advice, Challenges, goal setting, habit-building, Identity

Quitting

This week, “quitting” has been at the forefront of my mind. Initially, when considering quitting, a slurry of condemning phrases swirls in my mind. 

You’re such a quitter!

What a loser! Winners never quit!

You never stick with anything!

After the initial onslaught of condemnation though and some more careful consideration of quitting, I found myself making a list of all of the things I’ve quit over the years. 

I quit scrapbooking (shortly after my first daughter was born).

I’ve (basically) quit sewing.

I’ve quit scrolling Facebook and Instagram.

I quit selling stuff (Creative Memories, Mary Kay, Young Living).

I quit living 35 miles from town.

I quit teaching in a public school (and teach online now).

I quit eating sugar (and have been following a low-carb diet for six months now).

I’ve (basically) quit recording podcasts.

I quit wearing jeans (but just bought a new pair a few weeks ago).

I quit homeschooling my oldest (but just started again).

I’ve quit writing (for blocks of time). See 487 Days!

I’ve quit oodles of “craft” projects (paint by number is NOT for me)!

I’ve dabbled with playing an instrument (but have had MANY stops and starts over the last few years).

I’ve had small “patches” where I’ve been successful staying connected to family and friends (and way bigger “blocks” where I’ve completely lost touch).

I quit running.

I tried stuff that hasn’t panned out (like Life Coaching, my local women interview project, and orchestrating consistent play dates).

I’ve quit watching TV (save for the odd Saturday night when my husband is out of the house).

I signed up for an iPhone photography class and never actually finished (or started) the lessons.

I haven’t attended church since the beginning of COVID.

I have a hard time sticking with daily posts on my blog and FB page (e.g. Marvellous Monday, Flashback Friday, and the like), especially during the school year.

I’ve never been able to adopt and stick with a solid strength training routine.

I’ve started community initiatives that have fizzled (like Hudson Bay Rocks).

I’ve made countless checklists and have failed to use them (in the long term).

I’ve set up all kinds of “systems” that have flopped.

I have difficulty sticking with ONE THING … ONE WAY … 

So when I consider this rather lengthy list of things I’ve quit over the years … the things I’ve had a hard time sticking with … the countless “stops and starts” … I COULD spiral down and wallow in self-pity .. I COULD let those “voices” settle in … 

You’re such a failure! 

See, I told you you can’t stick with anything! 

What a loser! 

You’re such a quitter!

OR I could take another look … another stance … at 38-years-old, I HAVE started and later quit countless things … yes, my stick-with-it-power in SOME categories just isn’t there … BUT I am an ever-changing, always evolving human being … I’m not the same person I was last month or last year … 

Needs change … 

Seasons change …

Circumstances change … 

Interests change …

The things that are important change … and we change …

And we don’t KNOW until we try … 

Humour me now and let me point out some obvious human “quits” …

  • We quit pooping our pants.
  • We quit relying on others to fulfill our every need.
  • We quit watching cartoons.
  • We quit playing with dolls (and other toys).
  • We quit chewing our nails (or other habits that no longer serve us).
  • We quit staying out all night (because we’re too tired to function the next day).

Maybe “quitting” is more “natural” than we initially thought. Maybe it’s an inevitable part of “growing up.”

Yes, I KNOW grit is important … yes, I KNOW there are times when we just have to “stick it out” … when things are no longer “fun,” but we just have to finish the job … we have to follow through with our commitments … we SHOULD be cautious about giving up too easily … I agree with ALL of this wholeheartedly … but we also have to try NEW things … dabble with stuff we’ve never tried before … through this, we MAY find new commitments, new things we LOVE … but it’s also possible that we eventually “quit” these things too … 

When reflecting on your own life and your list of the things you’ve quit over the years, you MAY have some regrets … take stock and decide if a few “starts” are in order for you (even if you might quit later) …

I really don’t have any regrets with my “stops” over the years … I recognize the shift in seasons, the shift in circumstances, the shift in me … 

Do I wish I had more “grit” in some categories? You bet! But it’s also important to accept WHO I am (down to the core) … the things I will ALWAYS struggle with … the fact that I get bored with certain things so easily (such a “been there, done that … what’s next?” attitude over here) … the fact that I can see (or constantly seek out) a better way … the fact that I can’t seem to stick with certain things for the long-term … 

If you’re reading this and you need permission to quit something today, know this … you can quit something and not BE a quitter … we are not ONE THING … and we don’t have to do ONE THING (forever) either … change is good … variety is good … “different” or “new” is good … 

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