The Money Mustache Community

Around the Internet => Continue the Blog Conversation => Topic started by: theREALpanchovilla on July 08, 2015, 08:54:51 PM

Title: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: theREALpanchovilla on July 08, 2015, 08:54:51 PM
Hola amigos, one of my favourite facets of the blog is MMM's espousal of willing submission to discomfort. It's THE mental 'trick' that turns the whining complainypants voice in my head into a lusty "Ole!" of VICTORY.

So, I'd love to hear what you more seasoned Mustachians do to increase your badassity levels?

I ran across a thread on heat acclimatization someone posted in 2012 or thereabouts. I can relate to that because it's 100++!! degrees pretty much every day now in the desert where I live. We don't use AC in our flat as the building is cool enough. It gets mildly uncomfortable in the heat of the day, but then the night seems so much more pleasant by comparison.

Another small thing I recently started to do is to NOT look at my smartphone when I am unexpectedly forced to wait a few minutes for something/someone. At first the desire to sneak a peek at Facebook was agonising, but now I could quite happily sit for 10 minutes in some government department, waiting to get the necessary signature or whatever bit of paperwork is required.

So what about you???
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Hall11235 on July 09, 2015, 07:30:34 AM
With Regards to heat acclimatization, I have found a strategy that works for me every year. I have to drive as part of my job, and we get some hot, sticky summers here in Mass. I refuse to use the AC in the car and keep the windows rolled all the way up, so that my car gets to be inhumanely hot. After sitting in there for an hour, it feels downright cold when I get out, regardless of the heat outside. This has also helped a ton with regards to the AC in my room. It really sucks for about a week, and then it seems that the heat really doesn't bother me. It has also helped a lot in reducing how much I whine about the heat.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: teadirt on July 09, 2015, 01:54:42 PM
Last fall I took a road trip with my SO from where we live in Montana to Seattle and down the coast to the Redwoods. We decided to bring a tent, a cooler, and a 2-burner Coleman stove. I'm guessing most people on vacation wouldn't want to bother with setting up a tent every night or cooking their own food on a primitive camp stove, but that mild discomfort made our trip just so much better. And we spent FAR less on the trip overall.

One morning specifically comes to mind. We ended up sleeping in the car about 10 yards from the ocean (and about 100 yards from an long row of $500/night beach houses). We woke up with the sun and made tea and scrambled eggs on the hood of my car. So for a grand total of about $2, we had accommodation for the night, no 'checkout time' to worry about, no hauling luggage around a hotel, a delicious healthy meal, beautiful scenery, the smell of cool, fresh sea air, both of us smiling ear to ear...

With all that distraction, it was hard to think about the "discomfort" of sleeping in the car just before :)
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Roots&Wings on July 10, 2015, 06:53:15 AM
Hola amigos, one of my favourite facets of the blog is MMM's espousal of willing submission to discomfort. It's THE mental 'trick' that turns the whining complainypants voice in my head into a lusty "Ole!" of VICTORY.

I love this line!

Ok, one other contribution: cold Navy showers on occasion. Super uncomfortable for me, yet so enjoyable that I can do it!

Like others have mentioned, practicing voluntary discomfort expands your comfort zone, helps you appreciate the good stuff when you have it and avoid becoming a complainypants when shit happens.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: trailrated on July 10, 2015, 09:30:36 AM
I am a manager up in the office at a concrete company. We have a reclaimer system for the water that cleans out the concrete barrels on the mixer trucks. Someone dumped in about 12,000lbs of concrete into it on accident and broke it.

With 95 degree heat it would have been easy to tell the other workers that I manage to jump in the pit and start shoveling while I sat in the air conditioned office twiddling my thumbs. Instead I grabbed some coveralls and jumped in with them. While it wasn't "fun" I felt pleased when it was over and the other workers had a higher level of appreciation seeing that I am willing to do what I ask of them as well.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: mrsggrowsveg on July 10, 2015, 09:32:32 AM
I have had really great experiences with voluntary discomfort improving my life.  Most of the time it just involves exposing myself to more extreme temperatures.  It makes that time in a cool room on a summer day or in front of a toasty fire on a winter day extremely enjoyable.  Lately I have been spending more time sitting on the floor instead of chairs.  Now sitting on a nice chair feels like an incredible luxury.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: theREALpanchovilla on July 13, 2015, 01:06:39 AM
Amigos, I am impressed by your collective self-discipline.

Cold showers and unadulterated hot summers are sure to put hairs on your chest (and in your mustache). Some of you Badassians don't even need chairs or indoor toilets! The mind boggles. And kudos to the bandolero who braved internal core body-type temperatures to shovel concrete! That is LEADERSHIP!

While on the trail I have been pondering some milder voluntary discomforts:
-parking further away than required, especially good if it's hot/cold/raining outside.
-waking up slightly earlier than necessary - very difficult for a person who loves sleep.
-not wearing sunglasses in the mornings and afternoons (when the UV levels are low anyway).
-sitting with friends in a coffee shop (because they wanted to) and not drinking overpriced coffees.
-turning the TV/music/iPhone off and deliberately being unentertained.

But I'm sure you all have more strategies? Por favor, don't be shy...
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Mississippi Mudstache on July 13, 2015, 07:09:18 AM
I slept in an airport lobby (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/badass-or-dumbass/) on Friday night instead of getting a $70 hotel room. On Saturday morning, I had to get 16 miles from the airport to downtown New Orleans to a Budget truck rental place. I briefly thought about getting an Uber ride, but instead I looked up the bus routes and found a bus that got me to within 3 miles of my destination. So I took the bus for $2 and walked the rest of the way.

I agree with you - the ability to see hardship as moral victory instead of suffering is an important part of a quality life.

Another small thing I recently started to do is to NOT look at my smartphone when I am unexpectedly forced to wait a few minutes for something/someone. At first the desire to sneak a peek at Facebook was agonising, but now I could quite happily sit for 10 minutes in some government department, waiting to get the necessary signature or whatever bit of paperwork is required.

I need to work on this one. I'm bad about playing a game whenever I have 5 free minutes and ignoring the rest of the world.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: golden1 on July 15, 2015, 12:07:35 PM
Running does this for me, especially running in the heat.  The half hour I spend torturing myself makes the rest of my day seem easy in comparison.  It also does make tolerating the heat in the summer much easier. 

Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: theREALpanchovilla on July 15, 2015, 07:49:47 PM
I slept in an airport lobby (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/badass-or-dumbass/) on Friday night instead of getting a $70 hotel room. On Saturday morning, I had to get 16 miles from the airport to downtown New Orleans to a Budget truck rental place. I briefly thought about getting an Uber ride, but instead I looked up the bus routes and found a bus that got me to within 3 miles of my destination. So I took the bus for $2 and walked the rest of the way.

I laughed reading this - have personally slept in a number of airports, bus stations, train stations, and parks just to avoid paying for a room, too. It's liberating when you realise that you don't HAVE to sleep behind a locked door.

Also, yes to the walking. Where I live at the moment is popularly considered "too hot" to walk anywhere. Despite that, it's often only in the 30s C (80-90s F) and walking is completely safe and not at all difficult, as long as there is some water to drink. Saves me $20 every day I walk to the bus stop (free bus) vs. taking a taxi home.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: stacheasaurus on July 23, 2015, 02:18:55 PM
Running does this for me, especially running in the heat.  The half hour I spend torturing myself makes the rest of my day seem easy in comparison.  It also does make tolerating the heat in the summer much easier.

