Ms. Independence: Breaking the Ties That Bind

This week we Chicks are extending the Independence Day festivities by declaring our freedom from a few pesky habits. (Or at least we’re working at it.) Read on and help us celebrate!

Ellen Byron


A couple of years ago, I declared my independence from diet soda. I drank it for so long that I can’t imagine what it’s done to my innards. I started on Tab and then bounced back and forth between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, depending on the current formula for each. I even added Coke Zero into the mix. I can’t remember exactly what motivated me to give them up, but I literally drank at least two, sometimes three a day. I had one for breakfast, for goodness sake! We called it Mommy Juice. Ewwww… creeps me out even writing that. But I’m happy to say that now when I very, very occasionally order a diet soda, I can barely stomach a few sips. I am totally over it. I celebrate my freedom from this noxious beverage! Sidebar: I now drink tea, iced and hot, like it’s goin’ out of style.

Lisa Q. Mathews

CotC Word balloons

Ellen and I are caffeine twin-sies. I mainlined Diet Coke every morning for breakfast when I worked in NYC publishing. That’s how we editors got all those manuscripts in before the production editor made her rounds at noon. I finally switched to Starbucks cappuccinos (was that a good thing?) followed swiftly by iced tea on IV drip. Did all that caffeine keep me up at night? Nope. I don’t remember whether it made me more productive, though. In fact, I don’t remember much about that era at all. But lately I’ve been trying my best to reduce stress in general. I’m on a furious campaign to rid my In box of annoying marketing emails. A while back I got a little lazy about unsubscribing and they’ve multiplied a million fold. I’ve also been trying not to check my phone fifty times an hour. I mean, the world isn’t going to stop if I am not 100% informed round-the-clock.  No one’s actually going to hunt me down for stuff or anything. Um…right?

Vickie Fee

vickieThe one thing I wish I could give up forever? Procrastination. But I keep putting it off, never quite get around to it, right? Go figure. Seriously, I would like to get things done in a more timely manner, not run late all the time, not find myself under the gun at deadline time. But, I thrive on deadline pressure. And I’m not good at watching the clock. In fact, I’m one of those rare people who can’t wear a watch. They won’t keep time on me and eventually stop working all together. (I know some people think this is a myth, but I have a drawer full of watches that says otherwise). That brings me to the other thing I’d like to give up. Making excuses. I plan to start working on that next week.

Cynthia Kuhn


Same as Ellen! I was addicted to Diet Dr. Pepper and coffee…until I started having throat issues and was told to give them up. At the same time. Talk about misery! I did not feel like myself for months and months. But I didn’t have either one for over a year. Nowadays, some coffee is back in rotation but only in the form of skinny lattes (which don’t seem to bother me because of the milk). I’ll also order a diet soda once in awhile when we’re out for dinner, but it doesn’t taste good to me anymore (if you’d told me two years ago that I would ever say that, I wouldn’t have believed you). 🙂

 Marla Cooper

CotC Marla Cooper

Oh, to be proactively giving up bad habits. I am currently in the middle of a figurative marathon, trying to dispatch several different writing projects and still leave on a trip in less than a week. (Eeep!) This week I’ve been working on a travel guide for Lonely Planet, and it was a lot of work but it’s almost done. It’s due today, and I’ll be turning it in before lunchtime, after which I can do whatever I want without feeling like I ought to be working. Aaaaand then that will last about ten minutes before I remember that I have to write my blog post for Monday (which, coincidentally, will be another take on the idea of freedom… stay tuned!).

Readers, do you have a habit or vice you’re dying to be free of—or do you have a success story to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to Chicks on the Case and never miss a post. Just click the button on the top right side of this page and let the fun begin!

12 thoughts on “Ms. Independence: Breaking the Ties That Bind

  1. I have tried so many times to break habits, but I don’t have the willpower.
    I would love to eat healthy. Give up chocolate though? It’s my go to when I’m under stress. Which is all the time.
    I would like to slow down my pace in life, do less and enjoy life, but I’m way too Type A for that.
    Although a couple of years ago I did give up straight coffee. Doctor said it was causing my constant heartburn. So I limit myself to 2 frappaccinos a week now, because there’s more milk than coffee in them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hestia, good on you for taking control of your coffee addiction! I’ve given up on that one — with my husband’s blessing. I get really cranky when I don’t have my caffeine hit!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t have a problem with soda. I didn’t drink it growing up, and after a week of having it for lunch and dinner in college, I was so over it. Give me water or fruit juice. But mainly water.

    However, candy and ice cream are my weakness. If I could start eating healthy, the running I do would actually help me lose weight.

    And I’m with Vickie on procrastination. My motto is, why put off today what you can put off putting off until tomorrow.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. LOL, Mark! I’m a candy junkie too. But one thing that helped me weed out the cheap stuff is that my cousin’s husband worked at C&H Sugar for years, which is high-quality cane sugar. He told me that cheaper candies are made with beet sugar, which is much lower quality. This kind of turned me off store stuff, especially when he told me my favorite, See’s, is made with C&H – so now I’d rather have one piece of See’s than a Hershey bar. BTW, I think when Godiva was acquired by a multi-national company, they switched to cheaper sugar. I swear, I can taste it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had to give up many of my favorite foods for my health (gluten, lactose, etc). I’d like to give up MOURNING them! I make myself CRAZY with longing for that thick slice of cheddar or that flaky croissant or . . .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kate, hubs is gluten intolerant, so I am mostly gluten-free as well. Many gluten-free options are pretty good. But, you’re right — you can’t make a decent croissant without gluten!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s