I have a problem, and that problem is when it comes to work I have a hard time saying ‘no’ when someone asks me for a favor. This leads to me over-extending myself, which stresses me out, resulting in my transformation into a volcano of rage. The mere thought of having to add anything – like say doing the dishes or brushing my hair – to my already packed schedule pushes me over the edge. Knowing that at any moment I could be asked a question gives me the superhuman strength a mother conjures up when she needs to lift a car off her child. If you see a house being hurled across the country, it’s me – somebody asked me how my day was going.
Then there’s my phone – it’s given me PTSD. Gone are the days when my biggest first world problem was bot calls. Now it’s actual humans. The second my phone lights up or makes a sound I break out in shingles. Oh God, it’s ringing again. Hello? Can I design a Trivia Night scorecard? Yeah, I can do that.
It’s a pisser of a position to be in: on the one hand, I’m getting paid. On the other, I now hate everyone. I don’t necessarily want to tell them to fuck off, mainly because my check would fuck off as well, but I do want to be in a position where I’m doing more of what I want to do. And who better to learn that from than the legendary Mr. Bill Murray.
Bill Murray didn’t write his own book because Bill Murray is too cool for that. The Tao of Bill Murray by Gavin Edwards is not your typical biography. While he does start at the beginning of Bill Murray’s life, the stories bounce around to fit the 10 Principles of Bill Murray, the bulk of what makes up the book. I won’t tell you what they are but I will tell you they’re exactly what you’d expect. All of his principles basically add up to this: do what makes you happy and include others in that happiness. By the way, the “things” that make Bill Murray happy are probably a little different from yours or mine. His “things include stealing a street cleaner, crashing Elvis’ funeral, and an incident where he rolled a pretentious fan into the ocean per his agreement to sign autographs for her.
Beyond some great stories – like Bill tossing banana peels at people’s feet while they walked just to see their reaction – are some great lines delivered by the G.O.A.T. One of my many favorite lines was delivered when someone shouted a line from Ghostbusters at him – his reply: “The Ghostbusters thing is not going to go away until somebody kills themselves with one of the toys.” And there’s plenty more where that gem came from.
Anyway, while us mere mortals could never get away with some of the stunts he pulls, at the very least this book is an escape – who needs fiction when his life is better than? But there’s more than just escapism. Reading The Tao of Bill Murray is a great reminder to make the most of life – enjoy every bit of it. Everything is horrible, why make it worse by spending your days going things you hate?
So, on this wonderful Friday the 13th, I’m proposing two things: the first is to buy and read this book. Then, after you read it, do what I’m about to do: spend a week doing more of what I feel like doing and more of what makes me happy (as long as these things are within the confines of the law. This isn’t Dexter). Also, try not to get fired, unless that’s what you want. The point is things are terrible. Let’s channel our inner-Bill Murray and at least for a week, make things a little more fun…. starting tomorrow. I’m helping a client address envelopes today.