Sorry to disappoint those who read the title to this week’s newsletter and assumed I’d given my notice (keep reading, however, to find out what I did quit).
A few weeks ago, The New York Times published a special section called “I Quit,”, featuring essays about quitting everything from grad school to sex to skincare to gum. I know conventional wisdom tells us to stick it out ‘til the bitter end, but there’s something so liberating about walking away on your own terms. And whether we want to admit it or not, most of us have probably felt a twinge of jealously when listening to someone describe how he or she quit a bad job, relationship or habit. (I know I have.)
One of the happiest days of my life was the day I quit Costco. Friends and family were aghast—How could I walk away from the mecca of low-priced merchandise? Where would I buy bacon, baby wipes, rotisserie chicken and sheet cakes? How else would I feed my hungry family of five? Was I feeling ok? I was just as confused as they were. Nothing about Costco ever made sense to me, from the chaotic parking lot and unwieldy shopping carts to the cavernous, random layout. Items that seemed promising in store became odd and annoying when I brought them home, like the toaster that died after three months or the toddler pajamas with the strangely long arms. Costco shopping trips always took twice as long and trying to fit all those bulk foods in my pantry was like playing a losing game of Tetris every week. And let’s be honest, does my husband really need a ten-pack of deodorant?
So I cancelled my membership. The world did not end, my family did not go hungry, and best of all, I found a new place to buy birthday cakes and bacon.