Things I’d Like To Stop Doing

(a first-ditch effort to build up to:  Things I’d Like to Start Doing)

The Luce Line in late Fall, my old jogging trail.

1.  Checking the dot.coms like an OCD patient.  This includes CNN, People Magazine, e-mail, blog stats, comment responses, ESPN tennis and golf, etc.

2.  “Talking” to my children via text message so much.  It’s become a bad habit.  I want to hear their voices more.

3.  Choosing shoes for comfort instead of style, like an old lady.  Sometimes it feels good to have sore feet.

4.  Wishing new books were more like old books.  As in, I pick up a fine new book and for the first 50 pages all I can think about is it’s not as good as SOPHIE’S CHOICE, LONESOME DOVE, CAT’S EYE, A THOUSAND ACRES, etc.

5.  Making lists of household chores that never, never get done, just rewritten onto a new, cleaner-looking list.

6.  Seeking and/or cooking comfort food even when I don’t require any comforting.

7.  Worrying that I’m talking or laughing too loud and bothering someone.

8.  Watching re-runs of ER, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, and Six Feet Under instead of giving the new shows a fighting chance.

9.  Following the rules.

10.  Saying “thank you” and “I’m sorry” when I either don’t mean it or it’s unnecessary.

What’s on your list?

23 thoughts on “Things I’d Like To Stop Doing

  1. Downith


    It’s one of those words I always spell wrong.

    Things I’d like to start doing – spell weird right first time every time.

  2. Jennifer

    1. Believing in fairy tales.

    2. Thinking that yoga is hurting more than helping.

    3. Hoping my friends’ clothes will ever fit me.

    4. Buying self-help books.

    5. Checking FaceBook continually.

    6. Watching moronic TV shows instead of reading my New Yorkers or writing a book.

    7. Worrying about what I look like naked, especially now that I’m single and 45.

    8. Having coffee and “something chocolate” around 3pm each day.

    9. Rationalizing that the wine I drink has nothing to do with my sleep deprivation.

    10. Peeking at to see what’s out there. (See #1…and #7)

  3. amyg

    i got a bunch of this instead of that kinda things, like…

    thinking about what to do with my WIP instead of actually doing it
    exercising instead of watching tv
    eating raw cookie dough instead of fixing a real meal
    putting together a career plan instead of reading books about putting together a career plan
    using phrases like “career plan” ugh

    jennifer, you’re number 8 is sometimes my most favorite part of the afternoon. and sometimes, my something chocolate is a tbsp full of hershey syrup mixed into my coffee.

      1. Teri Post author

        Thinking about my WIP is my favorite whipping post. The book in my head is brilliant. I’m afraid to write it and screw it up.

    1. Teri Post author

      Jennifer, what you need is a blog!

      3. Hoping my OWN clothes will fit me.

      It must a compulsion to read books or watch shows about how to do things instead of doing them. I love nothing better than watching a show about exercise while eating a bag of potato chips. And if I showed you how many books I have about “how to write well” you’d ship me off to a treatment facility.

      And 3 pm is the magic hour. Something yummy must always occur at 3.

  4. macdougalstreetbaby

    1. biting my tongue
    2. making the same dinners week after week after week
    3. calling my boy obnoxious and threatening to hire a babysitter
    4. eating baked potato chips and sipping orange juice (a winning combination!) from 6pm until bedtime

    1. Teri Post author

      1. Biting my tongue, when I didn’t USED TO bite my tongue. I’ve become too much of a peacemaker — I need to stir up more shit with my real opinions again.
      2. (see comfort food on my list)

      Hey, at least yours are BAKED potato chips! I go for the real thing, sometimes with cream cheese, that’s how far off the ranch I’ve gone, MSB.

      The more I tell myself, “Don’t eat after six,” the hungrier I am all night long. Bobbi could probably give us a name for that.

  5. Averil Dean

    1. Screwing around at work. (Though, in my defense, I wouldn’t screw around if only there were something to DO.
    2. Buying a salad every day instead of bringing one from home.
    3. Talking/dreaming/writing about August.
    4. Drinking coffee. My poor heart is stuttering like Prince Albert in there.
    5. Following politics. It’s continually nauseating and absolutely pointless.
    6. Getting defensive with my mother, who is “only trying to help”.
    7. Telling my secrets.

