Things I Don't Do

If you’re a Shauna Niequist fan you may remember a chapter she wrote in Bittersweet called Things I Don’t Do.

It’s one of those chapters that has stuck in my mind for years and I come back to it again and again when I’m feeling like I just can’t keep up.

Now more than ever there is pressure to do more.

To do everything.

With blogs, Pinterest and social media we have a glimpse into so many unique lives.

I see friends do amazing things all week long – taking trips, making art, going on adventures, the list goes on…

While I love the opportunity to see more of people’s lives, it can be a bit disillusioning at times.

Without taking the time to filter what we see it can easily feel like we should be doing all the things everyone else is doing.


It’s not all bad. It’s a gift to be inspired. But every so often I have to come back to who I am and remind myself of Β the things I do and the things I don’t do.

In the same way, I never want you to believe that I do it all.

If you ever think “how in the world does she find time to exercise, write and make fresh smoothies every day?” remember, that’s what I do! There are a hundred other things I don’t do.

So here’s a short list of things I don’t do…

  • I don’t garden. I don’t even try. I love the idea of it and I like to think that I will some day but I have no idea how I’d find the time to keep a garden alive.
  • I don’t do crafts. Every once and awhile I’ll get on a DIY kick and make something for the home, but most of the time I’d rather buy it at Target.
  • I don’t sew. I don’t even know how to sew a button.
  • I don’t shop. It’s kind of sad actually. I should work on this one. I rarely, rarely buy new clothes. But I love reading fashion blogs and pinning outfits like it’s my job. πŸ™‚
  • I don’t go to the gym. I don’t own a gym membership and don’t really desire one.
  • I don’t bake. Again, I love the idea of it and I think about doing it. But I don’t even own a bag of sugar. Or baking soda. Or whatever else you need to bake from scratch.
  • I don’t do home repairs or clean my car as often as I should.
  • I don’t use coupons. I try and I fail. I always forget.

It’s incredibly liberating to write that list. I encourage you to make one of your own.

One of the things I love about getting older is weeding out the things that don’t bring life and focusing on the things that do.


I run, I teach and do Pilates, I go for walks, I write, I lead an amazing community of online women, I take care of my baby, I breastfeed, I cook, I eat well, I use natural products, I spend time with friends & family, I go to church and I sleep 8 hours a night. That’s what I do.


What about you, what are a few things you don’t do?



PS – you may also like Less Pinning,Β More Doing and A Day In The Life.

PPS – I highly recommend Bittersweet if you haven’t read it yet.

  1. Sandy 3 years ago

    You always hit the nail on the head for me. I don’t do all the things you don’t do. I want to shop but only because I really want a whole new wardrobe and a whole new me! This has been on my mind this week as I read about a local woman (older than me) who was a top executive with a large travel company. When that folded after 9/11 she started down another path and got her 500 hour yoga teacher training, opened two yoga studios, got a PhD in Tourism from a major university and runs humanitarian service/yoga trips. Now that made me feel like my time doing yoga, pilates, fitness classes, power walking, traveling and spending time with my grandkids was not really doing anything at all.

  2. Bekah 3 years ago

    Robin, I’m so glad you don’t do all those other things; it makes what you do all the better. Thank you for sharing your Don’t List; I may just have to piggy back off that and come up with my own as a priority check. I like making lists for my priorities, but forget the Don’t’s, which creep in to steal some of the time spent on the best life.

  3. Devon 3 years ago

    I LOVE this post! I feel strongly that people shouldn’t feel the pressure to do it all. Especially when it comes at the expense of being distracted, your sanity, time away from what really matters, enjoying life, etc. There are definitely things on my list of things I do and alot on my list of what I don’t do. And I’ve had to learn and make a conscious effort to move things to the “don’t do” list over time. Seriously, loved this post!! One of my favorite parts was that you don’t bake or own a bag of sugar or baking soda! love it.

  4. Mallory 3 years ago

    I love this, Robin. It feels good to accept who we are and what we like – and to lose the pressure of feeling we need to be SO. MUCH. MORE. We are all enough. I so enjoy your messages and your perspective.

  5. Shayna 3 years ago

    You’re amazing, Robin! Thanks for being such an inspiration to live a healthy, honest, and balanced life! πŸ™‚

  6. Karli 3 years ago

    Amen. One of my favorite Shauna chapters and love the reminder. I have several of the same don’ts but would add I don’t run πŸ™‚

    • Profile photo of Robin Long
      Robin Long 3 years ago

      Love it. Good for you. πŸ™‚ I would add that you DO make the best burger/molten chocolate cake/dinner in general. I miss your cooking!

  7. Madison 3 years ago

    Oh I love this post. And I loved that chapter in Bittersweet, too. Me? I do cook and bake and work out at the gym (and love it!) but I don’t do many DIY projects and I don’t scrapbook and I send my husbands pants out to be hemmed and fixed instead of doing it myself. There is a limit to how much we can all do. Love celebrating our differences!

    • Profile photo of Robin Long
      Robin Long 3 years ago

      I love it Madison! I always drool over the things you bake. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing. xo

  8. Lia 3 years ago

    Great post Robin! #keepingitreal

  9. Kristin 3 years ago

    I’d been thinking about reading Bittersweet…this post made me realize I needed to order it now!
    I teach 2nd grade, therefore I don’t have time for a lot of the Do’s I’d love to add right now. But hey, I DO teach. (I definitely don’t sew.)

  10. Jenn 3 years ago

    Hi, what children’s book is in this picture? Looks beautiful!

    • Felicia 3 years ago

      Hey Jenn, I just noticed your comment and thought I would reply, it’s “the Jesus Storybook Bibile.” It’s so beautifully written and illustrated.

  11. Victoria B 2 years ago

    I love this post! It is so refreshing!

  12. Val 2 years ago

    Robin my list would look exactly like yours. I often daydream about baking and crafting but never do either and had to have a giggle at the cleaning the car. All of these are so me. I love your honesty & your blog. Thank you xx πŸ™‚

  13. Brooke T 2 years ago

    I read this after #mindbodymat Day 3 post and I must say I love this darn list!! I love how open you were (not even owning a bag I sugar or baking soda πŸ™‚ ) I’ll definitely be making one today.

  14. Summer Hagge 3 months ago

    Thanks Robin, I really appreciate how you are really about “a balanced life”…not just about doing as much exercise as possible, pushing products, and selling things…extremely refreshing πŸ™‚

  15. K Ann Guinn 3 months ago

    What a great post! Thanks for re-sharing this one, and confirming that you are indeed a human! It certainly is “challenging” feeling like we either want to or need to do everything we see online! I believe that’s the liberating thing about your website, the Sisterhood and your classes, etc., Robin.

    What do I NOT do? Since I’m having trouble answering this, I think I need to reflect on this more. I like to make homemade food (esp. baking), and make things from scratch, as well as DIY household products, but I can’t do them all. Some of them I’m letting go. I’m not doing fussy housecleaning, as we’re doing more outdoor stuff, I work part-time (on a farm right now), and a lot of my home time is spent working on my blog.

    I do not do a lot of volunteering or run my sons all over the place. We keep our schedule somewhat simple: work, church on Sunday, plus hosting a small group in our home during the school year, plus a minimal amount of other activities out of the home.

    As I said, this is a great topic to revisit. I remember my pastor preaching a message once stating that whenever we say, “yes” to something, we are automatically saying “no” to something else, which is an important life lesson to learn. Our time and energy are some of our most precious commodities!

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