Calling it Quits?

2019 was the year of quitting. And while that might sound like a bad thing, we have zero regrets. This year, we quit:

  • My favorite “new” sweatshirt. Cost = 18 cents!

    Shopping for new clothes (with the exception of socks and undies). I don’t think we actually ever made the conscious decision to enact a no-shopping ban. It more or less, just happened that way. In the spring, we started a new Saturday routine of getting up extra early and having a bagel at Panera before browsing the Farmer’s Market and any garage sales along the way. I think once we realized that the very things we liked to wear (jeans, tees, sweats, and hoodies) were the most abundant items sold at garage sales, we just started shopping that way. I’m almost certain that our entire fall/winter wardrobe cost a total of maybe $20, and that includes my rain jacket and two black Land’s End polo shirts that I wear for one of my side hustles.

  • Buying meat (from the grocery store). As a facts and figures person, the science behind the health benefits of a plant-based diet speaks to me, so we’ve been eating mostly vegetarian for a few years now. On occasion we would purchase fish or chicken, and if you’ve been around this blog awhile, you know we also have a rule to “eat what we are served” at my mom’s house – even if it includes beef. Mid-year, we started watching homesteading channels on YouTube and started rethinking our position on a meat-free diet. There’s also some good science behind eating pasture raised livestock, so we bought a chicken and some pork from a local farmer friend. The crazy thing about that though – I didn’t enjoy the pasture raised pork or chicken like I thought I would. I wanted my salad, my sweet potato, and my veggie soup instead. But…in the end, we agreed…while we prefer plants, if we do buy meat, we’ll be buying it from a farmer.
  • Grocery store hopping. While we’re on the subject of groceries, we also stopped driving all over town to shop for the “best deals” this year. In our younger days, it was fun to store hop to find bargains but since we stopped eating processed foods, there’s not that much difference in prices among the major stores when it comes to pantry items. Next year, we’re thinking about trying a bulk service for these purchases. I’ve heard good things about Azure Market but we’re not completely sold on the idea yet. Has anyone used them before? Or do you have another bulk store recommendation?
  • The not so fun part of our housing survey side hustle – paperwork!

    Worrying about “job security”. Job security is a myth anyway. No employer ever has their employee’s best interest at heart (no matter what they say). Profit is king, even in a non-profit environment, and employees are replaceable cogs in the wheel of progress. You can work 20 years for the same employer and the day after you leave, it’s as if you were never there. Someone new has taken your place to carry on the money-making mission. It has been 3 months since I jumped off that wheel. Right now, we have no idea how much money we’ll make from week to week, but I do know that the only “bottom line” we have to be concerned about is our own. As my own employer, I do have my best interest at heart. My mission is to provide myself with challenging and fun jobs that earn enough money to pay the bills and give me enough time off to enjoy the one and only life I’ll ever get to live.

  • Obsessing over cleanliness. Right now, there’s a dead ladybug on our windowsill. I can see it from where I’m sitting but I’m in no hurry to cross the carpet that’s in need of a good deep cleaning to get it. I will, eventually, do both – get the bug and clean the carpet – but not today. I’m not procrastinating, nor do we live in filth. Our home is tidy and as clean as a lived-in home gets in the middle of the week, and that’s okay by me. We do some chores daily, like make the bed and wash the dishes, but other things get taken care of weekly (or monthly). There are simply more important things to do than worry about keeping a home “showroom clean”. Better Homes and Gardens may not want to use our living room in it’s January centerfold, but our little niece sure loves playing in it.
  • Thinking we always need a plan. Sometimes we put so much effort into the planning of something that one of two things happens: 1) we never actually execute the plan or 2) the reality of what was planned turns out so different and we are disappointed (or overjoyed). From big events to small tasks, plans can be great but they can also be limiting. For the past few years, we’ve spent the month of December planning out what we want the coming year to look like. We’ve outlined yearlong projects for this blog and then midway through, we’ve gotten interested in something else. Next year, we’re going without a plan. We have some goals and things we want to do, which we’ll discuss in January, but we won’t be doing a yearlong project in 2020. We want to leave room for new ideas, new interests, and new adventures.