I LOVE doing this.  People think I'm insane for running in the middle of the day at the hottest times.  I simply shrug, say I love sweating, tie my shirt around my head to keep the sun off of my neck, and off I go!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: yyc-phil on July 23, 2015, 03:11:58 PM
I spend six weeks away in Northern Canada by myself, followed by two weeks home in Calgary where my wife is. From the get-go, I decided it was ridiculous to spend over $1500 on an apartment, and the idea of paying $900 a month for a room in a house with a bunch of people was even less appealing. My solution: becoming the secret office hobo. I sleep on the couch or sometimes on a small inflatable camping mattress, and I have the essentials to be happy: a warm place, no neighbors, a nice espresso machine with free coffee, microwave and mini-fridge. I also house-sit and pet-sit full time for a lady who works on a two-week rotation at a remote mine (as a bonus, it includes using her SUV -gas included, and finishing whatever is left in the fridge) but I really prefer my office situation for a number of reasons, even if it is not the most comfortable arrangement.

Add: I also thought it would be even more ridiculous to have a vehicle in such a cold place, considering costs of maintenance and fuel at $1.39/litre so I have been biking 12 months of the year to run errands or commute when I am house-sitting, even on the coldest days of winter when the temperature plummets to -45. Funny to say, but the colder it is, the better I feel.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Roots&Wings on July 30, 2015, 10:38:19 AM
I've signed up for some upcoming work travel (which I usually find uncomfortable). Gonna try to keep my Stoic tranquility mindset going throughout!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: zoltani on July 30, 2015, 10:51:57 AM
Mountain and rock climbing often puts me into situations that are not comfortable at the time.

Here is what as known as the "fun scale" or scale of suffering/discomfort:

Type 1 is fun to plan, fun in the moment and relatively fun to talk about afterward. It is a day of perfect powder skiing or the Flatirons on a crisp September day. Type 2 is fun to plan, a bit of suffering in the process, but worthy of barstool conversation. Type 3 gets a little darker. It doesn't sound like good idea during the planning process; the process is committing, potentially deadly, but the rewards course through the rest of your life.

Here is the longer version if you want to read more
http://kellycordes.com/2009/11/02/the-fun-scale/
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Roots&Wings on July 30, 2015, 11:18:14 AM
Mountain and rock climbing often puts me into situations that are not comfortable at the time.

Here is what as known as the "fun scale" or scale of suffering/discomfort:

Type 1 is fun to plan, fun in the moment and relatively fun to talk about afterward. It is a day of perfect powder skiing or the Flatirons on a crisp September day. Type 2 is fun to plan, a bit of suffering in the process, but worthy of barstool conversation. Type 3 gets a little darker. It doesn't sound like good idea during the planning process; the process is committing, potentially deadly, but the rewards course through the rest of your life.

Here is the longer version if you want to read more
http://kellycordes.com/2009/11/02/the-fun-scale/

Thanks for posting that link! Yep, I'm trying to voluntarily turn a Type III situation into Type I fun. Realistically probably end up at Type II, but worth a try.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: RosieTR on July 31, 2015, 09:27:41 PM
Mountain and rock climbing often puts me into situations that are not comfortable at the time.

Here is what as known as the "fun scale" or scale of suffering/discomfort:

Type 1 is fun to plan, fun in the moment and relatively fun to talk about afterward. It is a day of perfect powder skiing or the Flatirons on a crisp September day. Type 2 is fun to plan, a bit of suffering in the process, but worthy of barstool conversation. Type 3 gets a little darker. It doesn't sound like good idea during the planning process; the process is committing, potentially deadly, but the rewards course through the rest of your life.

Here is the longer version if you want to read more
http://kellycordes.com/2009/11/02/the-fun-scale/

Love the "fun scale"! Thankfully not too many IIIs for me!

But even just basic car camping or backpacking is *great* voluntary discomfort, and even car camping is possible for all but someone heavily disabled. Backpacking especially will teach you just how little you need to survive. Then, you'll appreciate just having water to drink without first purifying it, and being able to wash your hands after several days in the backcountry! Never mind a shower and bed and electricity and chairs/sofa!
One of the great things I found with having the habit of backpacking and camping on a regular basis, was when our region had a bad flood and we weren't sure if we'd have potable water or electricity....no worries! In fact, I was planning to help out the neighbors if we had gotten a boil water order. It's not necessarily financial, but another example of how challenging yourself now and then actually reduces overall worries since you are self-reliant and know what to expect.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: esq on August 10, 2015, 06:29:32 PM
In the famous words of Billy Crystal, "I shopped retail once."

I have done some of yours, Poncho!  Parking far away in the heat (100 plus here now), waking up earlier, and not drinking coffee when I treat my daughter to Fourbucks.

Guess i need to head over to the intro thread.  You guys rock.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: ClassyCat on August 12, 2015, 09:30:23 AM
Last weekend I walked a couple miles to the store in the painful summer heat to buy a bike. I haven't ridden one in 10+ years, but I found one I loved and was able to ride back home. Beyond the heat, it was uncomfortable because I had to navigate streets I hadn't previously navigated on foot, but I figured out which paths are best to take for next time.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: zoltani on August 12, 2015, 10:12:26 AM
Last weekend I walked a couple miles to the store in the painful summer heat to buy a bike. I haven't ridden one in 10+ years, but I found one I loved and was able to ride back home. Beyond the heat, it was uncomfortable because I had to navigate streets I hadn't previously navigated on foot, but I figured out which paths are best to take for next time.

Nice job!

Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: 2ndTimer on August 18, 2015, 01:46:20 PM
My favorite voluntary discomfort situation is school.  I am the only person I ever met who voluntarily sat through the first semester of Physical Chemistry a second time after passing it.  I wanted to make sure I knew it ALL.  Really paid off in grad school where the most common reasons for flunking out involve PChm deficiencies.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: BlueHouse on August 18, 2015, 02:00:42 PM
Not a physical discomfort, but at least once per year I like to go all cash (no plastic).  It's sort of a diet to get me back to recognizing how easy it is to spend "fake money".  When I go on the all-cash diet, I even pre-pay for gasoline by walking inside the gas station.  If I don't have enough cash for groceries, I walk out of the store and go to an ATM.  I don't use credit or debit.  All of my regular bills still get paid the regular way though.  It basically means that I have one month out of the year where I don't owe anything to anyone (except mortgage). 

Even though I pay off all balances every month, I start accumulating debts before the payment is made to the CC company.  So I like to see a "zero" every once in a while on my bills.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: zoltani on August 18, 2015, 03:33:43 PM
Nice one BlueHouse. I too went the cash route for awhile a couple of years ago, but I like your idea of doing it one month out of the year. Previously I had recognized how easy it was to spend money with cards when you don't actually "feel" what you are spending. When I was younger and had no debit card of credit card I would deposit my paycheck and take cash out after bills were paid. Whatever that cash amount was what I could spend for the period. If I ran out of cash I went hungry, no quick fix at the store by pulling out your plastic, to pay at later date.   
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Trudie on September 04, 2015, 01:50:30 PM
I'm a runner.  I take pride in running in steady rain, snow, and heat.  Regarding all of the above - I take steps to make sure I'm safe.  For instance, in heat I take walk breaks and make sure I have plenty of water stops.  But I do it because it makes me feel badass and makes me less prone to whine about other things.

I live at the top of steep hill that is connected to the main part of town by a paved trail.  I go up and down this trail several times a week.  At the end of a bike ride I always push my bike up the .5 miles of the trail.  Recently went biking with a friend and she was concerned about getting a bike rack to get our bikes up and down to town (thus needing a car).  Not biking with that friend again.  I just don't enjoy being a slave to convenience.  I think about the walk up the hill with my bike as an opportunity to re-acclimate the sea legs and get a little more exercise.  To her it's a hassle.

