

My kind of girl.

I am no stranger to self help books. I have a stash of them carefully hidden within my flat so that I don’t get the piss taken out of me by my boyfriend. Mostly because a vast portion of them are from a time when I was single and have slightly alarming titles like ‘why men love bitches.’

What I liked about this self help book was that it was funny and also reminded me of something that being a responsible adult had wiped from my memory. That its okay to embrace the power of “no” and inwardly admit to myself “You know – I just don’t want to do that / go there / see that person. And that’s okay because *sharp intake of breath at this realisation* It’s MY life! I’m ALLOWED to say no!”

Allowed, yes. But admittedly it’s sometimes not exactly easy. On the one hand you don’t want to be a social pariah but on the other you don’t want to be a doormatt either. It’s all about striking a happy balance between being assertive and being an asshole – which is what this book encourages you to do. To regain balance, reclaim your free time and ask yourself the all important question: “Does this bring joy or does it annoy?”

Making a list of all the things that I do vs do not give a fuck about also brought to my attention the amount of things that annoy rather than spark joy in my life. This was both depressing and strangely liberating because (as Will Mcavoy once said) “The first step in solving a problem is recognising there is one.” 

It made me think about what I would rather be doing with my time and the hobbies I had to stop doing because I didn’t have the time for them anymore. All those interests that made me an interesting person. And you know what? I wanted them back. I missed my dance classes, my special effects makeup, the crafting, the ukulele, the reading, the running, the writing, the tae bo, the baking – all of it.

I find that most self help books reinforce truths that you already know deep down but in a fun and engaging way. And that’s what ‘The life changing magic of not giving a fuck’ did for me. It gave me a ‘fuck budget’ epiphany. I was spending too many of my precious fucks on things that I actually didn’t give a fuck about.

Well, as my home-girl Sarah Knight would say, “Fuck that!”

Its time to bellow this inner war-cry and get this party started.

After all, its Easter. If Jesus can come back from the dead then how hard can it be to take up crafting again?

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