Have you called it quits on anything this year? We’d love to hear about your experience!

13 thoughts on “Calling it Quits?

  1. Great quit list! I’ve been this way forever, if I’m doing something that makes me unhappy or I dread going to something even if I signed up for it, I give it the boot. Growing up my parents never understood my reasoning. But they on the other hand did things that they hated and claimed they had to do x y or z and complained about it!!! Made no sense to me, life is too short. This blog is my favorite, I’m praying it doesn’t end up on your “quit” list. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww…thanks!! We’re so glad to have you as a reader. And don’t worry, I love writing more than I love eating (well, sometimes) 🙂 so I definitely plan on continuing the blog.

      My mom has a very similar outlook to your parents. Though I remember her saying more than a few times that the only thing you “have to do” is die, she doesn’t recall this. She still tells me every other day that “people have to work”, “debt is a fact of life”, and “sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do”. Nope, not buying it! I’m pretty sure if you can do it, you can quit doing it too.

      Thanks for commenting! Merry Christmas!


  2. Your list looks a lot like our life – new clothes are overrated! We still occasionally pick up something while we travel, but we’ve adopted a wear it out mentality unintentionally.

    I gave up coupon and deal grocery shopping probably 20 years ago. Both were not worth my time. We might occasionally spend more BUT the time spent to get it cheaper isn’t worth it.

    Job security – you are so right – you leave and people forget you quickly. As teachers, we know we can be replaced by someone more than half our age at a wage half what we make. We know we are expendable – we do our best but have no illusion of being “essential” to the operating of our schools.

    Obsessive cleanliness has never been me. I remember an event when kiddo #1 was about 6 months old. John questioned what I did all day because the house was still “messy”. I gave him an ultimatum – clean house or happy kid. Thankfully he picked happy kid! Like you some things are done mostly daily but some wait.

    We are the ultimate planning without a plan people. It makes vacations more interesting. We have a big picture idea of where we are going but even that gets changed along the way. It drives our parents crazy, even still. Our kiddos are so used to it but the new son-in-law isn’t as comfortable with it.

    One of our “quits” is only going out for meals on certain days of the week. Any day is fair game now. If we are invited, we go! Little different than your quits but it works for us. Another one is the limiting of alcoholic beverages. John realized how much they affect his blood sugar levels and we rarely have them at home or out. This has resulted in a slight financial saving on our food out budget.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your list of quits too. We tried only going out to eat on Saturdays and it was extremely limiting so I’m with you – if we are invited to Taco Tuesday, we’re going!

      Several years ago, Angie started breaking out in a rash when she would drink beer. She had developed an allergy to the yeast or hops. We never determined which, but we stopped drinking. It was a nice boost to the budget and also to our health. Angie lost 50 pounds within a year!

      Our niece recently found our blog and has been reading all our posts so I hope she sees your comments here. Her fiance always questions why the house is still messy when he comes home from work. She has three kids, two of them are under the age of 4. Happy kids should always trump clean houses.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can only hope for a weight loss from less alcohol. Right now it’s John’s blood sugar levels that really notice when we have alcohol.

        Happy kids and messy house don’t have to go hand in hand BUT our clean house freak of a neighbor when the kids were growing up has 3 of her 4 sons in prison. The kids always wanted to play at our house because I didn’t yell at them about the mess they were making as long as they cleaned up before leaving. Not sure it’s related but …

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can see the correlation. Too restrictive of an environment tends to cause rebellion. My mom was a neat freak (still is) but even she acknowledges that kids need space to make a mess. Growing up, we could play with every toy we owned, all at once if we wanted, so long as they were picked up by bedtime.

          Liked by 1 person

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