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?