So said one of the chefs at the restaurant where I currently work, after I’d asked her how her day was going and she decided to launch into an explication of her life philosophy. “Sometimes people get comfortable in their depression, you know?” she said, “I did, until one day I decided I was sick of feeling like shit.” When something bad happens, she says, you’ve just got to “put it in a bucket, fuck it.” (I think it’s safe to assume she doesn’t mean “fuck it” in the literal sense, but you know, whatever makes you feel better.)

When something bad happens, she says, you’ve just got to “put it in a bucket, fuck it.”

I keep running into these unlooked-for tidbits of advice more often in my day-to-day interactions lately, that or maybe I’m just paying closer attention. “Put it in a bucket, fuck it” is just one of the many lines to live by I’ve heard from kitchen staff over the years (there’s something to be said about the resonance of advice given by someone brandishing a knife at your face). Though no more or less resonant than the rest, I think it encapsulates them all quite nicely.

I find I have a tendency to hold on to things that are obviously broken or unhealthy far longer than I should, sometimes out of some misguided attempt to save someone from the pain they inflict upon themselves, sometimes out of pure comfort-zone laziness, usually a mix of both. As Kat said, it’s easy to grow too comfortable with your unhappiness, to settle for the known shortfalls and pain rather than to set out for the possibility of something better. At least you know what you’re getting when you show up every day, right? But the point is that some things just need to be packed up and put away, so you can get the hell outta Dodge, and usually, it’s your attitude. You have to make the choice to feel happy.  The future unknown is a myth; as soon as you decide to to throw off whatever is bothering you and really take care of yourself, you’ve already improved your lot.

Besides, “Put it in a bucket, fuck it” sounds way better than #YOLO.