How to Live Like a Normal Person

I’m a sucker for all of these articles on line with titles like, “How to Live On Purpose and Maximize Every Day” or “How to Live Life on Your Own Terms” or “How to Maximize Your Pickle Production.” ( Maybe not so much the last one, actually.) and then I listen to this podcast sometimes, “Happier with Gretchen Ruben” which is supposedly supposed to make you happy, but really I think it might better be titled, “Life Hacks for the Filthy Rich.” I get that the little tips make you happier- if you have no problems whatsoever in life. 

And from all of these articles and podcasts I’m a sucker for, I learn things like, 

  • Get a good night’s sleep every night. 
  • Eat vegetables.
  • Marry the person you love.
  • Fast one day a week.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Decluttering your house.
  • Don’t take on more than you can handle.

Well, duh. 

And that’s not even mentioning all of the parenting “tips.” (Does anyone else feel like all of these “tips” are pretty much mandatory? It’s the implied, “If you don’t do this, you are a terrible parent.”) 

I don’t know why I read all of these things. I never change my behavior at all. I just now have some stupid know-it-all thing to say with my friends, 

“Did you know kale prevents cancer?”

Everyone knows eating kale prevents cancer, but my friends are too polite to say so. Everyone knows kale prevents cancer, but here’s the catch: to prevent cancer? You have to actually eat the kale.

I read all this stuff, and then I look around me. Most people are overweight. There’s an opioid epidemic. Everyone’s stressed out. We’re not eating the kale. We’re not getting the sleep. We’re living in piles of junk mail and chicken catalogues. But, you know what? We’re getting by. We’re doing it. We’re living it, one day at a time. 

We’re not perfect, but we’re beautiful. And we’re  still here. Showing up, every day. Like the troopers we are. 

I’m going to stop reading those articles and listening to that perfect happiness podcast. John Lennon was right. 

I’m going to make a competing podcast to steal the audience from “Happier with Gretchen Ruben.” I’m going to call it, “Fartier with Shoshanah Marohn,” and it’ll be about making beans. 


Beans: cheap and easy protein. Feeling unhappy? Lonely? Hungry? Make some beans. 

“Whatever gets you through your life,” as John Lennon would say. Beans are good at that. 

Shoshanah Marohn
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8 Comments

  1. Yeah, isn’t that always the case? My pop star wants to do something like this, and I told her no, please, don’t do that. “But I want to show everyone how to be happy, and how easy it is!” Uh yeah, you’re pretty enough to be a model, you’re rich, and you live on the beach. Of course you’re happy. That doesn’t solve any of MY problems, however.

    1. Exactly!

      Gretchen Ruben actually does give some good advice, but she just has these amazingly huge blind spots in her world view. Sometimes listeners write in with their “happiness tips,” and she reads aloud the best ones on the podcast. At New Year’s, she read aloud the tip, “Out with the old, in with the new! Every new years, my family has the tradition of throwing out all of the food in the refrigerator and starting over! Everything goes. It’s nice to start with a fresh new refrigerator for a fresh new year.” (I’m quoting from memory.) Gretchen Ruben admitted she wouldn’t be doing this one, but she did read it out loud like it was worthy of doing. And she never addressed the obvious: That you are taking a time (after the holidays) when your refrigerator is most full, and you would literally be throwing it all away. Everything. And what if you don’t have money to restock it? This was all along the lines of decluttering or something, I guess? What an absurd waste.

      Sorry— back on my rant again! Thanks for commenting. 🙂 I’m glad you talked your pop star out of it.

  2. I was so relieved when you revealed the Lennon song – initially I thought it was ‘Happiness is a Warm Gun’. I like beans and farting is much easier to enjoy if you’re outdoors. No one is entitled to complain about anyone farting in the open air.

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