These are people who have an oversized 4 stall garage and a lower stall they use as a shed (5 stalls).  There's a machine for everything.  No thanks.  I'll stick to my push mower and continue being a badass.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: PFHC on September 04, 2015, 02:03:58 PM
I work as a marine engineer. I work in the engine room, which is a hot, loud place filled with many strenuous, dirty, thankless labors. That is my voluntary discomfort. And I love it.

After twelve hours slogging away in the heat and noise, I love to come up on deck, drenched in sweat, smelling like low tide, and take a big healthy lungful of fresh open ocean air. I walk to the bulwark, and squint into the morning sun as I take in the most beautiful sunrise nature has to offer.

I've been doing this for nearly 15 years, and I will never tire of that part of it. Voluntary discomfort so that I can live a life filled with adventure, and my family can too.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: GuitarStv on September 09, 2015, 01:21:07 PM
Spent years doing Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, and Judo.  Having a large, sweaty man slam me to the ground and then try his damnedest to choke the life out of me sounds like a fun afternoon.  It's far less comfortable in hot summer weather when you're wearing a thick gi . . . but that discomfort is balanced by the fact that the outfit makes your whole sport look moderately less homoerotic than just wrestling in shorts and a rashguard.  :P

I work on the 8th floor of our building, and have only taken the elevator a handful of times in six years.  Elevators suck . . . and taking the stairs is like being paid to work out.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Melody on September 09, 2015, 06:25:01 PM
Hola amigos, one of my favourite facets of the blog is MMM's espousal of willing submission to discomfort. It's THE mental 'trick' that turns the whining complainypants voice in my head into a lusty "Ole!" of VICTORY.

So, I'd love to hear what you more seasoned Mustachians do to increase your badassity levels?

I ran across a thread on heat acclimatization someone posted in 2012 or thereabouts. I can relate to that because it's 100++!! degrees pretty much every day now in the desert where I live. We don't use AC in our flat as the building is cool enough. It gets mildly uncomfortable in the heat of the day, but then the night seems so much more pleasant by comparison.

Another small thing I recently started to do is to NOT look at my smartphone when I am unexpectedly forced to wait a few minutes for something/someone. At first the desire to sneak a peek at Facebook was agonising, but now I could quite happily sit for 10 minutes in some government department, waiting to get the necessary signature or whatever bit of paperwork is required.

So what about you???
Love the no smartphone trick. I have been doing a variation of this lately, carrying personal finance books and reading those instead. Especially share reading reading that stuff a few times really helps with understanding.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: dalegendman on October 06, 2015, 04:38:50 PM
Hola amigos, one of my favourite facets of the blog is MMM's espousal of willing submission to discomfort. It's THE mental 'trick' that turns the whining complainypants voice in my head into a lusty "Ole!" of VICTORY.

So, I'd love to hear what you more seasoned Mustachians do to increase your badassity levels?

I ran across a thread on heat acclimatization someone posted in 2012 or thereabouts. I can relate to that because it's 100++!! degrees pretty much every day now in the desert where I live. We don't use AC in our flat as the building is cool enough. It gets mildly uncomfortable in the heat of the day, but then the night seems so much more pleasant by comparison.

Another small thing I recently started to do is to NOT look at my smartphone when I am unexpectedly forced to wait a few minutes for something/someone. At first the desire to sneak a peek at Facebook was agonising, but now I could quite happily sit for 10 minutes in some government department, waiting to get the necessary signature or whatever bit of paperwork is required.

So what about you???
Love the no smartphone trick. I have been doing a variation of this lately, carrying personal finance books and reading those instead. Especially share reading reading that stuff a few times really helps with understanding.

I've been doing something similar while waiting for the bus or the metro. While waiting I like to focus on my surroundings or start thinking about the things in my life that I'm thankful for. It usually makes me feel better than staring at my phone and frantically trying to absorb all the new emails and tweets.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Salim on October 16, 2015, 04:14:54 AM
There is an abundance of daily voluntary discomfort in my life, with chores, work for pay, exercise, bike riding, and caring for others, but I did do something extra recently. We live near trails on a hill. We needed a safer trail route. I found some animal trails and an old overgrown cartpath that went around a dangerous area of trail and could rejoin it higher up. The work to open the route was heavy and hard, and took about a month. While working, I was bitten, stung, drenched by rain and sweat, exhausted, yelled at, bruised, cut when my little saw slipped, and got lost more than once. But, now we have a safe trail and the neighbors are enjoying it, too.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Fishindude on October 16, 2015, 05:16:29 AM
We cut wood for winter heat supplement.   Allows us to keep the thermostat low and gas bills under control.
The work associated with it makes you really appreciate a nice warm house.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: o2bfree on October 20, 2015, 09:25:22 PM
I do a partial fast one day a week, skipping breakfast and lunch. I think I could skip dinner too, but I go to the gym every other morning, and don't like to eat much in the morning, so that would make for a sub-optimal workout.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: TheBuddha on October 20, 2015, 09:43:06 PM
Going days, even weeks without the internet.

Working out.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: o2bfree on October 21, 2015, 06:57:01 AM
Going days, even weeks without the internet. Working out.

Buddha, how about sesshin? Rohatsu?
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: TheBuddha on October 21, 2015, 11:09:46 AM
Going days, even weeks without the internet. Working out.
Buddha, how about sesshin? Rohatsu?

Nah. The Buddha is not into meditation.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Candace on October 21, 2015, 11:40:13 AM
In the famous words of Billy Crystal, "I shopped retail once."

That's hilarious.

As of yesterday, I now stand up at my job instead of sitting on my ass all day. Like many here, I'm a software developer, so I've sat on my ass at work all my life. (I realize that to people with more physically active work, this doesn't sound like a "discomfort", so apologies.)

My lower back is talking to me, but I figure it will get better in a few weeks. There are so many articles out there these days about how much healthier it is to stand up, and to boot, my doctor wants me to do that now due to my neck issues. So, I suppose I should say I'm doing it semi-voluntarily. At least, I'm embracing the change. I hope it's good for my health.

Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: KiwiSonya on October 21, 2015, 12:35:31 PM
I am actively working on adding more voluntary discomfort into my life and you've all given me some great ideas. I already go barefoot most of the time (as do my kids) and we love to camp. I'm starting to widen my temperature tolerances -will try the cold shower in a few days when I need one (that's right folks no daily showering here). I like the cash only idea too because money can seem abstract if you don't have notes passing through your hands. Will try some floor sitting too.  Always do my dishes by hand but did some clothes washing by hand for fun - made me appreciate my washing machine. Great thread.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Making Cookies on January 24, 2016, 03:16:15 PM
Our discomfort is learning how to do for ourselves in any situation.

Car broken? Then figure out what the problem is and how to fix it.

Need to update/repair the house? Then figure out how to do it for ourselves.

The discomfort comes from the time spent to learn the skills and the fact that the first couple of times you practice the new skill, its often slow and sometimes "painful" (tiring, testing of patience, back aches, sore knees, tired back, etc).

What we come away with is things done for a fraction of the cost of hiring someone, plus skills that could translate into cash if we do those same chores for someone else later.

Timing belt for the car? Maybe $100 vs $500 at a shop.

Tile floor in the utility room? $250 vs double or triple that if we hired someone.

Sometimes we trade favors with friends. I fix their car, they dog sit for us when we go out of town. I fix their computer and they give us tickets to a play or sports that they can't use.

