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5 Reasons to Consider Becoming a Hermit

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The other day my son came running into my office and stopped short. “Um, Mom?” he asked. “I don’t mean this in a bad way, but when was the last time you actually got dressed?”

I don’t know what’s worse – that he asked, or that I had to think about it. In my defense, I just got back from a trip to Georgia last Friday night, so it hasn’t been that long. (And I do shower every day. I just usually put on clean pajamas instead of clothes.) But it did make me think about the overall change in my habits since I became self-employed in December.

I used to dress, put on makeup, and do my hair at LEAST six days a week. I did that for as long as I can remember. I used to fill up my car every four days. I got up when it was still dark outside to get ready for work (or school, when I was still a student), and it was dark when I got home. And I was absolutely miserable.

My lifestyle in the past 7 months has been a complete 180 from the way I’ve typically done things. And as much as my friends and family tease me, I can’t help thinking that living like a hermit may not be a terrible thing.

Five Things That Rock About Being a Hermit

1. You save money. I’m saving money on gas, oil changes, haircuts, dining out, laundry, makeup and hair products, holiday gifts for coworkers, fundraisers for my coworkers’ kids’ schools, clothing and shoes, cigarettes (because buying them requires getting dressed), my phone bill (no more work calls!), and even my health insurance, though I admit that one isn’t typical for most people.

2. You do things because you want to. I used to feel obligated to attend every baby shower, birthday party, cookout, baseball game, etc. that my friends or one of their kids had. I would think, Well, I’ll already be dressed and on my way home from work. Might as well. Not anymore! Now that getting ready is a rare thing, I find it super easy to prioritize which events I attend and which ones I skip.

3. People don’t question you. For some reason, a lot of people hear “self-employed” and interpret it as “unemployed.” So I use that to my advantage. When I don’t want to do something, I say, “Sorry, that’s not in my budget right now,” and it’s hilarious how understanding they are. “Oh, of course! How rude of me! That’s okay!!!!” complete with arm pat, like people think I’m on the verge of homelessness.

4. You’re more comfortable. This should go without saying, but yoga pants are WAY more comfortable than dress pants or jeans. Yes, I look like a total slob when I’m at home, but it makes my wardrobe seem a lot bigger when I do put on normal clothes. Amazing how new your clothes can seem when you don’t wear them as often!

5. Life slows down a little. Don’t get me wrong – the weeks and months are absolutely flying by. But there are so many things in day to day life that I’m finally able to notice now, like how tall Jayden is getting and the way the sunlight looks in my front yard in the afternoon. Little dorky things? Sure. But they’re things I didn’t have time to see before.

Could You Handle It?

I swear, I’m not completely antisocial. My phone still rings, I see my friends and family (more than before, actually), and I do leave the house every once in awhile. After years of running crazy, though, it’s amazing what a positive impact my semi-hermitism has had on my stress level and my bank account. (And yes, “hermitism” is a word – I looked it up to make sure.) I may eventually get bored with this quiet life and look for new adventures, but for now I’m loving every minute.

Could you ever step back from your “normal” life and spend more time at home? What would you miss the most? What things would you be happy to give up?

About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web designer and single mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!

Comments

  1. AverageJoe says:

    I'm with you, Andrea! I love working from hom. Forget yoga pants, I don't wear any pants! Too much info?

    Seriously, after managing $60M dollars and wearing a suit every day for 16 years, it's great to notice the Canadian geese outside my window this morning. I felt like those years are a blur and now (even though it sounds cliche) every day is a blessing.

  2. makingsenseofcents says:

    I like spending time at home. Saves me money and I can actually relax.

  3. I like to spend time at home and be alone, but even on days off I force myself to get out of the house at least once and be a little social (even if it's just asking for books from the librarian).

    I just can't stay in pajamas all day, it feels like I waste the day (even if I'm super productive and doing work!)

  4. DontDebt says:

    My hubby is retired and it seems like he is busier now than when he worked. He always says that he doesn't know when he ever had time to work. Of course, he's busy with stuff he loves – golfing, taking care of the lawn and garden, projects around the house and such.

