Walking 10,000 steps a day.
Shopping in stores.
Going to see plays and movies.
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.