the precise moment I realized I may NOT be a hacker.
What is a life-hack?
Essentially it’s a trick. A shortcut.
A tip which helps one hack-away at the time-consuming crap of life and make it all go more swiftly.
Years ago, I was all about the hacks.
I was in a hurry. I was plugged in. I wanted to get to the giant! big! payoff! of life as swiftly as I could.
I’d veered away from living my priorities and, as a result, felt I had absolutely no time to “waste” on anything not edging me closer to my end-goal.
(I can’t even tell you now what said end-goal was. Quite frankly I’m uncertain back then I’d have been able to identify it either.)
I seized every shortcut I could in an effort to skip over the process and get to the perceived “prize.”
I looked like this. Frequently.
I grew caught up in the frenzy (online and off) of cutting corners, saving time and ensuring life moved as rabidly as possible.
(I do edit my posts. I deliberately left typo of raBidly in place of raPidly as the visual it sparked was perfection. Me. Rushing. Frothing at mouth. So focused on hacking away at all in front of me I savored not a moment.)
I’m finished with the life hacks.
Reinforced by my choosing to walk a half-marathon and yet really so much more than that.
The older I get the more I’ve learned I don’t want to speed anything up.
I long to enjoy the process and experience each painful step of my journey.
From the interminable mothering days where it feels I’m doing everything wrong:
To the long days filled with anxiety over what the hell I’m doing, what sort of legacy I’m creating and if I matter.
In this facet of life I don’t believe in the 80/20 rule.
We talk a lot in our healthy living tribe about “all we need to do is live 80/20.”
80% healthy. 20% not so much. We’re set.
I yammer about the importance of 80/20 when it comes to social media.
80% others. 20% you you you.
I do not desire eighty percent of the results (great kid! writing a book! becoming an internet personality!) after only spending twenty percent of the time.
I’m happy taking the long road to success (however we choose to define it).
Being present even when the present sucks.
Failing and learning, again, to be resilient.
Embracing both path and process so much I no longer care about the finish line.
Experiencing. Feeling. Savoring.
I recall when I received the galley of our book the editor was surprised I wasn’t over the moon excited!
The process, the journey, the looong days, the struggle to find the right words, the decade plus of pitching, rejection and finally getting a yes!—that was exciting.
The perceived finish line or final product was, in the greatest way, simply a piece of my life-process.
A life unhacked.
A life, in the truest sense of our #wycwyc notion, where I’ve let go of perfection and make virtually nothing about results.
A life about the process.
Eventually, I mastered the orange slicing hack and unfurled my citrus into a strip of sweet, sweet sections.
Yet, for me, even the (fingerquote) hack (unFQ) had become about the endeavor.
It demanded multiple tries, repeated grocery trips, much laughter and a long, circuitous path to get there.
And I enjoyed every spurting, messy, hack-free moment.
It may never catch on as hip social media slang, be transformed into a book, or appropriated as an approach to life, yet, for me, it all boils down to this:
We create a life through experiencing time-consuming crap.
A life unhacked.
Courtney Bentley saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 3:25 am
So true, I love going through the process of everything ! Thanks for sharing all of these quotes xo C
Rita saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 4:22 am
I love the life hack, but I do find more than anything they make me laugh because I always fail at them anyway.
Runner Girl saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 4:46 am
My long runs feel sometimes like they take forever.
I would never hack them even if I could.
TriathlonMami saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 5:13 am
I am so very much in synch with you these days. Amen to taking the long road.
Healthy Mama saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 5:17 am
I wished away so much of when my twins were small.
I don’t hack anything now and take the slow process.
Allie saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 5:42 am
OMG I’m living you’re “old” rabid life. I need to re-read and re-read.
Susie @ SuzLyfe saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 6:18 am
The only life hack that I need to know about is the string cheese wine bottle stopper. And that is just to save it when I’m drinking by myself.
Coco (@Got2Run4Me) saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 6:22 am
It’s not even a hack, but I miss the need to rake leaves now that my husband uses the leaf blower. At least if we ever get snow I do get to shovel!
MCM Mama saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 6:27 am
Yes! I was just thinking the other day “I just need to survive this week.” And then it occurred to me that I needed to stop just surviving and actually embrace the chaos. Because life is more the day to day stuff than it is the big exclamation points.
lindsay saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 6:34 am
It’s finished?! So exciting! you know what they say… slow and steady WINS…. the LIFE race.
rachel saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 6:37 am
I must admit… if there is an easy way… I am often the one to try it. I need to stop ‘hacking’ my way through life… and live it to the full.
AND… I am super jazzed your book is almost complete! I can’t wait to read it! 🙂
Kaila @healthyhelperblog! saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 6:46 am
I LOVE this perspective Carla. I think we could all use a little ‘slowing down’ and appreciation of the journey we’re on…every part of it.