I don't seek payment with friends, the networking alone is worthwhile - knowing who to call if we were in a bind.

The exchange of knowledge, ideas and help. Friendships made.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: monstermonster on January 24, 2016, 03:28:54 PM
I lived/worked as a catholic worker - form of voluntary poverty living in service to those in poverty ($100/month stipend is all you get paid to live at your job 24/7) and did two terms of service in Americorps (your pay is tied to poverty level.) Whenever I need a kick in my complainypants butt now that I have a cushy fancypants nonprofit job**, I remember the voluntary poverty I endured back then with a great deal of joy. In many ways, those years were the most joyful of my life because I was completely working towards the better good with very little idea that there was a fancier life out there.

Whenever I want to buy something, I think back to what Catholic Worker/Americorps me would do. I used to always track everything that was non-essential (food, water) I wanted to buy in a spreadsheet, ranked in multiple categories and by price, and wait at least 50 days before I bought anything on the spreadsheet. Usually after 50 days, it would be clear if I really wanted to get it/save for it, or if it was just temporary lust. The feeling of realizing it was temporary lust and then letting the want go was very valuable.

The teachings of Dorothy Day and  and Peter Maurin, co-founders of the Catholic Worker movement, true badass radicals, are helpful when I want to whine about my own abundance now: Peter said because he was poor he remained free; he had time to think. He lived a rich and abundant life because of that very poverty.

That being said, nothing like living through having to wash all my clothing on a rock in 110 degree weather while working in India that made me love the wealth of washing machines for the rest of my days.

**And this is why I get cranky at people on these forums who constantly tell me I need to make more money at $39K.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: pka222 on April 04, 2016, 02:30:49 PM
We live on a small tropical island, where rental properties have a great range -from no walls or plumbing to super posh western style. While we have walls and plumbing- we don't have AC or  hot water - honestly cold showers feel awesome when its hot (most of the time) and A/C just makes you weaker.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: mountains_o_mustaches on April 10, 2016, 06:29:08 PM
These are some great (and some insane) ideas!  Here are a few more:

*I know this isn't physical discomfort, but I try to give feedback or speak my mind to people in a polite way when typically I would just avoid the conversation.  I've found that pushing myself to say uncomfortable (but not necessarily rude) things has made me feel more authentic and made me interpersonally more effective.

*Not eating the moment I start to feel hungry.  I don't deprive myself of food or get so famished that I pass out or anything, but putting that subtle space between thinking "Wow, I'm hungry - I should eat" and eating has helped me a) not just grab what's convenient when I'm hungry and b) learn to better understand my body's hunger signals.

*Eating spicier foods - because they're dang tasty, it opens up more recipe options for me, some research suggests that spicy foods have heath benefits, and just to see if I can do it.

Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: golden1 on April 18, 2016, 07:03:59 AM
Quote
*Not eating the moment I start to feel hungry.  I don't deprive myself of food or get so famished that I pass out or anything, but putting that subtle space between thinking "Wow, I'm hungry - I should eat" and eating has helped me a) not just grab what's convenient when I'm hungry and b) learn to better understand my body's hunger signals.

I think that food tastes better too if you wait until you are quite hungry. 

Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Bracken_Joy on April 18, 2016, 08:18:12 AM
I love this thread! Posting mainly so I can get some good ideas =D I will say, since I grew up doing many of these things (barefoot, hiking/camping/hunting in cold weather, pouring rain, snow, etc) I'm not sure what is voluntary discomfort vs just plain enjoyable. My childhood may have broken my perspective a bit there!

-I periodically (I try for once a quarter) go a while without alcohol. Just to make sure I can. Self-mastery and all that. I haven't done this with coffee, but probably should.
-Cold shower cycles. Similarly: swimming in lakes and rivers. I was way more badass as a kid, when I would crawdad in a glacial runoff stream in just a swimsuit. I'm a wimp now and often wear boots to do this, or stick to warmer streams. Same vein as well, scuba diving in a wet suit. Never used a dry suit, even in the winter, even for deep water dives. I don't dive anymore though =\
-Walking to the store. (Not sure this counts, I LOVE this, but I do it even in the rain)
-Living with no dishwasher, but cook all our meals from scratch. LOTS of dishes.
-Minimal climate control. I have never, in my life, had A/C where I lived. In the winter right now, we set our thermostat for 64 during the day, 60 overnight. The only exception is I turn it to 68 to shower. Wimpy, I know ;)
-Outdoor gym. We have a home gym, which we use year round. Hot in the summer. Cold in the winter (oh my god the pullup bar first thing in the morning when it's been freezing overnight... ack). Bugs. Etc.
-I suppose hunting your own meat or raising and butchering your own meat counts, but I don't do it for the voluntary discomfort aspects, but for the moral and health ones.

Hmm. Upon reflection, a lot of what I do *looks* like voluntary discomfort, but that isn't usually the motivation behind it- it's usually health, or morality, or my twisted version of fun. I'm not sure if that still counts!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Basenji on June 08, 2016, 06:55:46 PM
Bumping because awesome.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Diniecita on June 26, 2016, 07:49:53 PM
We don't turn our AC on at all. We had company over yesterday and they just assumed that we didn't HAVE AC and we're completely fine with it.

 
I love this thread! Posting mainly so I can get some good ideas =D I will say, since I grew up doing many of these things (barefoot, hiking/camping/hunting in cold weather, pouring rain, snow, etc) I'm not sure what is voluntary discomfort vs just plain enjoyable. My childhood may have broken my perspective a bit there!

-I periodically (I try for once a quarter) go a while without alcohol. Just to make sure I can. Self-mastery and all that. I haven't done this with coffee, but probably should.
-Cold shower cycles. Similarly: swimming in lakes and rivers. I was way more badass as a kid, when I would crawdad in a glacial runoff stream in just a swimsuit. I'm a wimp now and often wear boots to do this, or stick to warmer streams. Same vein as well, scuba diving in a wet suit. Never used a dry suit, even in the winter, even for deep water dives. I don't dive anymore though =\
-Walking to the store. (Not sure this counts, I LOVE this, but I do it even in the rain)
-Living with no dishwasher, but cook all our meals from scratch. LOTS of dishes.
-Minimal climate control. I have never, in my life, had A/C where I lived. In the winter right now, we set our thermostat for 64 during the day, 60 overnight. The only exception is I turn it to 68 to shower. Wimpy, I know ;)
-Outdoor gym. We have a home gym, which we use year round. Hot in the summer. Cold in the winter (oh my god the pullup bar first thing in the morning when it's been freezing overnight... ack). Bugs. Etc.
-I suppose hunting your own meat or raising and butchering your own meat counts, but I don't do it for the voluntary discomfort aspects, but for the moral and health ones.

Hmm. Upon reflection, a lot of what I do *looks* like voluntary discomfort, but that isn't usually the motivation behind it- it's usually health, or morality, or my twisted version of fun. I'm not sure if that still counts!