  5. Jesort415 says:

    I love this post!!! It hit the nail on the head for me. I actually prefer my lifestyle now over what it was just 10 years ago. I felt silly being 33 and home in bed by 9-10pm on Fri/Sat nights but having such an easy going life right now is a blessing. I used to travel 2.5 hours 1 way on public transit to Manhattan (where some of the rudiest people also work..no offense to NY as I am a life long NYer but seriously when did excuse me or sorry or even thank you become too hard to say). I worked 9-5 then to head back on the bus for another 2.5 ride home (at the time it was $6 a ride). I couldn't grocery shop till the weekend when everyone else did (I also spent alot more on take out cause seriously who wants to cook that late), same for getting my nails done, hair cut, dr appts, etc which meant every place was crowded and/or overbooked. I also felt I HAD to go out more since well I worked so hard during the week with no life. Not to mention the obligation of chipping in for birthdays, babies, and retirement gifts…Yup life is better as a hermit :-)

  6. I worked from home for two summers and I totally loved it. No commute time! Do laundry while you work! Home cooked lunches! Unfortunately it's not an option anymore, but I loved it while it lasted.

  7. My parents used to make fun of me for sitting at home in my pyjamas everyday but if I don't get dressed, I don't go out — if I don't get dressed, my clothes stay in good condition for longer (very frugal!) etc. Whenever I have to get dressed nicely to go somewhere (big meeting at work, interview, somewhere fancy etc) I always hate the amount of time that it takes to get ready.

  8. I loved working from back when I worked. But even now, I am a hermit. I like to stay home and spend time with my hubby and my fur babies. It has definitely been cheaper seeing that we went from being a two income family to a one income family. I feel like when you enjoy life and like to spend time at home your priorities shift a little bit.

  9. I think I could do it for a few days, but no longer than that. I like interacting with people too much.

  10. I love going out and being in the world. I think if I worked from home I would probably find a local coffee shop to be at most of the times. I actually like getting dressed up and going out into the world. Maybe that is because I work in an already relaxed environment now. It's nice to heard that you are happier now though!

  11. I spent the first few months of self-employment at home. Sometimes days would pass without me stepping foot outside. It was too depressing. Now, I try to get out of the house every day. Today, I went to a neighborhood park and fell asleep under a tree. I'm discovering more and more about the community I've lived in for over three years. The weather has been really nice so I feel pretty fortunate.

  12. eemusings says:

    I am the biggest unabashed hermit and not ashamed of it. I can go weeks without seeing anyone but T and coworkers. I love coming home, making dinner, and curling up with a book/ playing some guitar/ blogging / watching Game of Thrones/etc.

  13. I think I could as long as I stayed busy. If I'm not busy though I get bored and restless and have to leave the house. I'd probably wouldn't miss too much but I'd be happy to give up commuting for an hour a day. I think hermits in addition to going out though don't like visitors either. At least that is what I think of when I hear hermit, cut of from society and I'd say that definitely isn't you.

  14. Budget & the Beach says:

    I could not possibly spend more time at home. lol! With working form home and now working out more at home, I do feel the need to get out and be more social. Luckily I am more of a homebody, so it doesn't bother me too much. Funny since I do work from home I find I try to put on nicer things to wear (and even shoes) to feel productive while I'm working. I love my yoga pants but I'm less productive in them.

  15. I handle it the same as you do mostly. I am starting to volunteer a few hours a week at a local hospice just to get out of the house more, but in general, I wear sweats every day and take showers only if I am leaving the house…so about 5 times a week – poker night, bowling night, hospice work, and when we go out with friends on the weekends. I also use the "self-employed" excuse to get salespeople to stop bugging me. :-)

  16. I geeked out when I read the question from your son. The thing I envy most of your position is the ability to say what you do. You can certainly say you're self-employed and people will understand. If you happen to be at a dinner party, you can say you're in marketing. If you're at a concert you can say you're a graphic designer. All true. All the time.

  17. I was just about to go look up the word hermitism. I've never heard it before and it seems so random. But I like it. Totally a word I will use now. Anyway, I'm a big fan of being a hermit when I can. It's very calming and I think it brings a good balance to our crazy lives.

  18. belowhermeans says:

    I love my job but I think giving up alcohol has already (and will continue to) turn me into a homebody most nights and weekends. I don't mind. It's a lot more affordable.

  19. Few years back I use to frequent a nude beach in New Jersey. It was a really cool experience but most the time I was by myself. I use to spend an entire day by myself and I thought that was so cool and freeing! The only one I spoke to all day was the toll booth attendant!

  20. Hermatizing is a great way of life for me =) I live alone and it suits me just fine! I go to bed when I want,get up when I want, I eat what & when I want, my life is so laid back and comfy…I live in northern Minnesota and we get our fair share of snow & snow storms…I don’t have to go out into it!! I stay home with a nice hot cup of hot chocolate, next to my fireplace and watch a good movie. I really don’t care for people all that much, especially relatives, certain ones anyhow. I have very few trusting friends…so ya I am perfectly content with my comfy solitude. I cherish every minute in fact……….

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