Ethos - 04.16.2019 Words: Xandra Robinson-Burns Photography: Kerrin Smith
"What’s a life hack?”
Despite being an encyclopedia of personal life hacks, Kerrin had never heard of them.
I laughed, because of course. Of course she wasn’t hacking life on purpose. Her unfamiliarity with the concept speaks to the truthfulness of what she preaches.
One [life-hack-isn’t-quite-the-word-for-it] of hers has stuck with me for years.
I'm an Early Bird who likes to wiggle out of her nest just so.
Sometimes - often for good reason - life is off center, and requires an abridged version of my morning ritual. On days like this I'm in danger of being tossed over the edge before I’m ready to fly. It’s a distinctive fall with a red flash of panic, that vocalises itself like this: BUT WHAT WILL I HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?!
Enter 2016 Kerrin, with a piece titled simply "learnings":
“4. Coffee + banana = one of the all-time greatest breakfast combinations, definitely winning in the ‘simplicity’ category.”
Here it was: a wondrous solution for when a cooked breakfast is not in the cards. When other adventures impose on my mornings, a Coffee + Banana is a mini adventure of its own.
I peel my banana with a nod to K, my fellow globetrotting quick breakfast consumer. A Coffee + Banana is as portable as her breezy yet decisive wisdom: that this practical combo is not just enough, but an all-time great.
"They’re not life hacks exactly," I said, "They’re little everyday truths. What’s the French* for it?"
"Hm. Quotidiennes?" Les Quotidiennes it is.
A Quotidienne is like a life hack, but with a wink. It is darling, because of its sincerity.
It might not work for you -just like life hacks don’t work for everyone either- but it so truly does for the individual who dreamt it up. Once upon a time, someone’s eyes glittered in realisation of a little thing that would make their life run more smoothly, and a Quotidienne was born.
Life hacks cut corners. Quotidiennes do too, but it's like cutting corners in Candy Land, shortcuts that swoosh you through secret passageways. Gumdrop Pass, please.
Xandra Robinson-Burns is an Essayist, and the Founder of Heroine Training. She specialises in everyday life. @heroinetraining