We do a lot of these things as well. I raise ducks and chickens to get eggs and butcher. And rabbits. easy, easy bunnies.
I'm working on not buying clothes for all of 2016. We don't really need them, but it is uncomfortable sometimes when I think about getting something new.
I make all of our blankets. I enjoy quilting from scraps that people give me or old clothing that wears out.
I'm growing a lot of our own food. It's tastier than a lot of crap from the store anyways.
We don't have or plan to get cable. Some of my friends think that this is a HUGE hardship and say that we are depriving ourselves.
I don't see it that way. They also don't get much done during the day even though she is always "busy"
I voluntarily go without my shoes a lot. I just don't think of that as discomfort. Unless I step on a sand burr.
That's about all I can think of for now.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort *New 5*
Post by: kfire20 on June 29, 2016, 03:49:18 PM
A small thing but I rode my bike 4 miles this morning in the pouring rain to my 4 hr. volunteer gig. I found myself smiling at points along the way. (Last month)

Update:
This is a holiday weekend in Canada... August Civic holiday first Monday in August so I thought I'd try some voluntary discomfort coupled with thriftiness just for fun:

1. Spent a small amount at the outdoor market this Saturday for veggies. No other spending this long weekend.
2. Took the free bus to close-the-street-to-cars day downtown (and back).. walked up and down.. left my wallet and all money/cards at home.
3. Dying to go out for steak tonight.. (locals get $10.00 on the feature each night here at a restaurant in town) but I'm not going... heating up a single serving of lasagna instead
4. Rode my bike 4.5 km each way to swim some lengths at the local pool at noon today
5. It's 80F outside and as MMM has said "What do you have the AC on when its only 80F outside?" so I've had AC turned off all day and opened the windows.

*thankful to MMM, the Minimalists and others for helping me to adopt this way of life and sticking with it for about 7 months now...
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort
Post by: k290 on July 02, 2016, 10:17:26 AM
A small thing but I rode my bike 4 miles this morning in the pouring rain to my 4 hr. volunteer gig. I found myself smiling at points along the way.

I don't like your username... ;)


Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Dusty Dog Ranch on July 10, 2016, 12:48:54 PM
We lived in two tiny cabins (garden sheds that we winterized, about 300 sq. feet total between the two) for 26 months while we built our house and worked at full time jobs. No power, no running water, composting toilet. We used battery powered led lights and pumped water into containers from our well every 10 days or so. Rent in town would have cost about 18k for that time period, and we spent about 10k on the kitchen shed, so still came out ahead.

It's amazing how one can get used to a situation like this- many people probably thought we were crazy and/or deprived, but honestly it was a mostly fun adventure, with some challenges (propane refrigerators in tiny spaces may try to kill you with CO, for example). Also provided perspective on 1st world assumptions of necessity and helped us pare down our possessions, which we have mostly maintained now that we are living in an actual house with mod cons.

Do i miss the effort it took to shower (pour water into container, heat water on stove, transfer to solar shower bag, shower, empty water from tub we stood in since there wasn't a drain)? No, but I'm glad to know we can make do if we had to, and I'm a lot more conscious of my water usage now that I know two people can shower using less than 5 gallons of water.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: libertarian4321 on July 11, 2016, 05:00:40 AM
When travelling, I sometimes pull into a truck stop and sleep in the back of my truck (with a camper shell and an old mattress) rather than spend money on a hotel.

My wife thinks that's "weird" for a multimillionaire.

But it's no big deal to me.  I've sure as Hell been a lot less comfortable while in the Army.

Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: screwit on July 11, 2016, 05:37:06 AM
Yesterday we drove 10 hours in a 40 year old car with two little kids.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Bracken_Joy on July 11, 2016, 08:19:53 AM
When travelling, I sometimes pull into a truck stop and sleep in the back of my truck (with a camper shell and an old mattress) rather than spend money on a hotel.

My wife thinks that's "weird" for a multimillionaire.

But it's no big deal to me.  I've sure as Hell been a lot less comfortable while in the Army.

I suppose we do that one as well! I hate truck stops though (never feel safe there, being a young woman). We "car camp" in the back of our truck on road trips a lot of times- plywood then foam pads then our blankets or sleeping bags. And we do it for fun too, although those locations are far more scenic!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Kaspian on July 11, 2016, 08:20:36 AM
In the winter, I'll walk home in -30 during a blizzard, 3-foot snowdrifts, with a huge backpack of groceries.  It's like being on the planet Hoth, fucking insanely difficult, and I'll rage out loud right back at the storm, "C'mon!  You can do worse than that, you big sissy!!"  It feels so amazing to finally get home--like I've really walked the gauntlet and the reward is being warm, exhausted, and still alive.  Coworkers think I'm completely nuts for doing this, but I love it.  ...And they all pay for gym memberships. 

Hmmm.... Come to think of it, I do the same thing in the summer during a heatwave.  Get home completely drenched with sweat and jump in a cool shower ASAP.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: talltexan on July 13, 2016, 12:20:05 PM
I've been turning my smart phone off for several hours at a time. Today, I took a lunch break from work without even turning it on. It started when I was having trouble charging it, but I've continued even since getting the charging port cleaned out.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Inaya on July 13, 2016, 12:59:58 PM
I donate platelets. Huge needle in the vein takes out blood, runs it through a machine to remove the plasma and platelets, combines what's left with saline and pumps it back into the arm via the same needle. The saline is cold, and thus I am freezing (fingernails turn purple even). The anticoagulant in the saline makes my face numb and my mouth taste awful. I have to squeeze a ball the whole time (~3 hours) while keeping the rest of my body perfectly still because I can't do anything to risk moving the needle. I find it extremely difficult to hold still under normal circumstances. That hand goes numb as well around the 90 minute mark. And no aspirin or NSAIDs 36 hours beforehand, so no relief for any headaches or anything that pops up during that period. But I get Oreos and apple juice after, so there's that.

I recently signed up for the bone marrow registry. I'm sure if I ever get called up for donation, the platelet apheresis will seem like a walk in the park by comparison.

Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: PFHC on July 13, 2016, 04:44:29 PM
I've been turning my smart phone off for several hours at a time. Today, I took a lunch break from work without even turning it on. It started when I was having trouble charging it, but I've continued even since getting the charging port cleaned out.
Awesome. We've been putting ours on our mantle during the day at home. I like the shutting it off idea!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: pbkmaine on July 13, 2016, 05:10:53 PM
Very much enjoying this thread as I lie in my hammock by the pool, under the palm trees. Carry on!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: PFHC on July 13, 2016, 05:14:49 PM
Very much enjoying this thread as I lie in my hammock by the pool, under the palm trees. Carry on!
Here's mine for the day. Slogging away at work, 3500 miles across a sea from home, while pbkmaine chills in a hammock under a palm tree.

;)

Enjoy pbk!!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: pbkmaine on July 13, 2016, 05:36:22 PM
Although "chill" is perhaps not the right word for July in Florida
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: PFHC on July 13, 2016, 05:39:58 PM
I just wanted to remind us all how damn fortunate we are to be able to chose our discomforts. That is an incredible luxury that most of the world does not get to enjoy. I am infinitely grateful for the option.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Kaydedid on July 30, 2016, 06:34:15 PM
I just wanted to remind us all how damn fortunate we are to be able to chose our discomforts. That is an incredible luxury that most of the world does not get to enjoy. I am infinitely grateful for the option.
Hear, hear! 

Just got the ok from doc to resume normal activity after getting my gallbladder removed.   I rode my bike to band practice (3 miles round-trip).  It's warm and humid outside, but fine as long as you remember to keep drinking.  The voluntary discomfort made sitting for 2 hours in the air-conditioned practice room feel luxurious indeed!

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: OurFirstFire on September 24, 2016, 09:46:19 PM
Two mild discomforts to share:
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 09, 2016, 02:29:51 PM
I donate platelets. Huge needle in the vein takes out blood, runs it through a machine to remove the plasma and platelets, combines what's left with saline and pumps it back into the arm via the same needle. The saline is cold, and thus I am freezing (fingernails turn purple even). The anticoagulant in the saline makes my face numb and my mouth taste awful. I have to squeeze a ball the whole time (~3 hours) while keeping the rest of my body perfectly still because I can't do anything to risk moving the needle. I find it extremely difficult to hold still under normal circumstances. That hand goes numb as well around the 90 minute mark. And no aspirin or NSAIDs 36 hours beforehand, so no relief for any headaches or anything that pops up during that period. But I get Oreos and apple juice after, so there's that.

