Miles run today: 4
Emeril’s coconut cake made yesterday for my BFF’s b-day: 1
Lifehacks on YouTube: 498,000
Did you know you were a Lifehacker?
I didn’t, either.
In case you’ve missed it, YouTube is full of what women’s magazines used to call “Quick Tips” or “7 Steps to an Easier Life” or “How to Make Your Day 10,000 Times Better.”
Ever threaded a screw? Home improvement store Vine videos show you how to use a rubber band to coax the screw out. Some guy shows you how to fold chip bags down and push the bags up to make a handy-dandy “chip serving bowl.” Ever had fruit flies? Lifehackers show you how to make a fruit fly trap with fruit, plastic wrap and a chopstick in your little Tupperware container.
YouTube is trying to give “Quick Tips” street cred and bring these meaningful life lessons to a broader audience, perhaps one that doesn’t care much about using white vinegar and newspaper to clean windows but one that is more concerned with how to keep your straw from bobbing up in your soft drink can.
Yesterday, I made a coconut cake because my best friend said she really wanted one. It was a totally Lifehack-free undertaking in which I used a real oven, a bag of sweetened coconut and actually left the butter out on the counter to come to room temperature (which took all of about 10 minutes in the 92-degree heat).
But there have been times, my friends, when I have been an unknowing Lifehacker. I bet you have, too.
Setting: our minivan
My son: Yeah, mom, you’ve told me the thing about the threaded screw about 15 times now.
Me: But aren’t we all Lifehackers? Why is this a thing?
My son: Um. How are you a Lifehacker, exactly?
Me: When I know I’m running at 5:30 the next morning, and I don’t want to wake everyone up, I put all of my running clothes, shoes and toothbrush in the downstairs bathroom, all ready to go. Running Lifehack!
My son: Yeah. I don’t think that’s a Lifehack.
Me: Isn’t Lifehacking about doing something that makes your life easier?
My son: Yeah… but…
Me: I’m a Lifehacker. Fear me.
My storied Lifehacking career began when I was 2 years old, and I began arguing with my father in the legendary Toast/Jelly Kerfluffle of the ’70s.
Setting: our kitchen table
My dad: No, Anne, the jelly goes on THE TOP. See? [exaggerated conventional toast eating commences]
Me: No. [with the jelly-side down, the best part (jelly) reached my tongue first, making my way far superior]
My dad: Anne, the jelly is going to drip everywhere. Turn your toast over.
And voila! My Lifehacking Life began, _____(fill in the blank kindly) years ago.
Today, there is even a guy on YouTube touting the best way to eat a burger so the fixings don’t make your burger bun soggy. Guess what? You turn it upside-down! I was way before my time.
How have you been Lifehacking lately? I bet you’re amazing, just like me.