Friday, March 17, 2006

Frugal Living for the Frazzled

I am mired in several projects that I really have no desire to be a part of. Last night I made myself a promise, I will not agree to do things just because I don't want to let people down.

Here's an example, I agreed to teach a fitness class to the patients in a local psychiatric center. I agreed because my boss was stuck, no one else would do it. It was supposed to last from July to March. Two years later, I'm still trudging off to teach there and I dread almost every minute of it.

Another example, I agreed to teach a nutrition class that covers way too much information, pays way too little money for the work involved and is over an hour away. Why? Well, it was a friend of a friend who new my work, blah, blah, blah. You get the idea.

Is this frugal or vegetarian? In some ways yes, with less things drawing on my time I can devote more energy to frugal living and veg cooking. Just as living in a cluttered, disorganized environment makes it harder for you to be frugal, leading a life cluttered with undesirable activity makes it hard to be frugal (and happy as well!)

I'll be offline until Monday but consider this post a weekend challenge. What dreaded activities are cluttering your life? Are you ready to let them go?


Frugal Homemaker said...

For me, grad school was this. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I hated it once I got there. There were many things I loved about it, but I was so stressed I was crying all the time. This seems to be normal in grad school, or at least in the program I was in. It was too much stress for me. However, I was in a teaching contract (I did love teaching!) for that year, so I had to stay. Then I decided to stay the next year, because I was so close to being done and my contract was I had to stay for that year, etc, etc. Now I just have my thesis to finish, and it's awful, and I would quit, but...I'm so close. Bah.

Ruthie said...

Thank you for this post! I have been contemplating grad school simply because it's something I'm expected to do. I got my bachelors, and really don't have a lot of use for it, and most people are expecting me to find "a program I'm interested in." But I'm more interested in being a frugal homemaker (like your login) and a frugal veggie mama, than a stressed out grad student. And why does a vegan chef for a family, nontoxic home cleaner, and compassionate mommy need a masters degree? Especially when I'm not too terribly driven to persue one? I don't know, it makes sense to me, and I'm glad to see you're experience supports my decision.

Ruthie said...

Oh by the way Katie, I posted my trip menu on my blog, just for you! :-D

I'd say what I'm giving up is bringing stuff in. With the realization of a cross-country move coming in just a few months, the idea is to get unneeded goods *out* of the apartment so we can move as cheaply as possible. So I'm giving up thrift store shopping for bargains, bulk food buying (instead I'll be inventing crazy meals with whats already stockpiled) and any petty purchases like used books and such. At the same time I'll be gutting the place of things I don't want to pay to move. So it should be interesting, to say the least. :-D

Peace out,

And oh, I LOVE your cleaning posts!! I can't WAIT to try some of those hints.

Michelle said...

Great topic, Katie. This is something I have been thinking alot about lately since I've been reading the Tightwad Gazette and have become so excited about living a frugal life. I'm a nurse who has always wanted to purse genetics, but as I get older, I find myself wanting to pursue a simple lifestyle. My husband and I intend on moving to a rural area from where we currently live (metro NYC) once our youngest child (15) graduates from HS anyway, and I want to spend my time gardening, knitting, going antiquing and perusing garage sales, not stay up all night studying for my BSN. Yet on the other hand, I do know that I would enjoy genetic nursing and that my degree would not be wasted. But I feel as if I would be sacrificing my quality of life in the mean time. It is a dilema!


Katie said...

Great responses all around. I think its good to question our paths now and then.

Maybe I should have mentioned that a big inspiration for my decluttering is due to a very close friend and her recent diagnosis of breast cancer. Life is way too short to do things just because we think we're supposed to.

Good luck to all, as you sort out the right paths for yourselves.

Katie said...


i can't wait to check your blog out, but there's no way in the world that I'll get to it before tomorrow.

Jacq said...

Grad school isn't all bad. I'm in grad school and I love it! I'm not taking anything that I "should" take. I'm taking what interests me. I love my courses (except the very first one that was a required course and it was the pits). The profs are great and since it is a distance program it works well with my family and work life. I'm hoping that I can find a job that will relate to my master's some day and get me out of the job I'm in now.