I recently signed up for the bone marrow registry. I'm sure if I ever get called up for donation, the platelet apheresis will seem like a walk in the park by comparison.

This is so great. I have been mulling over donating blood for such a long time now. I was underweight for ages, and had vitamin issues and some other minor health stuff until recently. Now I'm actually healthy and I'm basically just a scaredy cat. I justify not doing it because I honestly am a fainter - I come over all funny every time I have to have a blood test and I sometimes think that I should just fucking do it and donate blood and get over it. I'm not afraid of needles per se, my body just likes having blood in it. But I feel bad that I could be doing this simple thing that costs me nothing but a bit of time.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: misshathaway on October 10, 2016, 01:45:07 AM
Every weekday morning I get into a pool at 5AM and swim laps. The water usually feels cold and I have to tell myself the same story every morning about how I will get warmer in a couple of laps. I always feel fantastic and renewed after I'm done. It never gets easier though.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: BlueHouse on October 10, 2016, 05:11:58 AM
Does anyone who sleeps in a cool room ever try to leave the sheets/covers off themselves all night to acclimate to winter weather faster?  I like to sleep in a cool room, but am always snug under the covers. I started trying to leave my shoulders and back exposed to the cooler air, but I hate it! 
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: GuitarStv on October 10, 2016, 07:21:19 AM
Does anyone who sleeps in a cool room ever try to leave the sheets/covers off themselves all night to acclimate to winter weather faster?  I like to sleep in a cool room, but am always snug under the covers. I started trying to leave my shoulders and back exposed to the cooler air, but I hate it!

While I'm comfortable cycling to work through snow and driving wind all winter long, I'm not sure I see the point of making yourself uncomfortable at night for no discernible benefit.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Inaya on October 10, 2016, 07:57:18 AM
Does anyone who sleeps in a cool room ever try to leave the sheets/covers off themselves all night to acclimate to winter weather faster?  I like to sleep in a cool room, but am always snug under the covers. I started trying to leave my shoulders and back exposed to the cooler air, but I hate it!
I can't sleep without something covering me, even in the middle of summer. However, I am trying to go as long as possible before I upgrade from hoodie to jacket/coat--hoping to acclimate a bit before winter hits this year.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Bracken_Joy on October 10, 2016, 08:27:54 AM
Does anyone who sleeps in a cool room ever try to leave the sheets/covers off themselves all night to acclimate to winter weather faster?  I like to sleep in a cool room, but am always snug under the covers. I started trying to leave my shoulders and back exposed to the cooler air, but I hate it!

I have to have something covering me. When I'm trying to snap my body into winter weather mode, I will: take a walk outside without a jacket, but *with* hats and gloves, because screw being miserable. I will also make a point to not towel off immediately upon finishing my shower, and let myself get a little cold as I wipe down the walls, etc. And then the biggest thing is keeping the house overall cool- a cool room won't help much if you spend the day in a warm living room =)
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Giro on May 23, 2017, 08:44:49 AM
although not as hard-core as many of the others...

My DH has switched to black coffee and I'm working my way up to that point.  You drink less, you don't get the extra calories and sugar.  I love creamer tho.....

We have both switched to raw vegetables for snacking versus chips. It took awhile for me to adjust but now I crave celery and carrots throughout the day.

Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on May 23, 2017, 08:57:22 AM
Parenting.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Forever Wednesday on May 23, 2017, 10:07:11 AM
Some things I've tried:

Cold Showers - I rented a period property last winter and the boiler wasn't very efficient, so to save money I took cold showers instead of heated. These make you feel amazing and I can definitely vouch for them.

No Internet - I once had a real problem with wasting time online (Youtube, forums, whatever), so one day I experimented with cutting off my internet access. I haven't looked back to be honest! I'm way more productive now, and whenever I need to access the internet I just bring my laptop to a cafe with WiFi. Grabbing a coffee might not be very Mustachian, but hey I'm not paying for home internet. :) My phone has 1Gb of data which is all I need for using Maps, WhatsApp and random other things. Most towns are littered with WiFi hot spots anyway.

No Car - I've never owned a car. Bikes take me most places, and for longer journeys I take the train. While a train journey is typically slower than a car journey (inc. waiting times and traveling to the station itself), I'm also free to do things I couldn't do while driving (read a book, meditate, stretch my legs, etc), so the time is of higher quality.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: MrsWolfeRN on May 23, 2017, 03:23:35 PM
I am willing to put up with some discomfort as means to an end, for example temporarily depriving myself of foods I like because I feel better if I keep my weight down.  I will do without luxuries for the sake of others or the environment as well, but I refuse to be a martyr. I am no good to others if my basic needs are not being met.

Some on here seem to be flagellating themselves for no visible benefit. Is badassity the new purity? Is it so difficult to keep the angel from the door?


 
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: pbkmaine on May 23, 2017, 03:35:15 PM
I clean my own house. That's about it.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: rdaneel0 on June 24, 2017, 06:08:15 PM
I have a pretty good one that was inspired by MMM. My entire life I have hated cold weather, and by cold I mean anything under 45 degrees. I took MMM's advice a few years ago and bought really great clothing for cold weather, and it helped a little, but I still hated winter. Three years ago I was facing another cold winter and dreading it, and I realized I was dreading something totally natural and inevitable, and that it was making me a less happy person. It was all so insanely stupid! So, I set off to force myself to love winter. I committed to going outside for at least two hours per day (in addition to going to work and stuff, I mean going out to just walk around), every day, no matter what the weather was.

The first couple months were rough, but by the time the temperature dropped to 15 degrees and it was really dark...I was pretty tough. It really wasn't that bad, I started to appreciate how quiet and empty it was, how pristine everything looked, how energized I was at work. By the end of the winter I was almost sad to see it go. It just took one season of going out all the time for me to love winter. I can honestly say that I love every season now! Temporary Discomfort = Longterm Strength.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on June 24, 2017, 06:40:34 PM
Very, very cool (oh! no pun intended), rdanee10!

I love cold, snowy winter :)
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Guide2003 on June 24, 2017, 08:47:00 PM
Parenting.
How about parenting traumatized foster kids!

Also, driving a 2010 Honda Fit with no cruise control, variable wipers, or lumbar support rather than a loaded 2006 Honda Odyssey that was less than half the price.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: MustachioedPistachio on July 26, 2017, 04:47:03 PM
Here in Memphis, it get's pretty toasty during the summer. I typically start the summer with the thermostat set to cool at 76 degrees, and bump it up 1 degree each week. After biking around in 100 degree, 100% humidity weather, 82 feels like a meat locker ha.

On the rare occasions when I do drive my black car (aka, oven), I don't use the A/C and keep the windows up. On the return trip I'll enjoy the fresh breeze :)

I need to experience more "cold" voluntary discomfort!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: stoaX on July 26, 2017, 05:12:03 PM
Parenting.

Well said - it's funny how a one word post made my day!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on July 26, 2017, 05:20:59 PM
:)
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: talltexan on July 28, 2017, 12:23:52 PM
I've been experimenting with not turning on the air conditioning in my car.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: marielle on August 04, 2017, 07:41:56 AM
I've been experimenting with not turning on the air conditioning in my car.

