Pooping Your Pants May Be The Key To Happiness

My mom and I have a running joke about how I’m going to put her in a nursing home when she gets old.  In my defense, my primary reason is because the woman cannot wait to get senile enough to justify pooping and peeing in her pants.  My brothers and I are certain that she’s going to be one of those ladies who cusses really loudly and makes inappropriate comments while farting at anyone who walks by.  She insists that is just fine with her, because at least it will mean she no longer gives a fuck what anyone else thinks about her.

Insensitive jokes about dementia aside,  I think my mom might be on to something.

There’s power in not worrying about what anyone else thinks of you.

The power, perhaps, to be really happy.  To be free.

I’m not suggesting you poop your pants.  Toilets are so much more convenient, after all.  But wouldn’t it be great to not care if someone else thought you were gross?

Or crazy.

Or a bad person.

Or wrong.

Or embrassing.

Or irresponsible.

Or lazy.

Or flighty.

Or childish.

Or stupid.

Or arrogant.

Or any of those things we tell ourselves people will think of us if we don’t do what’s expected.

Wouldn’t it be great if our decisions were only influenced by our own opinions and those of a select group of people who really mattered to us?  Wouldn’t it be great if we were only guided by our own core values?

Imagine being able to say “as long as you don’t have to clean it up – who cares?!?!”

Maybe you wouldn’t poop your pants.

But maybe you’d quit your job. Cut your hair. Live in a smaller house. Drive a cheaper car.  Ride your bike to work. Go to the gym. Work on your novel instead of cleaning the house. Go back to school. Quit school. Sing. Dance. Do absolutely nothing for a while.

What would you do if you really didn’t give a crap what other people thought?

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  1. Melanie says:

    I already live like that. And you know what? It’s beautiful. I read continuously about people in search of happiness when its right there in front of them. Stop trying to impress others and giving a crap what they think. Simple. Pure. Bliss.

    And yes, I did shit my own pants the other day.

  2. Dee says:

    It seems to automatically start happening as you get older – it’s why I find myself in a supermarket singing out loud if a song comes on that I really like. It’s why I’m pursuing minimalism (although not as religiously as many others), why I’m trying to convince my other half we don’t need tv or much internet, why I am feeling truly happy in my skin for the first time.

    I’m not there yet, but I know I’m on my way.

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by stefan noordhoek, allisonsreading. allisonsreading said: Miss Britt: Pooping Your Pants May Be The Key To Happiness http://bit.ly/gYSfKW [...]

  4. Hockeymandad says:

    Was the cut your hair aimed at me? I think it was….damn. Clearly I am headed in the opposite direction.

  5. cagey says:

    I want to be that cranky old woman who calls people on their shit without apology.

    Wow. That was a refreshing question, Britt! Seriously. I truly thought about it and that was what really came up – I am pretty happy with everything else around here. Actually, I am amazed with how little I do care about what people think. Except for that “being afraid to offend or hurt someone’s feelings even they are effing RIDICULOUS.”

    So, that’s it – Cranky Old Lady. That’s all I want!

  6. Mandi Bone says:

    I am really good at this one and yet bad at this one. On one hand I have tattoos,black hair and wear clothes that the other mothers don’t. But on the other hand I want to drive the “right” car and carry the “right” purse with the “right” designer label.

    • Miss Britt says:

      I think some people would be surprised to know how much I’ve worried about other people, who I’ve worried about, and what decisions I’ve made based on that. It probably depends on what your specific insecurities are.

  7. Sheila says:

    I keep all of my hopes and dreams to myself for the simple reason that, while I don’t necessarily give a shit what they think, I’m not in a [mental] place where I can handle their criticisms.

    My husband and I have our super-secret plans that we’re going along, acting as if we’re sticking with the status quo….but in a few months, our entire lives will be flipping upside down. Everyone will be blindsided by the big changes but we’ll be past the point of no return and nothing they say or do will be able to change anything.

    And yes, I totally realize that it’s sad and pathetic that we feel like this is the route we have to take to find our happiness.

  8. Megan says:

    My favorite Shakespeare sonnet addresses this very topic:

    ‘Tis better to be vile than vile esteem’d,
    When not to be receives reproach of being,
    And the just pleasure lost which is so deem’d
    Not by our feeling but by others’ seeing:
    For why should others false adulterate eyes
    Give salutation to my sportive blood?
    Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,
    Which in their wills count bad what I think good?
    No, I am that I am, and they that level
    At my abuses reckon up their own:
    I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel;
    By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown;
    Unless this general evil they maintain,
    All men are bad, and in their badness reign.

    This concept ties in nicely to not taking anything personally. When you really get that people’s opinions are about them and their perceptions, it makes it so much easier not to get worked up about what they think about you.

  9. FireMom says:

    Well, just hmm. This is me, kind of teary-eyed, sitting here and wondering. I mean, I already said, “Screw it!,” and quit my job. And there are good things around the corner. But there are things I don’t do because I worry. About what other people thing. Even though I SAY that I don’t care. I do. Blah.

    Off to think.

    • FireMom says:

      Four minutes after this comment, I got another job offer. I just thought I should tell you that. You, right now, are one of my heroes for making me reconsider what makes me happy.

      • Miss Britt says:

        I am so, so happy to hear this!

        And I appreciate what you said, but I hope you see that choosing to reconsider and think about it makes you really extraordinary. It’s so much easier to just say “oh, yeah, I do that, I already know.”

