I realize “fuck bucket” may offend some. I’m also well aware it’s often used a derogatory term for a woman, but I’m taking that phrase and turning it into something else. I’m reclaiming it so I can talk about the amount of energy we have to deal with life. So if you got to this post thinking it was going to be closer to the Urban Dictionary definition, then you may want to leave.
You may also want to leave if you’re simply offended by the word “fuck.” I get that. You’re not alone. Plenty of people don’t like curse words. However, curse words are my love language. So, if you don’t like how many times I use the word “fuck” in this post, feel free to not read. I won’t apologize for saying fuck though, because soon you’ll see exactly how many fucks in my personal bucket that I have to give on that score. (Spoilers: It’s none.)
Now that all the disclaimers are out of the way, let’s get down to business. How did the fuck bucket come about?
“Look at all the fucks I give!”
We’ve all said it before, or perhaps a more PG version. Basically, we hit a point where we acknowledge that we simply cannot care about something because we’ve hit a wall. That’s when we acknowledge that we don’t have fucks to give to a particular thing.
This is because everyone has a very specific amount of fucks they have to give to any given situation. It’s like a budget, if you will. We know, generally speaking, what we will encounter during the day. We tend to save our fucks and expend them on things we know we will have to give fucks about — paying bills, our friends and families, taking care of ourselves, home repairs, grocery shopping, etc. We also have some discretionary fucks to give for extracurricular things like office gossip, our favorite Game of Thrones characters, and which people from high school have blocked us on Facebook for no good reason.
For the most part, we allot our fucks subconsciously. We know we have to care about certain things, thus we care about them by giving them the majority of our fucks. Then, whatever we have leftover goes into our discretionary fucks. Sometimes you will have to spend more or less than you usually do, like when a family member gets sick or when you watched “The Red Wedding” episode of GoT. But generally speaking, the amount of fucks you give remains relatively constant.
Sometimes, however, something happens and we realize we don’t have enough fucks to give. For me, that happens when I don’t think about how many fucks I’m giving on things I didn’t budget my fucks for — like when your coworker becomes emotionally needy and wants to complain to you for an hour, or when you attend a large family get together.
So how do you ensure that you always have enough fucks to give?
Enter the Fuck Bucket
Everyone has a fuck bucket. It’s the bucket where you keep your fucks. Some people have gigantic 5-gallon Home Depot bucket for all their fucks. Others have those little tin novelty buckets you can get Michael’s to stick some Easter candy in. Your bucket size (mine is a good, sturdy Sterilite mop bucket with a spout in case I find myself needing to quickly pour out my fucks) determines the amount of fucks you have to give at any time.
For me, I don’t have the smallest bucket, but I also don’t have the biggest. Like most fuck buckets, I have just enough to get me through the day comfortably. Sure, occasionally that bucket runs dry, and sometimes my fuck bucket runneth over. But generally speaking, I know with relative certainty how many fucks are in my fuck bucket at any given time, and how many I have to give for any given thing.
If you find that you’ve been running out of fucks pretty often lately, it might be time to take stock of your bucket. By looking at your fuck bucket budget, you can see where you’re expending the most energy, and where you can make some changes.
My Fuck Bucket Breakdown
My fuck bucket breaks down into the following categories:
- Family (this includes Chris and my dog, Rosie)
- Work and blogging
- Writing and reading
- Spending time at home
- Discretionary fucks (yoga, social media, gossip, shows on Netflix, clothing, YouTube makeup tutorials, photography, cheese fries, etc.)
I also made this breakdown to show roughly how I allot my fucks:
Your fuck bucket will look very different from mine. In fact, all fuck buckets should be different. And don’t try to give your fucks where you don’t want to. That way lies madness. Let them fall where they may. But if you find yourself running out of fucks, there’s only one thing to do.
Guarding the Fuck Bucket
It’s easy to give fucks where you shouldn’t. It’s much harder to think critically about where your fucks are going and how you can stanch the flow. The first step to guarding your fuck bucket is to make sure it doesn’t run dry. And to do that, you have to stop giving fucks where you shouldn’t.
Right now, I’m sure you have something that’s bugging you, something that’s taking up your time, something that’s taking fucks away from something else. Think about that thing. Do you need to give a fuck about it? If it’s a leaky faucet or if your dog just puked, then unfortunately you do. But if it’s something that, in the grand scheme of things, you can avoid with little to no consequences, then fuck it. (Which is not a way to say that you should allot fucks to it, but rather forget about it.) There are infinite fucks in the universe, which means that someone else can generally give a fuck about the things that you can’t. Don’t give your fucks on things that you don’t have to.
The second thing to do when you need to guard your fuck bucket, is get yourself out of situations where you have to expend fucks that you don’t have. You wouldn’t continue to pay for something you can’t afford, so why would you continue to spend fucks you don’t have? Getting yourself out of situations may sound big, but it can be really small. In some cases, it may just mean avoiding an intersection that bugs you, or not going into the break room when a specific coworker is there. Of course, it could also be big. It may mean quitting a job or getting out of a relationship.
Whatever it means, you have to do what you have to do to guard your fuck bucket. So, take a look at what’s in your fuck bucket, and where you spend the majority of your fucks. Think critically about where the fucks are going. Reset your fuck budget to balance your fuck bucket. Because at the end of the day, you’re the only one who can.