I've been doing this too, especially since my AC doesn't work all that well (weak compressor). Got 30.5 mpg this past week from not using AC and hypermiling! EPA estimates 21/28 mpg for my car, and it wasn't all highway driving either. 45-55mph roads mainly with turns or stop lights every 5 miles or so.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: talltexan on August 07, 2017, 07:25:58 AM
Marielle-
I see you're also in NC. I think the summer is finally going to turn cooler here, which will make these no-AC drives become even more achievable.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: marielle on August 07, 2017, 09:24:47 AM
Marielle-
I see you're also in NC. I think the summer is finally going to turn cooler here, which will make these no-AC drives become even more achievable.

Thankfully! I also moved to a 2300 sqft modular house for the summer, and the last electric bill was $176! I pay half but it's still insane. I don't mind too much because the rent is only $350, but still. At my 810 sqft apartment it was $55 in June, and that's without trying to be sparing with it.

It would be a lot less if my roommate/landlord didn't use the AC so much, especially during renovations and moving when people were going in and out and leaving doors open a lot. He blamed the higher usage on my cooking too (which is only one day a week btw). He was gone this past week and I barely used the AC so hopefully the next bill isn't so bad.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Mrbeardedbigbucks on November 20, 2017, 06:22:11 AM
It was fun to read everyone's voluntary discomfort.

We recently went without  turning on the heat for almost 1/2 the month of November. We live in New Hampshire and many nights, the outside temperature was well below freezing. This got me into a mode of challenging my comfort levels and examining things in my life I think I need vs want. My next challenge is to limit smartphone and at home computer use to less than 1/2 hour per day.

Here's the post:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/when-do-you-turn-on-your-heat/
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: marielle on November 20, 2017, 06:56:02 AM
Last time I posted was about not using the AC in my car, now it's cold and I don't think I'll be fixing the heat in my car again. I survived last winter without it, no real issues other than slight annoyance in defrosting the windows. I suspect it's the heater core so I just haven't bothered. If I lived further north, it'd be a different story I think.

Currently a day and a half into a 3-4 day fast.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: BookLoverL on November 24, 2017, 02:35:12 PM
I've been sleeping on the floor since mid-October, when my dad decided he wanted to see if my mattress fixed his bad back, and I decided I didn't want me or my parents to spend money on a new mattress (I'm mid-twenties and live with my parents to save on rent money) for no reason. I'd already been thinking about trying it after reading a few articles on floor sleeping earlier in the year. It's actually working pretty well. My setup is just my relatively thin camping mat (the carpet texture was a bit scratchy to sleep on it directly), plus my duvet and pillow. I'm not planning to switch back in the immediate future.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: talltexan on November 30, 2017, 11:41:27 AM
dude, you people are animals, way to go!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: DS on November 30, 2017, 12:09:14 PM
I've been sleeping on the floor since mid-October, when my dad decided he wanted to see if my mattress fixed his bad back, and I decided I didn't want me or my parents to spend money on a new mattress (I'm mid-twenties and live with my parents to save on rent money) for no reason. I'd already been thinking about trying it after reading a few articles on floor sleeping earlier in the year. It's actually working pretty well. My setup is just my relatively thin camping mat (the carpet texture was a bit scratchy to sleep on it directly), plus my duvet and pillow. I'm not planning to switch back in the immediate future.

After coming home from a 5.5 month hiking trip, I just wanted to sleep on the floor. Eventually caved and bought a very very firm mattress.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on November 30, 2017, 12:18:09 PM
I've slept on the floor more than on any other surface...but for the first time in my life am experiencing condensation with it! So, a light warning. I'm buying Hypervent to go between the floor and my underblanket.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: YoungGranny on December 01, 2017, 06:53:32 AM
I was going to comment about how I've been biking to work this week in 20 degree weather while it's still dark outside but after reading through some of the other posts I'm not sure I belong here. You are all awesome!!!!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: BookLoverL on January 04, 2018, 02:19:47 PM
Quote
I was going to comment about how I've been biking to work this week in 20 degree weather while it's still dark outside but after reading through some of the other posts I'm not sure I belong here. You are all awesome!!!!

Hey, biking to work below freezing (assuming you mean 20F? I converted it and Google tells me that's, like, -6 or -7 C) definitely counts as voluntary discomfort.

Now that I'm used to sleeping on the floor, I just need to get round to selling my bedframe. Condensation, bugs, or cold could definitely be an issue depending on your location and house, but luckily aren't with mine...
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: zinnie on January 04, 2018, 02:45:59 PM
All of these things have been growing experiences and/or I remember fondly looking back:
-Hiking all day without food, low on water. Basically running on empty and miles away from civilization--but I made it back! It's amazing how much farther your body can take you when necessary.
-One of the marathons I did I hadn't properly trained for, but I did it anyway. I had NOTHING left about 15 miles in, as in, my body was basically refusing to move another muscle. But you know what, through sheer force of will I finished anyway. And I even sprinted across the finish line. I think back on this a lot when I'm feeling lazy or like I can't do something. If I can do that I can do ANYTHING.
-Camping by myself in 30 degree temperatures. Made heat seem like a luxury afterwards!
-Biking home form work in 90+ degree weather when I was exhausted and hadn't had enough to eat. I didn't really want to bike, but I made myself do it anyway. It's 20 hilly miles, and it was during fire season when I could smell the smoke. I felt amazing after I made it home that night.

Happens somewhat frequently:
-When I don't have a lot of food in the house or I'm out and don't want to pay for food, just going without. It feels good knowing you aren't so dependent on needing to eat every few hours. And it makes your next meal taste much better!
-Eating super basic, no-frills meals often makes the fancier meals taste even better and be more memorable.
-Keep the heat on low
-Exercise even when I'm really sick or hungry, low on energy, etc.
-Getting massively lost while hiking/traveling around, because i refuse to pay for cell service overseas. But it makes it more of an adventure! I can barely remember the times we easily made it where we were trying to go, but the times I got super lost are very memorable.


Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Serendip on February 05, 2018, 10:58:12 PM
-Solo wilderness camping when I was a young woman, just to prove to myself that I could (pre cell-phone days so my friends/co-workers didn't love this plan)

-Doing house-cleaning for rent in a very expensive resort town (this only lasted short term since the people I was cleaning for were a bit dysfunctional)

-Sleeping on the ground/thin sleeping pad.. for years I didn't want to buy furniture and enjoyed the simplicity aspect of minimal objects in a place. My current SO changed all that (he did NOT understand my desire to not own a bed). Ha.

-No medication when I used to suffer from extreme cramps (this has changed slightly, but when younger I felt it was important to feel the discomfort of bodily pain, in order not to just 'move through your day' like every other day..it was an honoring system for me)


Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: GuitarStv on February 06, 2018, 08:20:49 AM
-Exercise even when I'm really sick

This is something that I've done many times in the past (competitive wrestling/Jiu-Jitsu/Judo/boxing), but have stopped completely.  Exercising when you're really sick (not just a runny nose) is a bad idea.  It will extend the length of your illness, you'll probably spread your illness to others, and you typically won't get as good a workout anyway.  Rest, feel better, and then build up to setting your PRs again.  Significant detraining doesn't happen for more than a week so there's nothing to be concerned about.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Rubic on February 07, 2018, 09:57:51 AM
-Exercise even when I'm really sick

This is something that I've done many times in the past (competitive wrestling/Jiu-Jitsu/Judo/boxing), but have stopped completely.  Exercising when you're really sick (not just a runny nose) is a bad idea.  It will extend the length of your illness, you'll probably spread your illness to others, and you typically won't get as good a workout anyway.  Rest, feel better, and then build up to setting your PRs again.  Significant detraining doesn't happen for more than a week so there's nothing to be concerned about.