  10. Lisa says:

    I don’t care if people think I’m poor. I live in a small house that’s old, but not old enough to be cool, and is thus far only half remodeled. It’s in a neighborhood that most people don’t find attractive and where you have to work really hard just to make grass grow. I’ve heard several “why would you live there” comments and I don’t care. I don’t need a fancy house. I don’t even need clean baseboards. I’d rather spend my time and money on things that interest me, and scrubbing my house doesn’t interest me so I do what I need to not live in filth and if my windows don’t sparkle it’s ok. I don’t follow the latest fashions or buy the trendiest gadget (unless it’s a gadget I’m interested in) or have fancy cars. I used to want that because I thought it meant success, until I really saw how unhappy some really “successful” people are. Now I’m just me. Like me or not, there’s not a lot of pretense left.

  11. I think I’d poop my pants.


    Okay, not really.

    But if I had balls. I would quit my job and write more. I would love to not worry about which bills would be paid and if they were on time and just enjoy writing, reading and interacting. I would go back to school for web design and hone in on some skills.

    • Miss Britt says:

      Everyone has responsibilities. Not worry about what people think isn’t the same as blowing off your responsibilities. But I do think a lot of times we default to “oh, well, I have responsibilities” when there’s more going on.

      • Heh. So I may have really meant to say that I would love to feel more secure so that *I* don’t worry about bills. Since I am salary, I feel that our only security is my job because well, with hourly employment you get paid for what you work. With that, I am completely paranoid that if we were both hourly (him being hourly, me being freelance) that we would never be able to stay on top of life.

        I realize now that my comment sounds completely bitchy and I’m sorry.

        And feel like shit. Sorry Britt.

        I will rephrase it. I would love to have the balls and quit my job to concentrate on writing. People in my close group of family and friends tend to base self-worth on what type of “title” or employment one has. I remember how disappointed my parents were when I went into a trade instead of a white collar-type business. To leave that trade and fly by the seat of my pants as a freelancer? Well, I can’t see it going over well.

        Again, I’m really sorry. I was writing quickly and posted as I was distracted by something else. Ugh.

  12. whall says:

    Or childish.
    Or stupid.
    Or arrogant.

    Or Republican.
    Or Democrat.

    this list could keep going and going….

  13. Mo says:

    For the most part, I don’t care what people think. After years of caring desperately how I’m perceived, I’m slowly getting over that. I’m almost 42 years old and I am who I am—like it or not. However, I probably would quit my job. It’s a means to and end right now—not what I love to do (although it HAS helped me develop the skills to eventually move on to something I DO love). I would take a less traditional path to making a living and probably be a hell of a lot more satisfied.

  14. Jared says:

    If peeing your pants is cool, call me Miles Davis.

  15. Kelly says:

    I had a moment where I finally realized I was done living my life according to the constant thoughts of “what would ______ think”? I tend to be a bit thick headed, so for me, it literally took a gun being held to my head. But since that moment? I’ve left an abusive husband, began a new life in a new city, cut off friends that sucked the life out of me, accepted my physical disability instead of trying to hide it, and fallen in love with an amazing man who truly loves me. I will NEVER live for everyone else again. Happiness is far too important and fleeting to do that!!

  16. really great post. i think i’m pretty good at not giving a fuck… i’m not sure at this point i would do anything differently.

  17. Well, I recently quit a really great paying job to move to India, so there’s that .

    But even though I barely wear make-up here or do my hair every day, I still try to fit in with what’s acceptable here as far as clothing. I guess I shouldn’t and just wear what I want because I’ll still get stared at because I’m white and blond. That aside, I think there’s always a part of us that wants to fit in, but finding what fits for us individually should be paramount.

    • Miss Britt says:

      You don’t have to never conform to be living within your values though. I mean, shit, it’s cool if you can say “hey, fitting in is important to me” – especially in a totally different culture.

      What’s more dangerous, I think, is when we don’t realize how much control over our lives we’re handing over.

  18. anymommy says:

    I tried to take a small step toward achieving this goal this year when I decided to publish my novel on a blog. It’s a small part of my life but I realized I was afraid of doing it because of what other people would think of my writing and my decision to publish it that way. It’s been nothing but fun & rewarding and a fabulous learning experience so far. I hope I can take that message to other areas of my life! (Love the direction you’ve taken here!)

  19. i wear tank tops under white shirts because i love them even though my friends hate them.

    seriously though, i have a poem framed and in my living room so i see it every day. it is called “Warning” and used to belong to my mom. she taught me long ago that as long as we aren’t hurting anyone else we should do what makes us happy, regardless of what anyone else thinks. i usually am pretty good at remembering that, but sometimes need the reminder, hence the framed print hanging front and center by the front door. here it is:

    When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
    With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
    And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
    And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
    I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
    And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
    And run my stick along the public railings
    And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
    I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
    And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
    And learn to spit.

    You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
    And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
    Or only bread and pickle for a week
    And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

    But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
    And pay our rent and not swear in the street
    And set a good example for the children.
    We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

    But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
    So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
    When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

    Jenny Joseph

  20. Headless Mom says:

    “My mom and I have a running joke about how I’m going to put her in a nursing home when she gets old. In my defense, my primary reason is because the woman cannot wait to get senile enough to justify pooping and peeing in her pants. My brothers and I are certain that she’s going to be one of those ladies who cusses really loudly and makes inappropriate comments while farting at anyone who walks by. She insists that is just fine with her, because at least it will mean she no longer gives a fuck what anyone else thinks about her.”

    That is quite possibly the best paragraph in the history of the written word. No Lie.

    I want to meet your mom, she sounds like a kick in the pants.

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