You know how sometimes you wake up in a hotel bathtub in Mexico, gripped with heart palpitations and wondering what happened after that last round of tequila shots in the swimsuit-optional pool? And you know how in that moment, you commit to never, ever drinking again?
Let's talk about that.
An Incomplete List of Things I've Quit (and Haven't Missed)
Getting Drunk. When I do drink, I now have a rule that I always stop at 2 drinks, max. Ain't nobody got time for curling up into a whimpering shame-ball on the couch for the whole next day. Most importantly, I've decided not to die of drowning in the tub.
Smoking. In my young adult life I smoked. It was the late 90s to early 00s, and it was just me and my rhinestoned Bebe t-shirt, brown lipliner, frosty lipgloss, and a pack of Marlboro Lights. For a while after I stopped, I would still feel the urge to smoke again in certain situations, like when I was at a bar (I used to work in bars, back when you could still smoke in them.) However, over time the desire COMPLETELY disappeared and these days there is absolutely NOTHING that could rekindle it... Get it? Rekindle?
Jobs. Loads of them. In fairness, I have sometimes missed the people who were no longer in my life afterward, but I never missed any of the jobs themselves once I felt the urge to move on.
Resentment. One of the most freeing experiences of my life was the day I decided to quit making someone from my past wrong and quit having to be right. This person had punched me in the face and head, repeatedly, and I had ended up in the emergency room, so this was no small thing. I chose to get over it when the time was right (I was no longer in danger and had been out of the relationship for years), and I'm glad I did. I got a tremendous amount of energy back that I had been unconsciously dumping into my resentment up to that point.
Things I've Quit and Taken Back Up
Dairy. I cut it out for a while but didn't feel all that different so I've brought it back in the form of greek yogurt and cottage cheese primarily, so that I can hit my protein goals. I know there are some potentially good reasons to avoid dairy, but I try not to place unnecessary restrictions on my diet, and it seems to work OK for me.
Barre and Yoga. Yes, there have been times when I wondered if there was something better or more effective out there. I've tried lots of other things: spinning, running, boot camp, Cross Fit, rowing, personal training, gym sessions, circus arts and ballet classes. Some of these things were fun, and I plan to continue doing them occasionally. Others were miserable (how do people not break their asses on those bike seats??), but none of them ever felt like a sustainable practice to me. I've come home to barre and yoga every time. They have kept me strong, flexible and free from injuries for 10 years. I can count on myself to stick with them because I truly enjoy these practices.
Relationships. This one's tricky. I've learned to admit to myself that some of the relationships I thought I ended were never truly over, because I still cared about how I'd left things with the person. So it's not that I've gone back to the original relationship, but I have found it's often useful to at least go back and make peace.
Things I'd Like to Quit, Maybe
Social Media. I know it seems like a necessary evil, but I sometimes wonder if my quality of life would be better without it. In the meantime, Newsfeed Eradicator for Facebook has been life-changing.
Coffee. This is another thing that I know people sometimes quit for health reasons. I'm not certain there would be any health benefit for me in quitting. My reason is simple vanity. I am concerned about it staining my teeth. I know teeth can be bleached but I actually have some dental work that can't be bleached and I live in a constant struggle between achieving optimal caffeination levels and being able to smile in photos without feeling the need to Facetune the crap out of myself later.
What have you quit, and been better off without?
What have you quit and decided to take back up?
Have you quit coffee and are you really, truly OK without it?? I must know!