My rule of thumb:
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Just Joe on April 10, 2018, 01:35:48 PM
Riding home on my bike in the rain? People here sure look at me oddly when that happens b/c hardly anyone rides a bike anywhere in the first place. I need to upgrade my rain gear...
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: TheWifeHalf on April 10, 2018, 04:07:52 PM
Colonoscopy Prep
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: shelivesthedream on April 11, 2018, 12:43:14 AM
Colonoscopy Prep

Colonoscopy prep was kind of horrific but I also felt absolutely amazing - fuller of energy and life than I had felt in years. It's when I first really clocked that I must have a food intolerance once the offending substances were, er, all cleared out. Turned out to be onion and garlic which are in basically every meal ever, so no wonder I felt like crap every day.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: theSlowTurtle on April 12, 2018, 02:15:04 PM
Just wanted to say I can understand your pain! My wife has a garlic allergy. On the bright side I have perfected home made garlic free pizza :)
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: gerardc on April 15, 2018, 10:41:57 AM
The original monk trifecta:

- Diet to low body fat levels
- Abstain from sex/orgasm
- Physical labor
- bonus: Cold
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: sallysue on January 05, 2019, 04:57:18 PM
Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed to this thread. I have to admit that I've been a big wuss with regard to practically everything mentioned! Worse, without realizing it, little by little I was trying to make my life easier and easier. This thread has helped me changed my attitude, and now I plan to think about the first small steps I can take to toughening up. Thanks, all!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: talltexan on January 10, 2019, 11:51:23 AM
I'm really excited about an approaching chance to upshift my Mustachian cred a bunch (currently only half-ass, I am not bad-ass like so many here): will have my car paid off in just two more months, and I plan for that to be the last time I'm making payments toward a car. Ever.

I drive a fairly responsible 10-year told Toyota Camry, so there is ample room to upgrade to a newer car I can pay cash for.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: GuitarStv on January 10, 2019, 01:17:53 PM
24 km to work this morning.  -7 and windy.  Fuck yeah I'm biking to work!  Think of all the gas I'd be wasting heating up my car . . .
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: talltexan on January 11, 2019, 06:59:16 AM
I'm serious this thread has the most hard-core people on the Mustache planet. You guys are examples.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: MasterStache on January 11, 2019, 12:09:15 PM
I've been on 2 recent hikes through some pretty nasty stuff. One was a well traveled horse trail that was a swamp. About 5 miles all the way around. Halfway through you come out on a cliff above the lake. I stopped, set up my camp chair and had lunch. 2nd hike was at a local nature center. It was the only trail I had not hiked and by far the longest and muddiest. I took the dog as well. We were both a muddy happy mess at the end.

Supposed to get 6 inches of snow this weekend. Looking forward to some snow hiking.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Gail2000 on January 11, 2019, 01:42:28 PM
This is one that I have to work on. I make my lunch everyday and i work in a culture of young bucks that order out every day. I gather this isn't the discomfort i see you're celebrating but as I am new to this site and the extreme side of things it is a start. I do need to get up earlier and exercise.Unfortunately the commute to work just isn't feasible between the kiddo in my life and the time restrictions I face.

Waking up at 5 am in stead of 5:45 started today. Hoping to keep myself accountable and suffer happily along with you folks.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: BlueHouse on February 04, 2019, 12:46:50 PM
I was telling a family member about voluntary discomfort and how I try to keep the heat turned way down when I'm alone in a big house.  I wear a super-comfy hoody-jacket and put an afghan on my legs/feet while I'm sitting at my desk.  Family member says "I can't stand to be cold.  That wouldn't pass for me!"

Well, duh!  Me neither...that's what the jacket and afghan are for! 

I don't know how my family members are so different from me, but they seem to all want to wear short sleeves in the middle of winter and they expect to be comfortable like that.  It makes me want to scream!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: talltexan on February 07, 2019, 08:56:16 AM
Rain was coming, so I walked out to my car, and took my umbrella out of the trunk, but I didn't move the car into the closer, covered parking.

Now that I type this, it seems a little weak compared to the rest of you awesome people here.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: happyuk on February 12, 2019, 01:52:49 PM
The summer of 2018 in the UK was one of the longest and hottest on record.

I would spend whole weekends and holiday periods tending to my allotment vegetable plot in the bright sunshine and baking heat, with only my gardening tools and bottles of Indian tonic water for company, far away from my work office.

The memories are still vivid.  Sweat dripping from my brow on to the dry soil.  Using the deep digging technique with plenty of soil improver to the soil in a really good condition in readiness for all the seedlings and tubers I was going to plant.  Spending hours thoroughly going through the soil targeting Mare's Tail and other unwanted weeds, the feel of the warm soil on my fingers.  The same red-breasted robin hopping alongside me, scouting for freshly dug earth worms.  Giving the potatoes, broad beans, onion sets, butternut squashes, peas, zuccinis, french beans, beetroots etc a thorough soaking when needed and pulling them and eating them raw or preserving them as and when.

I had never been happier.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: I-Ranger on February 12, 2019, 07:59:49 PM
-62 degree wind chill and I walked to work. It's only 3 blocks, but damn was it invigorating!
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Budgie on February 12, 2019, 09:25:34 PM
Well, I had babies at home without any pain medication. That was pretty uncomfortable for a bit, but very exhilarating, too. I felt like I'd won an Olympic event AND gotten a baby as the prize :)  One time I got stitches afterward, also without pain meds. Sounds dramatic but really not even in the top ten, discomfort-wise for me.

The most discomfort I've ever endured was being a foster parent for a year to an infant we knew we would not be adopting. We cared for and totally loved the baby every day of his life until he was adopted, knowing that he would be leaving us. When he left it was more than discomfort, it was agony. But for a good purpose, and totally voluntary.

What else...tattoos, sleeping on the floor/other hard surfaces for months at a time, not using sweetener, not eating after 6pm, no AC for several years...these are things others have seen as discomforts, but didn't usually register with me as uncomfortable and were just part of meeting other goals.


Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: BTDretire on April 09, 2019, 09:24:47 AM
 Mine was involuntary discomfort!
 After the hurricane we were without power for 8 days.
The first bath was with water from a bucket poured over myself with
a smaller container. It felt very cold and uncomfortable, however
the feeling once I dried off and got dressed was amazing.
 The second day, those buckets were put in the sun all day to warm.
Much more comfortable bath, but didn't have the same feeling after dressing.
 If I can pull it off, I might try a cold shower today. I normally take a very hot shower.
Title: Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
Post by: Gail2000 on April 09, 2019, 08:06:12 PM
Mine was involuntary discomfort!
 After the hurricane we were without power for 8 days.
The first bath was with water from a bucket poured over myself with
a smaller container. It felt very cold and uncomfortable, however
the feeling once I dried off and got dressed was amazing.
 The second day, those buckets were put in the sun all day to warm.
Much more comfortable bath, but didn't have the same feeling after dressing.
 If I can pull it off, I might try a cold shower today. I normally take a very hot shower.

You might be a candidate for the local polar bear club. Id have to find it but there is a link between drastic temperature variation and longevity of life.
We went to a spa that operated on that principle. 10 mins in the sauna and a run through ice water that beautifully cascaded from an ice formation into that bloody pool we ventured into. Not exactly what qualifies me to step in.

I am going with out major purchases for clothes. Its been tempting a few times this past year but I may hav to cave for decent clothes for summer. Thrift shops, here I come.