Shhhhhh. I’m Quietly Quitting. Are You?

Walking 10,000 steps a day.

Dining out.

Shopping in stores.

Drinking alcohol.


Going to see plays and movies.

Attending meetings.

Visiting my aunt in her care facility.

These are just some of the things that I’ve quietly quit since the start of COVID. Some because I worried about succumbing to the virus. Others for a variety of reasons. For instance, I stopped walking because of hip pain and stopped drinking alcohol because I was overindulging in my quest to find the perfect tequila.

Surprisingly, at least to me, I even came close to quitting phone calls, in part because so many people suggested turning those calls into video calls, which was inconvenient to my stay-at-home self who was taking fewer showers and not worrying about styling my overgrown hair. Heck, somedays I wasn’t even getting out of my PJs.

Many of my friends and colleagues have been quietly quitting as well. Some because of their health or the health of a loved one. Some because driving has become more challenging due to failing eyesight. Others because they’ve retired and now spend more time traveling or with their grandkids.

However, I didn’t realize we were “quietly quitting” until just a few weeks ago when I came across several articles about China’s young workers, many of whom are making it clear that they—unlike previous generations, including mine and that of my fellow Word Sisters—are not willing to work themselves to the bone.

Instead, many are “lying flat” by doing the bare minimum to get by. For some that means refusing to work extra hours. For others it means forgoing a job altogether. For still others it means not getting married or having children.

While most of my quits have felt like a natural evolution from the years in which I often put others’ priorities ahead of my own, I recently realized my pendulum has swung too far and although I am still not venturing out much, I am once again spending time with family and friends, volunteering and even traveling. 

How about you? Have you been quietly (or even loudly) quitting? If so, what have you quit? And perhaps more importantly, have you found new ways to engage? If so, please share.


6 thoughts on “Shhhhhh. I’m Quietly Quitting. Are You?

  1. I just read another blog about losing things, but not a sense of humor. Even though you are quietly quitting things (and I get it), you hang on to that sense of humor!

  2. Bev, the timing of your post is almost eery…I was thinking just today about how many activities I’ve quit doing and commitments I’ve quit making, not just because of the pandemic but starting before that, maybe around the time I turned 55 (I’m 60 now).

    My quit list has included going to every play or gallery opening or music event that my friends are in, reading business books written by men, collecting things (owls, holiday china, beautiful boxes), wearing pretty but painful high heels, looking for a karaoke bar wherever I go, volunteering, and acting like a tourist in my own town, even though I’m always encouraging others to do it.

    But like you, I’ve unstuck my pendulum, allowing it to swing back to center.

    Last night there was a Mexican rock band concert I wish I’d attended even though the weather’s getting cold. I wimped out. Next time I’ll bundle up and go (with friends in tow, as shared experiences warm the soul).

    A theater company recently announced a fundraiser and I decided to donate a karaoke party as a silent auction item, having realized that I’ve donated nothing to anyone (except a few pesos to beggars, and some food and clothing to our housekeeper) for probably three years.

    I’ve also volunteered to help restart a documentary film series that had become a buddy activity for our mutual friend Mary Pat and I, and that stalled due to Covid, when I heard from the founder that she’d lost all her staff and couldn’t do it alone. It feels good to be involved.

    And I’ve committed to monthly talks about the expat lifestyle here in San Miguel to the Roads Scholar tours that come through (and it’s hard to get up early on a Saturday, but they pay me a small stipend, and I get to meet interesting people).

    As for the rest of my quit list—the collecting, the heels, the karaoke, the books by good ol’ boys—I’m content to let those passions of the past float on down the river now. There’s much to be said for a quieter, roomier life!

    • Loved your info-packed comment. And the fact that you’ve unstuck your pendulum and are re-engaging. I hope to do that before long…though am also determined to spend enough time at home to get through a long list of to-dos, some of which I’ve ignored for far too long.

  3. Definitely! I withdrew in 2020 and found that it was a blessed relief and that I actually liked quieter living. I still haven’t rejoined the book group or other social activities and I am okay with it. I did take my first flight in 3.5 years to see my son in CA and was pleased how smoothly it all went. Life in the slow lane suits!

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