Amanda - RunToThefinish saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 6:54 am
rich roll talks a lot about how we need to stop doing this. I think hacks are ok in some cases, ie. things I need to do, but don’t really care about. In other places, yup I”m all about the slow and in the moment.
misszippy saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 7:27 am
I am totally on board with this. And 10 years ago? Was not. Aging has many gifts, no?
Joanna @Makingmine saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 7:35 am
I love this! I’m currently reading Hands Free Mama and I feel as though this has the same underlying message – don’t miss the small stuff while you’re striving for the BIG stuff (whatever that may be)
Erin@BeetsPerMinute saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 7:48 am
I loved this, Carla. I feel like more than 80% of the time we’re searching for ways to just “get everything over with” for sure. I am so guilty of wishing time away for all the wrong reasons. This was a really inspiring post!
GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 7:53 am
LOVE this. It’s something that I’m still trying super hard to be consistent about, but NOT taking shortcuts can be hard. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂
Michelle @ Running with Attitude saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 7:59 am
Love everything about this!
Rebecca @BeTrulyNourished saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 8:11 am
Great post! Convenience vs the process is such a hard balance! For me, I’ve found that convenience is worth it to save time for what really matters to me. If I can save time prepping food or cleaning, I can have more time to spend with family/friends doing something meaningful, or to crank out homework. But if I’m making short cuts to spend more time watching a favorite show or to get that extra hour in social media-ing… it may not be worth it. I’ve realized where I want to spend time, but the implementation is another story!
Judy Griffin saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 8:13 am
I really appreciated your article. It reminds us all to stop & savor the moment instead of racing to another destination.
Madeline @ FoodFitandFam saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 8:24 am
Nailed it. Once again. XOXO
Krysten saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 8:31 am
I love (and have always loved) your life your Priorities mantra. It is such a great reminder to slow down and focus on what matters!
Jody - Fit at 57 saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 8:46 am
Still waiting for the YES but so happy for you! I have learned & still mastering the process… I am older so my wait has been longer.. 🙂 Patience is what I am trying to handle – got it mastered in the workouts but life is tougher…
Elle saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 8:50 am
I sorta REALLY dislike that term HACK…
Jill saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 8:51 am
I getchu girl. The older my kids get (and the older I get) I want things to slooooow down. I’m all for stopping and smelling the roses as I tiptoe through the tulips. 🙂
Heather (Where's the Beach) saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 8:52 am
Ok seriously love this because I had started jotting down notes about completely disliking everything being labeled as a “life hack.”
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 9:43 am
“We create a life through experiencing time-consuming crap.” <– put that on a t-shirt and I'll buy a case.
Michele @ paleorunningmomma saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 9:48 am
I think once you start questioning why there’s a need or desire for all these hacks, you start to come across the ideas you put out here. What do I really want and what will be meaningful? So well said!
Yvonne saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 10:37 am
I think for me the hacks were really fun to try until they made me feel like a failure because I couldn’t hack.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 9:53 am
This is so good! I agree…why are we rushing things and taking the easy way out?
Valerie saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 10:22 am
I do so want a “Living A Life Unhacked” t-shirt now. Maybe with “#wycwyc” on the back. 🙂
So in tune with this sentiment. It perfectly encapsulates my mind-set of late. Deliberate intention and a sort of letting go of expectations, of pressures and the “eye on the prize” mentality. My definition of “prize” has changed. Mindful, intentional, fully-experienced days *are* the prize for me, now.
AdjustedReality saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 10:27 am
I work in online gaming. Players generally are all about eliminating the “crap”. However, suffering through a certain amount of the crap helps foster teamwork, build relationships, and feel victory for overcoming. So, the games that keep people around for the longest have the right amount of “crap”.
In life, I’m all about being as efficient as possible for things I don’t really enjoy. Not really a life hack, but I someone to clean my house because I don’t love doing it, I don’t care about getting better at it, and having more time is worth it to me. However, I’ll spend time and effort on the weekend training for triathlon or cooking, things that I enjoy, that I want to get better at, and that I don’t really want to avoid.
Yvonne saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 10:36 am
OMG raBid life.
Hilarious and really true.
I hack everything I can and most days it makes me more crazy.
Kim saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 11:13 am
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I wish I had enjoyed the process more during the years when my boys were little. Now I’m afraid to shut my eyes (maybe that’s why I don’t sleep much) because they will soon be leaving to move on to the next phase of their own lives. You better believe that these days I enjoy every bit of the process and time we have together!!!
Yum Yucky saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 12:05 pm
“Enough with the hackery!!!”
