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