    1. Teri Post author

      Your #2 may be directly related to #1. At my most boring jobs, I always wanted to buy lunch, it was a time filler and something to look forward to.

      AUGUST. I flipped when I saw his post on your site today. He is your muse? And that’s never bad, right??

      I need to ramp down, starting from my 5 cups to 4, and work from there….

      Fucking politics. Fucking politicians. (see my addiction to

      1. Averil Dean

        Turn off the CNN, Teri. For your mental health. We are a bunch of fucking morons, represented by pussies on the left and dirty selfish bastards on the right. I fear our comeuppance is coming up.

        August IS my muse. It’s silly of course, but when I pretend he’ll be reading, I write better. Much better. That doesn’t mean I need to bore everyone else with it!

  6. Lyra

    Of course.
    I’ll take your ten with the exception for the texting. Maybe we’ll get M the IPhone for his third birthday.
    In addition:
    11) Wishing away my life for a time that I’m thinner.
    12) Wishing I could be like all of the people who seem to be such great moms.
    13) Wishing for more time.
    14) Wishing away my children’s childhood so that I could write more/get more sleep.
    15) Trying to keep up with people who are working on entirely different things.
    16) Trying to keep up.

    1. Teri Post author

      I’m sure Apple would say they’re never, never too young for the iPhone. What if he has an emergency?

      11. I hate to admit it, but this is something I think about daily. Daily! That’s messed up. When my skinny, gorgeous daughter complains about her big belly (which is nonexistent) or any looks-issue, I cringe and feel like I’ve contributed to that.

      12. Lawdy Miss Mawdy. My mother-in-law’s comment about me not being a “real mother,” even though I know she’s full of shit, hurts me. And it’s not because of her, it’s because that’s been my fear from day one, that I’m not as good as the other moms.

      14. Now that I have more time, I feel like I write less. I think I crave the anxiety of deadlines, and time limits in general. I’ve worked since I was 15 — free time still feels a pretty odd.

      15 and 16. (see your #11) I want to be thinner and fitter and wear pretty clothes like them. Seeing what I could be, if only I could be it.

      1. Lyra

        He is almost three…there is no end to his emergencies as noted by the incessant screaming of “Mommy!!” The first thing he would do would be to put up a video of his dance moves on YouTube.

        As to the rest…hello self. We must stop meeting like this.

  7. lizisilver

    1. Wishing for affirmation via a single publication, a book, and/or a Pulitzer.
    2. Tuning my husband’s voice out.
    3. Starting a frightening majority of my thoughts with “If only I was…” [insert envy-inducing name or character trait here]. I’m not. I need to get over it.

    1. Teri Post author

      1. What’s worse is when you get little stuff published and nobody notices. Finally finally! and then …. nothing. I also want a prize, a big prize, and I’m not ashamed to say it. Though wanting the prize cripples my writing because I constantly feel like it’s not good enough for a prize. And ’round and ’round I go.

      2. I can tune out everything when I’m working. It’s one of the things I’m thankful for. Otherwise I could never write anything.

      3. The f-ing “if onlys” — see my response to Lyra above.

  8. lisahgolden

    I got so engrossed in reading these lists that I almost forgot my own.

    1. Like Averil, following politics. It’s polluting my brain.
    2. Eating. For the love of Bob, can’t I just be satisfied with living off my fat for six months.
    3. Looking at the window torn between wanting to go outside and knowing that I should just finish what I started inside first.
    4. Worrying. As if that changes anything.
    5. Thinking that reading erotica will help me write a sex scene. It’s helping something, but not my productivity levels. MathMan is happy though so that’s a plus.
    6. Twitter. Suddenly I’m a fan. Not now, Lisa.
    7. Being a mom. I don’t want to resign, I just want a hiatus. Silly me, I thought it got easier.

    1. Deb

      I could pretty much write ditto to Lisa’s list minus #5. In it’s place I’d write, stop living a reaction to everyone else’s life and start living my own. Yeah. That’s what I’d write.

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