It just seems like a cool, new mantra. I can see it on bumper stickers and billboards everywhere. 😉
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 2:46 pm
Ummm, yes. I find that I’m constantly trying to cut corners and find little “hacks” to make my life “easier.” But I ended up rushing through things and being really sloppy as a result.
mimi saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm
Many years ago, i was a court reporter. When learning the machine, we were all about shortcuts, but we were told, “The longer you write, the longer you write.” Meaning that once you get the hang of it and have been in the business for years, you will find you aren’t using the shortcuts as much any more. It’s true about life, too.
mimi saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 5:01 pm
Many years ago, when i was in training to be a court reporter, as we learned the machine we were taught as many shortcuts as possible, to use as few letters and syllables as possible to get words down, so we can keep up. But we were told, “The longer you write, the longer you write.” Meaning that the longer you are in the business, the less you rely on the shortcuts, you actually write out more of the words, instead of fewer.
It works in life, too. The longer you are in it, the less you are about shortcuts.
Melanie @ Nutritious Eats saysFebruary 4, 2015 at 11:08 pm
Lol, love it! A life-unhacked. You’re on to something I tell ya!
lola saysFebruary 5, 2015 at 6:13 am
Oh man, yes. When my first child was little, I was so worried about the next thing. Like, when he was a baby, I worried if I’d ever be able to get him off the bottle. When he was off the bottle, I worried about if he’d ever learn to walk. When he learned to walk, I wondered how soon before he potty trained, etc, etc, etc. Now my baby is 22 and out of the house. When I had my other kids (they are 13 years apart), I knew all too well that life passes so quick. I vowed to enjoy each moment and not “wish for be anxious” for the next stage. Its hard to do it when you are in the thick of some of them…but living each moment right NOW is exactly what my goal is this year.
GiGi Eats saysFebruary 5, 2015 at 1:59 pm
I am no life-hacker… I am old fashion and I work hard for what I get. I don’t like asking for help so I rarely do. I like to feel the gratification that comes from knowing I did it ALL myself!! People are cheat or take short cuts, SUCK! lol!
Deborah saysFebruary 5, 2015 at 7:57 pm
I’ve been saving this post until I had enough time to read and comment (rather than on my phone or tablet!).
I find I’m less inclined to want to rush things as I get older – but I think it’s also that my life has changed. I can appreciate the moments more and realise that often, the stuff we remember and treasure, isn’t always about the outcome or destination – it’s about how we got there (stumbles, tedium and all).
Hope that makes sense!
Sarah @runfargirl saysFebruary 7, 2015 at 5:20 am
What you described sounds a bit like I feel now: rushing, looking ahead, hacking through the un-hackable (you can’t hack potty training). This was a good reminder to me to stop, put the machete down and enjoy the moments that I have now.
Amanda @ Grad Girl saysFebruary 7, 2015 at 8:01 am
I’m glad someone finally spoke up about this topic. “Hacking” makes me think I need to slash my way through a jungle with a machete just to see daylight–but un-hacking lets me appreciate all that jungle-ey scenery instead. Plus, as a chronic over-hacker, I tend to lose time applying new tips and tricks instead of enhancing my life in some way. You summed it up perfectly!
Carole saysFebruary 7, 2015 at 4:49 pm
I agree completely! You’ve encapsulated what so many are really thinking – deep down in their souls – as we rush about to squeeze more in our busy days! Pinning to Pinterest so that I can read this again and again.
cheryl saysFebruary 8, 2015 at 10:18 am
Working with preschoolers assures that one be “in the moment” – and I truly enjoy my job and know I make a huge difference in many lives-you can’t take shortcuts when teaching a child to communicate. Just. Doesn’t. Happen.
I have a routine. Sometimes it gets a little crazy, but I DO savor every moment of my run/bike/swim before I have to be at my job. And I savor coming home to feed my birds and talk about the day with hubby. It’s my life. I never really much thought about it as I am loving it.
Dr. J saysFebruary 8, 2015 at 11:58 am
lol! This is great, Carla! I’ve noticed those life hack articles and wondered what they were initially. I do think bending those tabs on the end of the boxes with rolls inside like foil, saran wrap, etc. is a good idea so you don’t have to chase those as they fall out and roll unraveling across the room, lol
Jess saysFebruary 8, 2015 at 9:02 pm
Very healthy and much needed reminder! Thanks! 🙂
Debra saysFebruary 10, 2015 at 4:23 pm
In this time of life hacks and short cuts I have become enamored of the SCA. Society for Creative Anachronism. Going back to the 14th, 15th, 16th century when we cooked from scratch, hand embroidered, loomed our own fabric, and hand beaded all the pretties. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost my mind.
Kim saysFebruary 18, 2015 at 12:14 pm
Great reminder to be in the moment.